The Violent Opposition of a Mediocre Mind

Albert Einstein

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

I came across this quote earlier and spent a good bit of time thinking about it. My mind immediately gravitated towards examples such as:

  • Christian Martyrs (St. Stephen, John Huss, Jim Elliot)
  • Revolutionary Leaders (Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Ghandi)
  • Business Innovators (Henry Ford, Sam Walton, Charles Schwab)

I saw it as black and white. “Great spirits” were amazing trail blazers and “mediocre minds” were the sluggards standing in the way. The violence, whether physical or emotional, was between two opposed parties. Then I realized that I was seeing it all wrong.

Yes, you and I are those great spirits… but we are also those mediocre minds.


We were all created for greatness. This greatness is not our own, but that of the Father who created us. We’ve each received incredible gifts in our talent, abilities, passions, and calling. These are the gifts that inspire churches to be planted, nations revolutionized, businesses launched, and lives changed.

This is the impact that we were meant to have.


The enemy of greatness is mediocrity. Whenever we have a potentially great idea, that enemy is there to tell us that it could never succeed. Each time we approach a risk, that enemy warns us to play it ‘safe.’ Mediocrity is the net that holds us down and prevents us from even gazing upon greatness.

This is the lack of impact that we were never meant to have.

Violent Opposition

There is a very real war going on inside of us. The war between the ‘great spirit’ and the ‘mediocre mind’ is the battle we each fight everyday. Unfortunately, so many of us lose this battle. We give in to doubt, limiting beliefs, negative internal dialogue, and plain old fear.

We lose the fight against mediocrity more often than we should.


If the mediocre mind in you is violently opposing your attempts at greatness, then you need to violently oppose it right back. We need to be ready to go to war with our own hangups and insecurities. We have to seek out others to support, encourage, and speak into our lives. We need to abide in the truth.

The truth is our only weapon in this battle.

  • “I am who God says I am.”
  • “I am capable of doing great things for His glory.”
  • “I don’t have to settle for the status quo.”

Fight back. Don’t let your great spirit be squashed by a mediocre mind-set.

What’s keeping you from greatness today?

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