In recent years the term average has become somewhat of an insult when applied to a person. No one wants to be called average! Yet a lot of people don’t realize that the lives most of us live every day, the jobs we are holding, the successes we are celebrating are not that special at all. They are just average. Not good, and not bad, just not that unusual. In fact, there is nothing wrong with being average if your dreams lie somewhere between having a decent paying job and someday starting a family. Being average has its benefits; your life will probably be stable, you will be able to take a vacation once a year, get your kids through college and, if you are lucky enough, score a sports car in your fifties.
We advocate never caring about what people think and say about you. However, what YOU think and say about yourself will ultimately determine your life. What kind of opportunities would you be willing to explore if you believed you were just average and there were so many more people in the world who were better suited for whatever it is you were pursuing? Would you apply for that job? Choose to compete? Chances are you would not because you would lack that unconditional belief in your powers.
It has been estimated that in our lifetimes we will interact with about 80,000 people. That’s a lot of people! If you are walking through people’s lives doing only what is expected of you, there will be no reason for others to remember you. When you are only giving the bare minimum, that’s exactly what you'll get in return.
Average people lack patience. They want to pour in minimal effort and begin seeing results the next day. Because of that, a lot of us never get to work on big projects; deep down inside we know that the bigger the project, the more time it will require to produce any results. Therefore, we settle down for small, easily achievable goals and never reveal our inner greatness to the world.
With all that being said, greatness is not something you are born with. Yes, some people may have more emotional intelligence, a better childhood, hotter looks, more money or whatever else you think you are lacking. Your personal greatness, however, is a series of daily habits. It is a choice you have to make every day. Which means if you want to stop being average, all you have to do is consciously choose, in each and every moment, to give your 100% in everything you do.
The number one rule to achieve your personal greatness is to stop taking advice from your average folks. Would you ask a beggar for financial help? As ridiculous as this may sound, in many instances that’s exactly what we do. How many times have you allowed someone else to tell you what you need to do with your life? Most of the advice that you will get from the people in your everyday life will not force you to truly think critically. Make it a habit to evaluate every piece of advice you get and not take anything at face value. Be a consummate student. Listen, learn and test!
If you know you can accomplish more but decide not to, you are simply acting as everyone else. Doing a “good enough” job will give you a “good enough” life. Frankly, “good enough” never feels satisfying. To unlock your potential you need to show your best work, day after day. Yes it will exhaust you, but we never said becoming above average is easy.
You will not achieve your greatness with minimum effort and time. Once you train your mind to understand that, everything else will fall into place. When we are speaking long term goals, however, there are no shortcuts. Get comfortable with the idea of constant hard work and dedication and with time you will start seeing results that are much greater than anything you have ever expected.
Being average or being great is thus a matter of personal choice. There is nothing wrong with being average and satisfied with “good enough,” but if deep inside you know you want more you absolutely have to start giving out more. Stop complaining, stop being lazy and relying on average people's advice. Instead, foster your critical thinking, give your 100% each and every day and absolutely refuse to be average.
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