You Are Most Likely Average

There’s something about this lousy, celebrity focused, rat race world of ours that makes being average feel like such a personal failure. It certainly took me a long time to accept. But here’s the deal: You and I are probably average, and that’s ok. Average at swinging a baseball bat, average at cooking, average at your job, average in the sack. 

Most people, especially young ones, don’t want to believe this. Any decent parent or teacher urges their kids to excel in the classroom, and lots of us are able to at least swing enough Bs early on to garner this idea that we’re pretty smart. But there’s a big difference between pretty smart and much smarter than most, and the real world of statistics insists that only a small percentage of people are truly exceptional.

Look at it on the flip side: How many kids are too learning disabled to make it through high school? 5%? 10%? Whatever it is, the opposite is true on the other end of the curve… we just can’t all be amazing. I’m sorry. That’s the way it works. We can still be a little different, and thereby “special,” but this is just cold hard math… in order for some to be above average, most have to be normal.

Well-mannered folks tend to find this liberating. By realizing their average-ness, they can better celebrate true, rare moments of personal exceptionalism. “I’ve never hit a golf ball that far in my life. Hot damn!” Most of us, though, get hung up on this idea that one of these days, any minute now, our dare to be great moment will arrive and we’ll be catapulted into stardom, wealth, praise, genius, perfect happiness, or whatever your above average fantasy might be.

Sorry, you’re probably “doomed” to what’s actually a pretty terrific average life, at least compared to the way most people in the world live. If you’re reading this, you have internet access and probably your own computer… that’s a pretty sure sign you’re doing alright. So don’t miss out on all of life’s little daily pleasures while you’re waiting for your big chance.

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© 2012, Ian Mathias