Counselor Commentary: Don’t Be Mediocre

Do Whatever You Can To Improve

Dave VagnoniIn the football movie Facing The Giants, there’s a motivational scene every businessperson should watch – even if you’re not a sports fan. If you haven’t seen it, Google “death crawl” or just click here and enjoy the clip. Sure, the scene is a little cheesy and contrived, but the moral of the story absolutely applies to your life, your business, and your goals.

Assuming you’ve skipped the clip for now, you might wonder what exactly is the death crawl? As the name suggests, it’s a painful endurance drill that takes a lot of strength and determination to get through. A player gets on all fours and then lifts his knees so his legs are an inch or two off the ground. To add weight, a teammate gets on the back of the player doing the death crawl. In some cases, like in the movie, the player is blindfolded so he can’t see where he’s crawling. As you can tell, it’s not a pleasant experience.

Without giving away the whole scene, here’s a little info. The head coach in the film challenges his best player – the team leader – to do the death crawl for 50 yards. You’ll have to watch the clip to see how far he actually goes. One of the things that makes the scene so compelling, though, is that the coach challenges the player to give his very best effort – and he keeps urging him to give more and more as the death crawl unfolds.

Which takes us to the point of the story and why it’s relevant to you. Very often, you might feel like you’re doing the death crawl at work, carrying lots of stress and responsibilities, without a clear vision of where you’re going. Rest assured, by the way, you’re not the only one out there. Now, without going all Tony Robbins rah-rah on you, here’s some friendly, but blunt, death crawl-style encouragement for the second half of 2014: You have more to give, so give it.

Everybody can ratchet up his or her intensity to reach a higher level in this industry – whether you’re a first-year customer service rep or a Top 40 CEO lifer. You can prepare for client meetings better, you can put more effort into networking, you can learn a new skill – and the list goes on. Don’t settle for being mediocre, for skating through, for being just good enough.

This challenge applies not just to your professional life, but to your personal life, too. What more can you give there? What are your procrastinating over? Are your relationships what they should be? Are you using your time wisely?

So, go ahead, watch the clip and then take a personal inventory. Do whatever you can to improve so you won’t have those lingering what-if regrets. However far along you are in your death crawl, commit to trying harder and going further. Sometime in the future, when you take off the blindfold, you might be surprised to see where you end up.