I had an interesting read the other day via facebook and a friend of mine named Chelsea Seaker.  I only had one problem with it, I didn’t like the idea of mediocre life.  I really have a problem with the word mediocre.   I equate mediocre with settling.  Settling never works out well for anyone.

But we’ll get there.


I want to begin with my least favorite conversation.  It’s four lines.  Ready?



“How are you?”

“Good.  Yourself?”


Okay it was five lines.  I hate this conversation.  It tells me nothing, and is just a polite excuse to avoid having a real conversation.

I hate the word great, even if I am guilty of using this particular word.   The reason is the choice of words here.  Good, great, mediocre.  What exactly is “good”?  How do you define “good”?  Great and mediocre are in the same category.

I equate mediocre with settling, and my reasons for that is a whole different blog, but the other two?  They are trickier.

I’m going to focus now on Great.  Of all the words, great is the most intimidating.  Great sounds larger than life.  Great sounds a lot like divine level accomplishments.  Great just sounds so big you know?  How do us mere mortals measure up?

Society has its own commentary on this word.  Great is that guy that does a start up company, travels, segregates their time between work and charitable causes, and somehow manages to also be a super athlete with perfect cheekbones and has a deal with several major companies.

I could mash this up a million different ways.  There are people who do this.  Purpose is important.  Purpose gives you focus and direction and gives you a road map to follow.  Purpose is necessary in this life.  I think if their is one thing society does show (but not tell) enough, is that you need to figure out what the heck you want.  Knowing that is crucial.

But after that?  Fuck society. It doesn’t matter what your life looks like to society.  No one fits the mold that is advertised.   Society is an illusion.  Like all good illusions it looks just real enough (another tricky word, real) that it can convince people that this is what you are going for.

It’s not about the house, the car, the kids, the wife or husband, or the perfect career.  Your life is not about necessarily being as big as possible.  Big is scary.  I don’t want a mansion at this point in my life.  I don’t want to work for a giant super mega corporation.  I like the idea of a girlfriend at this point in my life, but not exactly into the whole wife thing yet.  I’m not sure I’m ready for that.

But that’s me.   And you know what?  None of that would make me great anyway.  Lucky? Maybe.  Blessed?  Sure.  Great?  Not so much.

But wait, I said great is vague.  Well for me, it’s not.  I want to be great.   But in order to be great, I had to take a moment and think about what greatness looks like.  After thinking about it and failing and trying to do things, this is what I think greatness is.  Greatness is not big or giant.  Greatness is simply being happy in what you are doing.  Knowing what you want, pursuing it and making it happen.   It sounds so simple when I type this.  It’s a hard road though.

And the results?  May not be big in the grand scheme of the universe.   Big is kind of relative too.  Notice that a lot of descriptives people use are vague concepts?  Good, great, real, big, the list goes on and on, but I digress.

Greatness is knowing who you are and what you want.  So take some time.  Turn off your youtube and ignore cat memes for just a second and take some time to ask yourself some tough questions.

But take your time and try to answer them.   Mediocre is settling for less than what you want and doing things that aren’t you.  Good?  That’s more complicated.

But great is letting yourself be yourself, without any excuses, doing the things you feel called to do.  Because it’s in you to do whatever you want.  Life has given us all a gift.  We can live according to what we choose.  So choose wisely.

Find what makes you passionate.  Find what makes you smile.  Find what gives you joy in life, and then give yourself no excuses but to achieve it.  That is great, and I wish it for each and every one of you.

Here, below is my favorite ted talk.   Watch it and turn off your Youtube afterwards.

Published by jpantalleresco

I write and I wander. I am currently in Canada, tomorrow who is to say? I just released Veritas, my first comic, done with Craig Cermak and Jim Reddington. I currently write columns for and I have published essays, worked on magazines and movies and am working on my first novel, graphic novels and am planning on committing suicide on my first feature film. I chase my dreams wherever I may go. When I'm not writing I work on a day job and read, play video games and magic and chase girls. Sometimes I even catch them.

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