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
How refreshing to be “allowed” to be average. So many of us are on that quest to “shine” that we don’t take time to smell the roses and appreciate what we already have.
Thank you 🙂
Great! Thanks for reading.
One thing my mom told me:
Don’t compare yourself to other people. Compare yourself with yourself. Set your own goals and set out to achieve them at your own rate and in your own way.
This too pessimistic, you’re only as average as you allow yourself to be, as cliche as it sounds. If you sit at home playing WoW all day instead of working towards great things, you’re dooming yourself to mediocrity and wasted potential
This realization could save some people from time wasted on misguided expectations…while sparing the rest of us from those delusions of grandeur we find so obnoxious and “douchie”… And besides, everyone likes a plain-old average dude…
“So don’t miss out on all of life’s little daily pleasures while you’re waiting for your big chance.”
but I bet it’s easier to say than to actually do it…
Great! I truly love your writing! Tonight I realized with a huge sigh that I am average – and how relieved I am! 🙂 Though you have to push yourself hard and do your best and make your loved ones happy, don’t forget about actually being honest and kind with yourself – this is the only way you can be kind and precious to others 🙂
Thank you so much for writing this!