Shake Well: A Vaccine for the Mediocrity Epidemic


An excerpt from Soul Over Matter: Ancient and Modern Wisdom and Practical Techniques to Create Unlimited Abundance

One of my favorite energy-boosting foods is a green drink — a blended concoction packed with healthy ingredients. The other day my wife brought one home for me. I was busy working, so I set it aside to enjoy later.

When I looked up after an hour or so, the drink had changed. The clear glass bottle, about eight inches tall, had been filled with a thick green juice. During the time the drink was sitting on my desk, the contents had settled, and now the top half of the drink had become crystal clear — almost as if the bottle were only half-full. In contrast, the bottom half had become even darker than before and was now a deep, rich shade of green.

The longer I stared at the bottle, the more I began to see there was more to it than just settled juice. The good stuff, the stuff that I paid the money for, the stuff that contained all the vitamins and essential minerals, the stuff I wanted — was all at the bottom. The relatively common and easy-to-find stuff — the tap water, basically — was at the top.

As I stared closer, I read the label: Shake Well

Had I unthinkingly taken a drink of the juice without shaking it, I would have gotten nothing more than expensive tap water. Sure, it would have quenched my thirst and kept me hydrated, but it wouldn’t have done anything extra for my health.

Unshaken, a good part of the juice was just another sip of the same old thing.

A Life Well Shaken
The stuff at the surface of life is not so different from the top of that unshaken green drink. It’s easy to get at it. It’s relatively flavorless. It’s cheap. There’s plenty of it, anyone can have it, and it takes no risk.

The stuff at the top is the same old job that pays the bills, but doesn’t really give you joy. It’s the same easy investment strategy that everyone uses, but that never seems to deliver wealth. It’s the mindless shopping and endless screen staring.

That easy but flavorless stuff at the top?

It’s mediocrity. It’s average. It’s safe.

It’s the status quo.

When asked, though, most of us claim we don’t want the status quo. We want a different income. Different things. A different body. A different job. A different relationship. And yet, we defend the status quo like it’s the last sip of water on the planet.

It’s crazy when you think of it: to spend so much mental and emotional energy defending something we don’t love or want. We’re unhappy with our lives, and yet we scrape and struggle to make sure we get to keep them just as they are.

Why? Because we’ll take the pain we know over the pain we don’t know. The unknown is terrifying. As a result, we don’t act on the little voice that tells us something is wrong. That tells us to go left instead of right — just once. To take a chance.

We don’t listen to that voice. We don’t move forward based on the wisdom of our heart or the inner knowing of our soul. Instead, we sit in our top-half life and protect the status quo.

And when that happens and we find ourselves defending the top half of the bottle, that’s when we’re dying a slow death. That’s when we’re living that quiet life of desperation.

The solution is to shake well. To step left, not right. To take a chance. To finally listen to that little voice so that we can take a sip of life that includes some of the richness from deep beneath the surface.

After all, the alternative is frightening. Like the juice, we settle. It takes time and it happens almost imperceptibly. But as we settle for mediocrity, our life settles, too. The good stuff gets deeper and farther away. It gets harder to see, harder to reach.

And finally, it decays and vanishes.

Shake well. It won’t always be easy. It takes courage to move from the status quo — from the pain you know — toward an uncertain future. But this movement away from the status quo is the essential journey of our adult lives.

It’s what we’re here for — to dive deep and find the good stuff.

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Zhi Gang Sha & Adam Markel
Dr. & Master Zhi Gang Sha is a world-renowned master healer and spiritual teacher. He is the founder of Soul Mind Body Medicine™. Trained as a conventional medical doctor in China and a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine in China and Canada, Master Sha is the founder of the Institute of Soul Healing and Enlightenment™ and the Love Peace Harmony Foundation™, and a grandmaster of many ancient disciplines. Visit, and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter. Adam Markel is a bestselling author and CEO of New Peaks, one of the world's largest integrative personal and business development companies. He is also an attorney and the author of the bestselling book Pivot: The Art & Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life. Adam has presented to more than 100,000 people around the world on how to live more balanced, healthy, and prosperous lives.


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