How to avoid mediocre

You go to the cafe in the morning. Sunday mornings are for writing. You’ve got to drive in a few hours.

Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday afternoons. That’s when you drive. Monday to Friday you study.

It’s midday and you’ve punched out 2000 words. 1200 are good. 400 are really good. You're biased. Every writer thinks they’re good.

You get in the car. Turn on the app. A ping appears. You know the sound. It’s the one you hear at 3 am Saturday morning.

Sunday’s are quiet. Plenty of time to sit around sitting round but on high alert. High alert waiting for a ping. Waiting for that ping. It’s coming. The ping.

The ping comes. You tap it. You follow the blue dot on the screen. That’s you. 6-minutes ‘til you get there.

You get there and stop out front. The people get in. You say your hellos. The questions come.

“How long have you been driving Uber for?”

You tell them. They nod and keep speaking.

“Is this a side gig or?”

You speak.

“Yeah, I drive on weekends and study during the week.”

“What are you studying?”

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence.”

“Woah, is that like aliens?”

“Not really, more like using computers to make sense of large amounts of information.”

“Wow, that’s cool.”

Cool sounds like a compliment, compliments feel good.

Next week happens. Study Monday to Friday, driving Friday, Saturday, not Sunday. Not Sunday because of Saturday.

Saturday night you got a fine and decided you weren’t going to drive Uber anymore.

It was the best job you’d ever had. Meeting new people every 10-minutes. Explaining your story. You thought you knew yourself thinking alone in your head. Explaining your story out loud to 1000 people made it rock solid.

Two weeks after leaving Uber you got a job. The universe works like that. Once you make a decision, things happen.

The job paid well. More than Uber. Now you were comfortable. You didn’t have to think about how much you’d spend on fuel and how many hours you had to drive this weekend. Grocery shopping wasn’t an issue anymore. The paycheque was good.

Now you can eat. Your work is slipping. That creative flair? Those words on a Sunday? 400 of them were good.

That story you wrote about the homeless guy. What happened to that?

Remember the Hero’s Journey?

The most interesting part was the hero versus the challenge. Not the happily-ever-after.

Want to avoid mediocre? Find your next challenge.