How To Break Free Of Mediocrity

How To Break Free Of Mediocrity by Charles Sledge

If you were to take do an audit of your life you would find that something like roughly eighty percent of your growth and development came from around twenty percent of your actions. The Pareto Principle in action. This applies to most things from dating to fitness. Truth be told a good portion of what you do in your life is a complete waste of time. And I’m not talking about relaxing and enjoying yourself so much as I am talking about time fillers. Things you do that simply take up time and generally because you want to avoid doing something else…like real work.

Your time is your most valuable asset. Therefore wasting it is one of the most foolish things that you can do. You want to make sure that your time is spend doing productive things so that you can grow maximally and experience the most out of life. Those who are successful make good use of their time while those who are unsuccessful waste their time and never get around to doing the things that are going to change their lives for the better.


The first thing that you are going to want to do is categorize the things you do into four categories. The first category is going to be things that add tremendous value to your life. Things like reading books, attending seminars, and working out. These things have the highest ROI when it comes to your time and therefore should take up the majority of your time. Remember you always need to be asking yourself “Is this a productive use of my time?“. If not it needs to be cut.

The second category is what I call “filler activities” and these compromise things that have a little ROI but not very high. Things like reading the majority of blog posts, social media posts, or mindless watching something. These are most dangerous because you can rationalize these. For example you could half halfheartedly listen to a sales presentation on YouTube while surfing social media. Technically you would get some value from the sales presentation but not nearly enough as sitting down and reading a sales book uninterrupted.

Limit The Bad

The third category would be things that are complete wastes of time and can even be detrimental. Mindlessly eating while watching TV, jacking off to porn, smoking weed, watching sports, playing video games, spending time on social media (that’s not promoting your business and even then I’m turning more and more against it even for that purpose). These activities are best completely eliminated or reduced drastically. They provide absolutely no value and do nothing but prevent you from attaining your full development and freedom.

The fourth category would be things that technically don’t add to your development but are still good. Going out to a bar to flirt with girls, attending an event with friends, spending some time with family. Good things but they don’t add to your self-development. You want the majority of your time to be spent in category 1 and 4. While staying away from category 2 and 3.

The Danger Of Fake Work

The danger of category three is that it tricks you into thinking you are doing something. You think “Oh I wrote a couple of tweets which is almost as good as writing an article” or “Oh I read an article on sales today that’s almost just as good as sitting down and reading another chapter of Secrets Of Closing The Sale“. You see where this leads. You can’t rationalize jerking off to porn as being the same as hitting the gym. But you can rationalize away category 2 activities making them even more dangerous than category 3 ones.

You’ve probably seen people seemingly throw themselves into development of some kind yet have little to show for it. They are supposedly hard at work on something yet nothing happens. They are probably caught in up category 2 activities pretending they are just as good (or at least “good enough”) as category 1. Remember the opposite of great isn’t bad it’s good. Good allows for some semblance of comfort (even if it’s false), bad does not. If you want to break free from mediocrity and grow like a weed then you need to spend your time in category 1 activities.


Category 2 activities represent that “good enough” mindset that destroys so many and prevents them from truly attaining their potential and living a life worth living. Fake work might look good on the surface but it’s a poison within. Just like processed meat might look like freshly hunted meat but it’s what’s in the meat that makes all the difference. One will make you sick another will make you big and strong. Avoid fake work and focus on real work and watch your development reach new levels.

If you have any questions you would like to see answered in a future post send them to me at charlessledge001 (at) gmail (dot) com. If you found value in this post then I would encourage you to share this site with someone who may need it as well as check out my books here. I appreciate it.

-Charles Sledge

Charles Sledge

  • I loved what you said about fake work. Fake work is an epidemic of being busy.

    When busy gets you nothing.

    • Absolutely. Such a trap, Lots of movement with nothing to show for it.