Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Stuck in Mediocrity


The competitive drive is a very powerful attribute.
For every Coke there’s a Pepsi.
For every Home Depot there’s a Lowe’s.

I wonder though, how it is that some companies have managed to escape the competition.

How is it that no mayonnaise comes close to being as good as Hellmans?
That no cotton swab even attempts to unseat The Q-tip.
Heinz Ketchup?
What about Adwe?..lol

Can you think of another brand that has no competition?

I remember as a kid 2 pizza shops on the same block. Pizza Shop A had superb pizza and was always teeming with people. Pizza Shop B had lousy pizza and was usually empty. I remember wondering even back then, why doesn’t Mr. Pizza Shop B close up shop for one day and play around with recipes until it’s good?
Have 5 Yeshiva guys come in and do the tasting.

Sometimes I feel like that too.

Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in mediocrity. Happy to be number 2.
Not striving to be the best or better.
But, that's not good enough when it comes to spirituality.
I guess there’s no time like Elul to close down the shop for a bit and play around with the recipes...

22 Comments:

Blogger anonym00kie said...

awesome. very funny what you wrote about the second pizza shop, i also always wonder that.. like.. how hard can it be to better those things.. but i guess we do the sme.. ugh i hate mediocrity..
when youre really bad at something or incapable, you can say - its out of your hands or you just dont have the skills/ability. but when youre just average, mediocre, you always have this sense that if you just worked a littttttle harder..and thats so frustrating!

September 12, 2006 11:31 PM  
Blogger Bonnie B said...

Well I think your recipe is about the best one going.

As for feeling mediocre, dear me I feel that way every day-- how much harder do I have to work to get ahead of the pack? But I think sometimes we create mediocrity by trying to be all things to all people. By taking on too many projects and by striving to make everyone happy, I've usually found that nobody ends up really being happy and the tasks end up being less than perfect.

So choose one thing to be your best at it, perfect it or at practice it and be happy. Spiritually, I think everyone can improve his relationship with God and work on being a better person.

But most of all be happy with what gifts He has given and use them well.

September 13, 2006 1:46 AM  
Blogger SS said...

I really like this idea, David. I remember in high school feeling like I could be as good a writer as I was, and as everybody thought I was, but there was always someone else just a bit better. And that's something subjective. What about the objective things - if I could manage my time better or be a more attentive wife and mother, for example. But then there would be super mom living right around the corner, not trying to show me up, but showing me up, just the same...
Sorry, I've hijacked your blog with something I'm working on for my own... Good luck this Elul with your quest for the way out of mediocrity.

September 13, 2006 6:34 AM  
Blogger Shoshana said...

What's Adwe?

September 13, 2006 9:23 AM  
Blogger socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Finally the post I was waiting for lol. Nice job!

September 13, 2006 9:53 AM  
Blogger the only way i know said...

Sweet and to the point - love the comparisons.. lighthearted and funny..
Now is the time...
Thanks for the reminder..

September 13, 2006 9:57 AM  
Blogger Limey2001 said...

My homemade mayo KICKS hellmans!!

BMG has no competition.........

September 13, 2006 10:28 AM  
Blogger FrumWithQuestions said...

Shoshana- Adwe is one of those Jewish companies that makes toothpaste, mouthwash, etc...

One product that I think fails to have any competition is Charmin TP. Nothing compares to it. Just like nothing can compare to Kleenex or Puffs Plus tissues.

September 13, 2006 12:41 PM  
Blogger Shopaholic said...

I know the feeling...
It's crazy how Rosh Hashanah is in a week and I feel like i haven't given it two thoughts...

September 13, 2006 2:39 PM  
Blogger the only way i know said...

Limes
Until I moved to England, I never knew there was such a thing as home-made mayo! lol
you're right - it IS good!
(though beware salmonella )

September 13, 2006 3:15 PM  
Blogger kasamba said...

Great post!
You are so right!!!
When it comes to spiritual growth it's so much easier to settle for second best.

BTW ever go to trade shows where the people with the dumbest display and product sit there by themselves for three days straight with noone showing any interest at all, only to come back the next year for the whole charade to be repeated?????

September 13, 2006 4:11 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Wonderful metaphor. Good luck to you w/the recipes.

September 13, 2006 4:28 PM  
Blogger Also A Chussid said...

David,

This concept is mentioned in meseelas yeshurim…

September 13, 2006 6:11 PM  
Blogger chaverah said...

great post. i had to comment. yes some products stay the best no mattter what the competition. and yes it is easy to say i will be second best when it comes to sprituality. David help shar with us some tips how we can become number 1!

September 13, 2006 9:53 PM  
Blogger workingema said...

b"H, I have to say, that I'm happy to be what I am. I'm not perfect, and I know that, and of course I strive to be better. but, for myself, who I am as a person- I like me....
But, I can like me, and still know that I have to work on myself... delicate balance

And you're right- who can beat Heinz ketchup!

September 13, 2006 11:36 PM  
Blogger the sabra said...

mediocore is only bad if youre comparing yourself to ur potential-not to ur neighbor

September 14, 2006 1:44 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

anonym00kie...
yeah...its this complacency..like a drug just induces u into a state of complacency...

bonnie...
thats a good point. Interms of accomplishing things..I always wonder is it better to excel at one thing or be 2nd best at a few...

ss...
when it comes to parenting i dont think there can be competition..every home as its unique dynamic..
There are attributes that can be worked on though..like anger management to be the best paren that you can be.
Good luck to u too..

Shoshana...
thats for another post..lol

swfm..
yup....thanks

towik...
thanks
youre very welcome...

limey....
well until I taste urs I'll stick have to stick to Hellmans..
and if its so good..why dont u market it?

fwq...
hmmm dunno..I dont use toilet paper...with tissues there..not even sure what function it serves anymore..

shopa..
oh u have a good excuse this year
:-)

kasamba...
lol...yesss..it sort of becomes a thing to do...oh and lets not forget that great client they picked up in 1987..at the show..
lol

stacey...
thanks..

aac...
mesilas yesharim mentions Hellmans?
j/k...I'm sure I didnt make it up..

chavera...
Thanks..glad u felt compelled.
Tip number 1. Have a good relationship with God...never feel distant..no matter what..
Gam ki elech...

workingema...
thats very important....never to cease liking urself..no matter how far uve fallen..
Nothing comes close to heinz..!

sabra...
very good point

September 14, 2006 11:36 AM  
Blogger Lakewood Venter said...

The competition is scared of Teresa Heinz kerry! lol

September 14, 2006 12:03 PM  
Blogger Open Up! said...

hellman's mayo
heinz ketchup
tropicana oj
veryfine apple juice
kleenex tissues
bounty paper towels
tide detergent
golden flow milk
green giant niblets
just a few things that can't be subsituted in my humble opinion...btw the torah says we should always look for the middle path do you interpret that as mediocrity?

September 14, 2006 5:18 PM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

lv..
lol

open....
i thought about saome of those others...but the disarity just wasnt as big...while tropicana, keleenex, tide, very fine might be the best...I cannot say that the competition doesn't even clome close...
What the Rambam means is that you shouldnt bee too extreme in your attributes...like stingy, generous..etc..

September 14, 2006 9:10 PM  
Blogger Bonnie B said...

That is a good point. I think I'd rather be second best at a few but not at many-- as long as I'm giving all my effort and not delivering substandard results.
Second best is good-- mediocre doesn't cut it for me-- unless it is something where I know I will never be the best or anywhere close to it (such as rendering first aide, drawing a banner for my daughter's carnival, helping my daughter with her homework, cooking for a crowd or raising money for charity). Sometimes whatever effort you give is better than none and is absolutely appreciated and essential.

If we dwell on a fear of being mediocre we may never learn what we are good at because we never try. Many good works would never be accomplished because so many people would think they don't have enough to offer, but sometimes as a society if we all give just a little we can make a difference. And so I say, do your best and don't be afraid of being mediocre-- just go where your heart is, remember what is important and don't spread yourself thin (though sometimes especially during the holidays I wouldn't mind being thinner)

September 15, 2006 12:40 AM  
Blogger David_on_the_Lake said...

bonnie....
I agree...although there are times when I regret not putting all my attention to one thing that I think I can really be good at...but..other obligations always seem to get in the way

September 17, 2006 12:27 PM  

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