“Great spirits have always faced violent opposition from mediocre minds” — Albert Einstein

Most of us desire to live our best lives but sometimes certain flaws stop us from progressing. The thought of having a mediocre mind is scary. Yet we find ourselves hitting the snooze button every morning. Or drowning in a sea of negative thoughts. How do we make the necessary change to become a great spirit?

After posting the quote above on Instagram, one of my followers commented. She felt we needed to be more protective of those considered “mediocre”. We all feel the strong pull of mediocrity and thus should go easy on others. To withhold judgment.

For some reason, this triggered me. Yes, we should withhold judgment but accepting mediocrity isn’t ok.

Each of us has unlearned our life’s calling of being a great spirit. We can’t be one if we get away with mediocrity. This isn’t how we build a brave, bold, and creative world.

In this post, I’m laying out what a great spirit is and how we can demand excellence, in ourselves and others. Without judgment.

What is a great spirit?

“If we are to inspire real change and progress, then we must expect more from those around us than others do.” — Brendon Burchard

1. Demands higher standards

You can start demanding higher standards by setting an example. Having trouble making decisions? The difference between a great spirit and mediocre one is action.

Mel Robbins talks about a simple way to achieve this in her interview on Impact Theory. First, our brains aren’t wired for happiness but survival. Second, we only have a five-second window from thought to action. If you wait longer than five seconds your brain talks you out of acting to relieve the tension. Third, the trick is to start moving as soon as a thought comes.

“You can’t control how you feel. But you can always choose how you act.” — Mel Robbins

Another important key is communicating your expectations without fear or shame. As Mel Robbins said, “You need to hear this loud and clear: No one is coming. It is up to you.” The chance of someone else taking the lead is unlikely.

Others will rise to their best self when you demand excellence.

2. Talks about ideas, not people or events

“A society that lacks good people willing to speak against evil or low standards can only devolve into darkness and mediocrity.” — Brendon Burchard

There’s a simple-mindedness attached to talking about other people. When was the last time you felt energized after one of those conversations? I can’t think of one.

Remember a time when you brainstormed ideas with others and felt super-human? Yep. Let’s do more of that. Your soul thrives on this type of content for a reason.

3. Keeps creating, inventing, or speaking

A great spirit defines themselves by their output, not their input. Alex J. Hughes wrote a great article on the importance of creating more and consuming less.

When you’re free from the weights of lower frequency habits you naturally strive for better.

4. Knows a mediocre mind doesn’t mean a mediocre person

“This is what a virtuous world requires: candid people willing to hold high standards for themselves and others.” — Brendon Burchard

There’s a huge lack of personal responsibility and gumption in our society. Too many “safe places” and gentle approaches to things. We can’t live up to our full potential treating one another like fragile glass.

Martin Luther King didn’t change history by playing small. Neither did Jesus Christ or Winston Churchill. They knew there was something better for mankind and didn’t tip-toe or hand hold. They treated those around them as capable and expected them to rise to the occasion.

5. Cuts the dead weight

There are people who can’t handle this sort of stuff. We must love and support them but not at the detriment of our own progress. If a relationship hinders you then there’s good reason to step back.

Have compassion for everyone no matter where they’re at in their journey. But make sure to continue on YOUR journey and don’t play small to make a friend, lover, or parent feel better.

I’m thankful for friends who’ve challenged and inspired me to reach for greatness. If they had handled me with baby gloves, I’d be half the person I am today.

Accepting mediocrity in others (and ourselves!) is a detriment to society as a whole. It breeds laziness, loss of vibrancy and honesty, and weakens the soul.


Start demanding excellence from yourself and others. If you face opposition then you’re on the right track.

Don’t let opposition deter you or make you think less of yourself. Dare to be different. Stand your ground.

Most of us feel the pull of mediocrity each day. But we don’t have to accept it. Start living with a bias toward action. In time, you’ll inspire others to be their greatest self too.

Take Action

How has the demand for excellence affected you whether receiving or giving? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below!

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Originally published on The Writing Cooperative.