Firdaus Tarmizi

Repost: Shortcut to Mediocrity

In Musings on July 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Notes:  This was from my old blog,  Reading it again, I now realize how I was such a verbose pretentious prick muahahaha.

However, since what I wrote below is related to what I am trying to achieve now, I think it would be nice to go back to the me of Tuesday, February 27, 2007.


I firmly believe, despite anything said by motivational speakers who are, at the very core and end, just out to make you buy their next motivational tape consisting of excessively positive mumbo jumbo which has the negative effect of inducing vomit that any individual has a finite potential, a limit, a plateau over which said individual could go no further. Even these positive thinkers are human (the condition, not the species, which would go without saying since even an unbeliever would be shaken by a motivational speaking toad), and although the desire for the “betterment of human condition” might be their goal on the surface, they still have kids to feed, bills to pay. This is by no means a pessimistic statement, but an objective and practical view, which more often than not are being set aside by both the optimists and the naysayers.

The view of unlimited potential is what I blame upon on countless talentless singers who go to various auditions for more-common-than-opposable-thumb-on-primates reality shows. That, and delusion, but those two go hand in hand. Not all has a future written where he/she can jump and dunk a basketball, and only an exceptional few are fated to be a charismatic leader who lead an entire country towards ruination ala Hitler.

But of course, here’s where the objective, all-encompassing view would have to be trained upon. A human is a limited being, but the possibilities of one’s freedom of expression and the way to answer the question of “what am I to be”, between non-existence and the line separating potential and vain dream, are V A S T. The ceiling of human potential, although all too real, has yet to be touched by any. At the very end, this is where free-will is given, so one could decide on how much of the finite potential space to fulfill.

It is perhaps a sin, with the vast and seemingly infinite potential a human could reach, that one would choose not to give his all. Nearly all are guilty of this, but we rationalize our sin by the act of recognizing our potential, saying “I could do that if I want to”, instead of stepping out of the comfort zone and actually reaching it. Perhaps it is the fear of not being able to step down from a pedestal or a ladder rung you climbed yourself, or of having to, till the very end your days, fulfill the demands and expectations of those who already know what you could achieve.

Hence the quote “betulkan yang biasa, biasakan yang betul“, a wisdom of ages only recently brought to my attention by someone really dear to me. So simple, yet intrinsically definitive. At that moment of introspection, the words solidified the immense possibility of learning from anything anywhere, and equate learning with the function of want.

Why the fear of taking that step towards 100%, leaving satisfying ticks next to your lists of things to do?

Why the need to sit back and let others make the first move, creating a safe refuge you could fall back in times of strife?

Why the shortcut to mediocrity?


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