The Lobster Pot of Mediocrity

Life is a giant lobster pot. Everything seems fine until you are inadvertently tossed into a boiling pot of water along with all your lobster friends. Like any living being in a time of fight or flight, you try to hop out of the scalding bath and onto dry land.

Just when you think there is a chance to escape a watery grave, other lobsters, who are also trying to break free, jump on your back and drag you back down to the bottom of the pot and certain death. Your final destination is on somebody’s dinner plate served with a side of drawn butter and lemon wedges.

OK, I know the chances of me being cast into a lobster pot are non-existent. The metaphor referenced is more about finding my way into the light and being forced back into mediocrity.

Unlike my lobster counterpart, I am not a victim of circumstance, but an active participant in a productive life. Actually, as a leader, I not only dodge the burning water, but I  help develop others abilities so they don’t get trapped as well.

If I’m developing other lobsters (err, people), why do they still drown?

Believe me, it is frustrating when I find someone with great untapped talent, wasting away in a lack luster existence. My lobster antennae twitch with excitement as I eagerly demonstrate the way towards advancement.

Unfortunately, my pincers are not forceful enough to pull him out of the water alone. The will to succeed must come from within. I can only reveal the path. It is much easier to get sucked back into the fiery pot remaining mediocre.

What does this all mean?

How do I select who to help out of the pot? What if the person (lobster) I am developing jumps on my back on his way towards freedom? Does this mean I should simply play it safe and only save myself? Too many questions, and not enough answers!

Share your thoughts and stories about your personal attempt to help others reach personal or professional heights. What was the end result? Was it worth all the fuss?





6 thoughts on “The Lobster Pot of Mediocrity

  1. Pamela Morse says:

    What may lack luster to one is ideal for another. Fate is unconscious and destiny is conscious. We don’t have any way to know another person’s fate or destiny…..partly because we do not make the choice for them to be conscious or stay without awareness….that is done by the person. What you perceive is absolutely not what they perceive.


    1. miriamgomberg says:

      Pam, it is true that mediocrity like most things is relative. However, a lobster’s fate once cast into a boiling pot of water is determined. This is some heavy shit! Thanks for commenting. Miriam


  2. MarlaGottschalk says:

    Ah – the problem of free choice!
    There’s and old saying in psychologist circles (not about lobsters, but I think relevant.) – “You can lead a horse to water. But if you can get them to float on their backs, you’ve really got something.”
    I have found that the “litmus test” for high potentials takes a bit of time. Let’s say 3 or 4 months to have a clear perspective of what is really there to be developed.

    Thanks Miriam – you’ve motivated me (once again) to write a new post.


  3. eof737 says:

    Well said Miriam. I believe we can all help someone move forward however, they must be willing to do their bit too. We can encourage others but it’s important to not get attached to the outcome… Show them how, teach them what we know, and then surrender the outcome. Loved this post. 🙂


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