What if all I want is a mediocre simple life? A home where I can stay with my family and not a show piece to impress others? A small car enough for us, or even better an auto whenever we want to go out?

What if my vacations are simple and clothes are comfortable? Is it necessary to go to the IIT or the IIM or get a CA degree only to ask ‘OK, now what?’.

What if my portfolio just has some esop, ppf, and an index fund. Just nothing more. What if I am happy with a 14% return that I have so far got in my index fund so far and will wait out till my retirement at 68? Tenured professors go on till their 70 but I have decided that I will retire at 68.

What if I do not like the noisy, type A kind of a behavior and the struggle to be striving to be competitive? What is wrong with being type A, B, C or what if I do not want a label at all? The world is such a noisy place. Loud, haranguing voices lecturing me to hustle, to improve, build, strive, yearn, acquire, compete, and grasp for more. For bigger and better. Sacrifice sleep for productivity. Strive for excellence. Go big or go home. Have a huge impact in the world. Make your life count.

Why should I run more, faster, and win podiums? What if I want to run only half marathons or 10k instead of full marathons or ultra marathons? What if I do not want to push myself? What if I just want to keep running till one day I drop dead? Or what if I do not want to run at all if I feel so? What if I just want to help a few other runners with my experience and non achievement?

But what if I just don’t have it in me. What if all the striving for excellence leaves me sad, worn out, depleted. Drained of joy. Am I simply not enough?

Why am I having to write an article like this?

What if I can make a living for myself, cook a few times a week and listen to nice music when i write? What if I want to run a blog without a purpose?

What if I want to write and enjoy writing? In the meanwhile if I can create a bestseller, it is just an unintended act – and it just happened? Why is it so bad that you cannot call yourself ‘average’ any more. Damn it. In most things that I do or did I would be at the middle of the bell curve?

I have been and am an average student, average friend, average investor, average life. Is it so bad?

What if I do not build an orphanage for elephants in Africa? or save the Amazon river? What if I can convince 100 people not to litter in and around their walks, their trips to work and office?

When did being average go so out of fashion? Did I sleep for 20 years like Rip Van Winkle?

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  1. You nailed it Subra.Life has become a rat race where there is no scope for an average runner.We are constantly striving for more and there seems no end to our desires.This endless haste has led to people going crazy.I feel you start some lessons in spiritual finance along with personal finance.Great Post.keep up the good work.

  2. Looks Subra is in divine mode. In practice these thoughts are a big relief. Being average may not be a bad thing if the deeds are human/positive/normal. Great post sir.

  3. Brilliant..

    I sometimes think if my industry would allow me to be average, content person and let me continue my job till 60 or whatever. Having no fascination with ‘i must be promoted in next cycle’ thing and no aspiration to be m.d. one day, i find that there is no such path there. I need to make way for people rising below me, or else ship out.

  4. Subra,
    Why is the title says ‘mediocre life’ as it gives a negative connotation. If all the things you state are making someone content and gives a sense of peace, why should it be called mediocre life?. Rather this could be titled ‘What if all I want is a simple and peaceful life” so that folks who are already leading this kind of life don’t feel bad unless your intention is to make them rethink their life!


  5. In my mind medocre is surely lazy. How can we not work for excellence. How can we not look always for ways to improve by continued learning. I think that’s more joyful than mediocre.

  6. this is a joke i read about indian society

    school teacher, professor, boss – I want all of you get marks or appraisal rating above average

    students in chorus – yes sir

  7. Being average is not possible in Private job. You need to have a clear path leading to be an CXO or else may way for others. Stagnancy is not an option, you either grow or move out. Government job is where you can be average or even poor.

  8. Reminded me of a book titled Status Anxiety by De Botton that “discusses the desire of people in many modern societies to “climb the social ladder” and the anxieties that result from a focus on how one is perceived by others.”

    A little contemplation now and then goes a long way in setting our priorities about what we want from life. Loved reading this.

  9. @ Umang,

    So you mean to say all private sector employees retire as CEOs or higher. I have seen 40+ people working as leads or Managers. Whats so wrong in that?

  10. This is so nice. Hard to compare but probably the best for me in the last 4 years on you blog sir.

    It was so simple, I was reminded of Jiddu Krishnamurti and felt like I was reading him again.


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