Raising the average
Great organizations are filled with people who are eagerly seeking to recruit people better than they are. Not just employees, but vendors, coaches and even competitors.
Most organizations seek to hire, "people like us." The rationale is that someone too good might not take the job, might get frustrated, might be easily lured away.
A few aim for, "so good she scares me." A few aim for, "it'll raise our game."
This takes guts.
It takes guts for an employee or a group member to aggressively try to persuade people more passionate, more skilled or smarter to join in, because by raising the average, they also expose themselves to the fact that they're not as good as they used to be (relatively).
Can we take it a little further? What happens if we read a book we not quite sure we'll understand, or ski down a slope that's a little too hard or sign up for a project we're not certain we can easily do?
What happens if we go to a school where we think everyone is smarter than we are?
We are each the average of the people we hang out with and the experiences we choose.
The best way to end up mediocre is via tiny compromises.