50 Mediocre Quotes For Reaching Your Highest Potential

Gain some new perspective with our mediocre quotes.

Mediocrity is as old as humanity, but what causes some people to push toward greatness while others remain content with being average?

Find out with the quotes below.

What does mediocre mean?

If something or someone is mediocre, it means they don’t stand out in any way.  

The word is used to describe people and experiences that are not extraordinary.

Mediocre has an interesting origin from different parts of the world:

  • In French, the word is médiocre.
  • In classic Latin, the term is mediocris.
  • Middle English speakers used the phrase medioker.

All words evolve and transform over time, and mediocre is no exception to the rule. 

Initially, the word was used to describe things that are not noteworthy or outstanding.

Over time, the word has taken on a negative meaning.

Is mediocrity a state of mind?

What makes something mediocre?

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, does the same hold true for mediocrity?

Well, yes and no.

Everyone has different tastes and opinions, so what is mediocre to some may be premium to others and vice versa. 

People have developed different tastes for everything from wine to coffee, art, and fashion. 

What is the mediocrity principle?

There is a whole philosophy based on mediocrity that scientists, historians, and futurists all debate. 

The mediocrity principle suggests that if an item is drawn randomly from several sets or categories, it is likely to come from the most numerous categories. 

This idea contradicts the notion that “we are so special” here on planet Earth.

The mediocrity principle notes that there is nothing unusual about our development, our Solar System, or the biological complexity we see. 

The mediocrity principle runs counter to the narrative of many religions and asks individuals to consider their conditions. 

It suggests that given the existence of life on Earth, life should exist in many places throughout the universe. 

The idea is to assume mediocrity instead of assuming that the phenomena that created life on our planet are privileged or exceptional. 

For more stellar content, check out our mediocre quotes below. 

Short mediocre quotes for going past average

Let’s start our list with these short and sweet, mediocre quotes. 

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1. “Be fearful of mediocrity.” — Jonathan Elery

2. “Only mediocrity escapes criticism.” — John Steinbeck

3. “A life of mediocrity is a waste of life.” — Colleen Hoover

4. “Mediocrity is the worst enemy of prosperity.” — Henry Ford

5. “Never surrender to the momentum of mediocrity.” — Marlon Brando

6. “Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity.” — Will Smith

7. “Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius.” — Fulton J. Sheen

8. “Mediocrity is self-inflicted. Genius is self-bestowed.” — Walter Russell

9. “Stop letting your fear condemn you to mediocrity.” — Dr. Steve Maraboli

10. “Refuse to be average. Let your heart soar as high as it will.” — A. W. Tozer

The best mediocre quotes for never quitting on yourself

These quotes remind us that if we wish to become our best, we must go outside of our comfort zones.

11. “Don’t settle for mediocrity. Take a chance.” — Brian Cranston

12. “You will never see an eagle of distinction flying low with pigeons of mediocrity.” — Onyi Anyado

13. “You are born into genius. But have you resigned yourself to mediocrity?” — Robin Sharma

14. “The only way to get out of mediocrity is to keep shooting for excellence.” — Eric Thomas

15. “Something deep in the human heart breaks at the thought of a life of mediocrity.” — C. S. Lewis

16. “Nobody rises above mediocrity unless they use the brains of other people.” — Napoleon Hill

17. “Anyone in any walk of life who is content with mediocrity is untrue to himself.” — George S. Patton Jr

18. “Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent easily recognizes genius.” —  Arthur Conan Doyle

19. “The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” — Maureen Dowd

20. “If you want to earn a million bucks a year, eliminate mediocrity from your thinking and your life.” — John Assaraf

The top mediocre quotes for pursuing excellence

The old saying suggests you get what you give. 

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Mediocre efforts create mediocre results. 

21. “Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity.” — Colin Powell

22. “The difference between mediocrity and excellence is often a matter of effort.” — Diana Waring

23. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” — Albert Einstein

24. “Don’t follow the crowd into a life of mediocrity. Take the road less traveled and live your dreams.” — ATGW

25. “Once you have experienced excellence, you will never again be content with mediocrity.” — Thomas S. Monson

26. “And they talked about the mediocrity of provincial life, so suffocating, so fatal to all noble dreams.” — Gustave Flaubert

27. “Without enthusiasm, you are doomed to a life of mediocrity, but with it you can accomplish miracles.” — Og Mandino

28. “Better for everyone that you do what you’re really good at and love to do than be yet another example of mediocrity.” — John Williams

29. “People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.” — Andre Carnegie

30. “Beware the mediocrity that threatens middle age, its limitations of thought and interest, it’s dullness of fancy, it’s too external life, and mental thinness.” — Margaret Fuller

Mediocre quotes and sayings about fear

Check out these quotes about the perils of it. 

31. “Mediocrity scares me.” — Chris Pine

32. “Be fearful of mediocrity.” — Jonathan Ellery

33. “Waiting empowers mediocrity.” — M. J. Demarco

34. “If you tolerate mediocrity, then that’s what you’ll get.” — Bedros Keuilian

35. “There’s nothing honorable about settling for mediocrity.” — Benjamin Wood

36. “It may be satisfactory, but that’s another word for mediocrity.” — David Goggins

37. “I feared boredom and mediocrity much more than I feared failure.” — Ray Dalio

38. “Mediocrity begins the precise moment you swap love for challenge, with love of comfort.” — Brandon Burchard

39. “Don’t accept a life of mediocrity when you hold such infinite potential within the fortress of your mind.” — Robin Sharma

40. “Desire is what takes the hot water of mediocrity and turns it into the steam of outstanding success.” — Zig Ziglar

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Rewarding mediocre quotes to live by

We close our list with these thoughts about mediocrity. 

41. “The high cost of greatness is better than the low cost of mediocrity.” — Matshone Dhliway

42. “Leaders set high standards and refuse to tolerate mediocrity or poor performance.” — Brian Tracy

43. “Enthusiasm spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” — Norman Vincent Peale

44. “Your best life will never come to pass if you don’t shun mediocrity and low expectations.” — Nathan Lee Morales

45. “In life, it’s between choosing risk and striving for greatness, or risking nothing and being certain of mediocrity.” — Keith Ferrazzi

46. “Successful people live by a different set of rules and success habits. They don’t conform or accept mediocrity.” — Dean Graziosi

47. “Man in still responsible; He must fight mediocrity as sin and live against the imperative of life’s highest ideal.” — Frank Curtis Williams

48. “The moment you decide to elevate to your greatness, you will not be applauded by the people around you who have settled for mediocrity.” — Erwin McManus

49. “Some men throw their gifts away on a life of mediocrity; great men throw everything they have into their gifts and achieve a life of success.” — Greg Werner

50. “Everyone chooses one or two roads in life: One is the broad, well-traveled road to mediocrity, the other the road to greatness and meaning.” — Stephen R. Covey

Will you choose mediocrity?

There is nothing wrong with being average.

All paths are valid, and if being mediocre is what makes an individual happy, more power to them.

However, for anyone who desires more, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be a great way to offset these types of experiences. 

American runner David Goggins shared the following:

“All of us are torn between comfort and performance, between settling for mediocrity or being willing to suffer in order to become our best self all the damn time.”

What path will you choose?

What is your favorite mediocre quote?

Be sure to let us know in the comments and share with friends to encourage them.

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