Are You Choosing to Be Average?

Don_t Be Average

We all like to think we are special.

Better than others. Doing better work. Excelling beyond our peers.

Yet, by definition, most people are average.

Are you choosing to be average?

Average is What Everyone Else Does

I was chatting with a business colleague recently.

He was frustrated that he had not advanced faster in his career. There was a sense of entitlement and much complaining.

(I wanted to tell him that no one was going to give him his dreams.)

Instead, I asked him a simple question about his job, “What are you doing that is above average?

In other words, what do you do that is better than everyone else?

There was more complaining and a statement about putting in more time than his peers. The conversation eventually ended, but I ran into the same individual a few days later.

He came up to me and said, “I thought about that question. And you know what? I don’t do anything that everyone else doesn’t do. In fact, there are several people who could do my job.”

He finished with, “I am average at work.”

Average is as Average Does

Average is, well, average.

“Average is what everyone else does. If you want to succeed, you must go beyond average.” (Tweet this Quote)

Average is following the crowd.

Average is following the standard career path.

Average doesn’t get up early (or stay up late) to work on their dreams.

Average doesn’t exercise or get in shape.

Average is doing what everyone else does.

Choose Not to Be Average

The story above has another chapter. This particular individual told me that he had decided that he wasn’t going to settle for average anymore. He was going to choose to not be average in his daily performance anymore.

Instead of going through the motions and doing what everyone else did, he was going to make a concerted effort to go above and beyond average.

So, how do you choose not to be average?

Here are 5 Ways to Choose Not to Be Average:

  1. Have Goals – Average doesn’t have goals. Average doesn’t write them down. And average doesn’t make progress every single day without excuses. Make sure you have clearly defined goals and that you do something daily to move them forward.
  2. Go Above and Beyond – Average does just enough to get by and nothing more. Average does what is expected and stops there. Go beyond people’s expectations and surprise them with results. (It is important to note that this is not always about the # of hours put in, but rather the quality of effort put in.)
  3. Push Yourself – Average likes easy. Average doesn’t push limits. You are stronger than you think. Always be testing your limits to reach new ones.
  4. Make Your Own Path – Average likes comfortable. Average likes the well-worn path that is easy to follow. Average is where everyone else goes. Make your own path if you don’t want to end up with everyone else.
  5. Try New Things – Average doesn’t like change. Average likes the status quo. Always be willing to try something new. You have to try new things in order to learn and grow.

Above and Beyond Average

Life is too short to be average.

Ask yourself if you are settling for the same as everyone else.

Choose to be more. Choose to be something better. Choose to be above average.

Question: What are you doing that is average? How could you become above average?

17 thoughts on “Are You Choosing to Be Average?

  1. Perfect timing to read this. I’m a sales rep and and doing pretty good for my first year however in a pond of big fish I’ve decided to be great! I’ve written my goals down and am making way to achieve them. Reading your article has reinforced my decision. Thank you!!!!

  2. I’m taking action and trying things. Sure, they might not all work but at least I’m experimenting and doing things others aren’t.

  3. I love this post. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes and life mantras:

    “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t”

  4. Craig what a terriffic post! I believe most people are struggling with being their greatest because of the changing economy. (IE they have seen friends or family who may lost a job and still can’t find a new one). So because of this I believe people are taking it too easy. I really want to be an executive but instead I’ll apply for the receptionist position approach….being average as you explained. The only way to fight fire is not fire its with water. Be new -Be brave -be fantastic – be YOU. Great post Craig!

    1. Thanks, Myisha!

      I like you point about people lowering their standards by looking at others’ situations. You should always judge yourself… against you. 😉

  5. I don’t think average = bad. Not everyone can be amazing; okay. But should they? I truly lost faith in the “do the good by sacrificing from you time” attitude. Doing so if and only if you feel like it makes much more sense guys. Sorry, if this is somewhat an unexpected reaction to the post and I appreciate the time you put into making it, but I can even say that I feel responsible to tell you this:
    you will die. Even if you are adored by many, manage your time perfectly, advance in your career into the blissful forever and all…you have a limited time. Investment sounds like a nice word; okay. But (as a business student who doesn’t give much value to money, don’t be surprised to hear it from me) pain and average things are not necessarily losses on your side. Just live, whatever, motivation is not there to make you suffer.
    Best, Özlem.

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