“… if at first you don’t succeed … you are running about average.”
“When we get impatient because something is taking too long, we should remember that Life waits on us a thousand times more than we wait on Life.”
Laura Teresa Marquez
When is the last time someone ever said ‘average’ enthusiastically? <never>
And, yet, here is a Life truth – the majority of life and things we do is average. Statistically it has to <that is why it is called the average>.
Not everything can be shit bad and not everything can be spectacularly spectacular.
An average means that … well … on average this is what happens.
If that is true … that explains why we are always so impatient for spectacular things to take place.
That explains why we are always so dissatisfied in Life <or … let’s say “disappointed more often than we would like”>. Because unless your life is a series of spectacular failures and spectacular wins <where you are most likely an alcoholic or drug addict trying to deal with the massive swings … or some insanely irresponsible individual with no responsibilities> you are most likely dwelling in the … well … average daily behavior space.
It does suck.
It sucks because the last thing anyone wants to be is average and it sucks even more … if it is actually true … that most of our lives hover around average <with moments of spectacular bad and moments of spectacular good>.
If it is true … society, business and … well … everyone else … measures average not as acceptable <or the norm> but rather boring, unexceptional or ‘a loser.’ Pretty much we have pounded into our heads that average is bad and we should always be seeking to be better than average – on everything <projects, games, speaking, etc.>.
And, yet, average is pretty much where everything resides.
Therefore … on an average day what you do <which is statistically more than likely to be average> will be less than satisfactory to everyone else around you.
Once again … this whole discussion sucks.
It sucks because if everything we do meanders around average most of the time and we think about everything desiring to be anything but average … we are doomed to be spectacularly consistently disappointed <if not unhappy> … well … on average throughout life.
I’m getting depressed just writing this.
Here is how I deal with this thought.
Average is the cost of doing business … the business called Life.
Do average and several things occur:
1. You are surviving. Yeah. That may sound like a low bar but let me suggest that if you don’t survive you don’t even have the opportunity to do more average e shit let alone anything more than average.
Survival is an excellent objective.
2. You put yourself in position for the occasional spectacular. Let me be clear … average is not mediocrity <which is a slippery slope incredibly difficult to get off of>.
Average is something completely different.
Average can actually be quite a good thing … it’s just Life without any sparkle or bells & whistles. Therefore … average is not settling it is rather the foundation we all seem to build for ourselves to maintain a good and healthy life. And if it is a foundation … well … you can build on it. Without average you cannot attain the spectacular … at least the spectacular good.
3. Average teaches patience and consistency and character. If you can ignore all the blowhards yelling at you for accepting average you will notice that pretty much anyone can attain spectacularly bad <that is easy>.
And you will notice that you will achieve some spectacular goods on occasion.
Average teaches you character in that you recognize that centering your Life around you is a significantly easier Life to live than one that tries to center itself around what others say they expect or desire or value.
Running about average isn’t a bad thing. It shouldn’t be scoffed at or sneered at or diminished. Running about average means you recognize that Life is a marathon and not a sprint.
In fact … running about average means that … well … that is pretty much what most of us are doing every day at any given point. So, accept the fact most of what you do is average … and that is not just okay it is actually good.
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I am a hope guy & I have always espoused being the best you can be. That said. In my career I have talked with people from rural Appalachia & Kentucky, urban NYC & Dallas & San Francisco, visited farms in Iowa, NC & Texas, homes in at least 25 different states and heard just about every average person you can think of talk about their life.
I say that because most of the consultants and business people I know live in rarified air where discussing leadership thru Hope & “doing great things” is the norm. Most people want to be a little bit better, have a little bit better & see things a little bit better in the future, but know they live average lives … and they are actually okay with that. They truly represent the good in the average American. I counsel my friends in our rarified air to think of ways to talk about being average, and average lives, in more positive ways because, well, it relates more often to the average person.