Mediocre is Never Good Enough

Untitled Silver Collar ©2009 WTEK Trying a new technique and pushing myself makes work that I am proud of.

In the past week or so, I’ve read three different posts at three different blogs that mention the word “mediocrity.”  Mediocrity is something that I’ve always been opposed to.  You have to always strive to be your best.  Sometimes, we just aren’t feeling it and OK is adequate.  But when we talk about our passion, our dreams, or what defines us, just making due isn’t good enough.

I was brought up to have a good work ethic, to always try my best and work hard at what ever it was that I was doing at the time.  The Olympics brings this to mind.  What if the ice skaters said, “sure, I could work really hard to do a triple, but a double is easy and I know I won’t fall”?  They would lose points and probably the event.  Watching the pairs skating the past two nights, there were plenty of falls.  And these teams are the best of the best.  But you don’t become the best by sticking to the comfortable, by staying on the middle path.

Silver Cracked Ring Base, my own fall on the ice while pushing myself.

I work hard at my jewelry.  I take workshops to learn new techniques (when I’ve got the time and money that is).  I make sure and get in the studio and make things.  Sure, I have pieces that I turn to when I know I’m not feeling it and I can just whip out a few cuffs and have something accomplished.  But I also work on larger pieces where I try to refine my technique, learn a new skill, or just challenge myself with the design.  This is the only way that my art can grow.  I want to be the best.  That doesn’t mean that my best will be good enough, but my worst or my mediocre will never be the best of anything.

What is something that you should be trying harder at?  What do you want to always do your best at?

Mediocre Posts I mentioned:

Be at the Top of Your Game on Fine Art Views

Madness, Genius, and the Things We Don’t See on Essential Prose

Shades of Mediocrity on Make and Meaning


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2 thoughts on “Mediocre is Never Good Enough

  1. Hi Wendy,

    Excellent post. I agree with you on so many things you’ve mentioned here.

    I feel like I’m always trying hard to do things better and stretch. You know, step outside of that comfort zone. Sometimes there are not so pleasant results, but then there are those ah ha moments and it makes it so worth it.

    Right now I’m really trying to stretch past my perceived limits on where I’m at design wise on my metal work. I keep looking for inspiration and what might be my revelation spark. In my glass, I just had that about a month ago and new ideas/designs are flowing. My hope is that will carry over into my metal work too.

    I’d like to be the best at everything I try, but I know how unrealistic that is. I think I’ll go back to the key phrase I use at the end of my blog posts…..’Aspire to be more as an artist and a person’

    Thanks for the motivation! 🙂

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  2. Wendy, it’s great to read more about your thoughts on this. I think it really does come down to the simple thing of doing *your* best… and I think it’s hard for us to know what our best is unless we test our boundaries, do things that seem intimidating. For me, it’s certainly led to some of the things I’m most proud of… as well as some embarrassing flops, of course.

    On another note, what a gorgeous silver collar up there!

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