Why Most People Will Remain in Mediocrity
Anthony Moore

Anthony, this response isn’t only to your article, but to many of your readers. You have found a kernel for them, in that they may be unhappy and need to be reminded that their mindset is helping to keep them that way.

Your central message, however, seems to have a limited audience, and also has potentially dangerous side-effects that are reflected in a few of the readers’ comments. Being willing to take risks and occasionally learn from your failure is a luxury — one that is only affordable if you have the means and education to fail miserably and successfully recover from it. Here in the “land of opportunity,” we live in a society where a preponderance of people have a remarkably slim chance of moving themselves from one class level to another. The class division status quo is maintained by limiting access to excellent education, adequate means, and political empowerment. If one went to college, and/or if one’s parents paid for the better part of that college education, the likelihood is that taking some risks is fine, because one has a personal safety net that will prevent them from true failure. In turn, this net allows for the luxury of the opportunity to recover from failure. In fact, a majority of Americans do not have access to $1000, even in the case of a family health emergency. Telling someone of limited means that they need to take a risk and either reap the rewards or fail and reap the lesson is a non-starter. Someone in that position is living a risky existence. The chances they are taking are not about whether they should try this training or that business opportunity, but whether they should choose to pay their electricity bill or their insurance bill this month. That’s the reality for 50% of our population. There is a huge portion of our glibly defined “99%” who are not worried about their chances at even getting into the 50th percentile, let alone the 95th, they are worried about where their next meal will come from. They probably also are not reading your article, so that fact may not be so important to your readers.

Reflected in the comments, however, as one reader puts it, is the idea that people who “choose” to live with mediocrity are “lazy.” And therein lies the dangerous side-effect of an article like this. Yes, there are those among us (even one percenters) who are not choosing to take risks and thereby sowing the seeds of their own unhappiness or not creating certain hallmarks of greater financial success. But for any of us to make a blanket assumption that all who do not aspire to the elite 1% are just too lazy or too stuck in their fear of failure to try hard enough to get there, is to ignore the realities for most Americans.

Want to get out of your personal or professional rut? Aspire to own a home with twice as many bedrooms as inhabitants? Must drive a Tesla to feel good about yourself? Yep, you do need to get off your duff and take a few risks, using those risks that don’t pan out as foundations for personal lessons. Just remember, whether you can change you mindset or not, everyone else’s lack of upward mobility isn’t only due to the fact that they can’t or don’t change theirs.

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