The more of a commodity you are, the more irrelevant you are.
People don’t buy average. Companies don’t pay for average. And no organization in their right mind would try to sell “good enough”. My point – the difference between average and excellence is irrelevant. Yet people are quick to always want to compare anything to average. That is a huge mistake.
To Be Average is to Be Forgotten
After reading this description of average that was written by Edmund Gaudet, you’ll see why:
- “Average” is what the failures claim to be when their family and friends ask them why they are not more successful.
- “Average” is the top of the bottom, the best of the worst, the bottom of the top, the worst of the best. Which of these are you?
- “Average” means being run-of-the-mill, mediocre, insignificant, and also-ran, a nonentity.
- Being “average” is the lazy person’s cop-out; it’s lacking the guts to take a stand in life; it’s living by default.
- Being “average” is to take up space for no purpose; to take the trip through life, but never to pay the fare; to return no interest for God’s investment in you.
- Being “average” is to pass one’s life away with time, rather than to pass one’s time away with life; it’s to kill time, rather than to work it to death.
- To be “average” is to be forgotten once you pass from this life. The successful are remembered for their contributions; the failures are remembered because they tried; but the “average,” the silent majority, is just forgotten.
- To be “average” is to commit the greatest crime one can against one’s self, humanity, and one’s God. The saddest epitaph is this: “Here lies Mr. and Mrs. Average – here lies the remains of what might have been, except for their belief that they were only average.”
Wow. Pretty straightforward, huh?
Living Beyond Average is a Choice
Let’s be fair. No one is great at everything, and everyone is average at some things. On the flip side, those who choose to be average at most things…well…simply put….they suck. They are dream killers. They are joy stealers. And they are success disablers.
Here’s what I know to be true – every day we wake up, we make the choice to be average or exceptional at most things.
As an individual, you are blessed to be gifted with extraordinary abilities. As a team, the sum total of your talent is mind-numbing yet research often shows individuals and teams are operating (by choice) at between 20% – 40% of their actual capacity. So let’s raise the bar and move the needle because in almost every instance, it takes very little effort to be way better than average.
Tap Into Your Giftedness
Marcus Buckingham, who is the architect of the Strengths movement that began in 2001 said, “You don’t stand out by who you are. You stand out by what you do. Therefore excellence is rarely a function of one-off achievement, but rather is a result of repeated practice and incremental improvement.”
In his best seller Great By Choice, Jim Collins says, “Successful people define themselves by impact and contribution and purpose. As such, greatness is not primarily a function of circumstances. It is a function of choice.”
Just remember – people and organizations expect exceptional value and significant contribution. To demonstrate excellence at anything, you don’t have to be the first to do it. You just have to be better at doing it.
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