Average People Who Do Average Things Have Average Lives

Average People Who Do Average Things Have Average Lives

Dustin Lien
April 30, 2015

You’ll notice they walk a little differently. Not weird or wrong or bad—just differently. Dancers have slightly turned-out feet and walk a little bit on their toes. It’s usually a rite of passage when you ask them about it. They’re not embarrassed by it or anything, and they shouldn’t be. They formed that difference as an adaptation after years of hard work and training.

If you hang around serious athletes or fitness competitors, you’ll notice they rarely eat “normal people” food. They view and treat their bodies like machines, and food is nothing more than fuel, so they eat and drink things that most people would consider strange.

In most religions, there are rules and rituals like going to church every Sunday or wearing specific religious headwear that differentiate those people from others. Those actions are parts of their identities that separate them from the rest of society.

Behind every separation factor, there are underlying reasons why people think, act, or look differently. Those unique qualities, which are often viewed as extreme or different by outsiders, are what give the people who hold them better-than-average results in their areas of focus.

If you want to be above average at something, you need to separate yourself from the average by thinking and acting differently.

How to Be Above Average

1. Surround Yourself with Above-Average People

Society questions differences, makes fun of differences, pushes with a heavy and full force to put back in line those who step out. This isn’t always done in an obvious or malicious way either. We all just subconsciously consider what we think is “normal” to be the way things should be.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” I’ve found this to be very true, at least for me, and I’m sure it is for most people.

Friends will bug you to stay out late on a Friday night when you tell them you have to wake up early to workout on Saturday.

People will question you and call you crazy for waking up at 5am to do your morning routine before starting your day. They’ll say, “There’s no way I could do that. I’m not a morning person.”

They’ll eat pizza in front of your face while you’re trying to improve your eating habits.

Let me ask you this—wouldn’t it be better if the people you chose to spend your time with had similar goals and mindsets?

What if your friends also went to bed early on Friday because they also chose to go workout on Saturday morning?

What if instead of calling you crazy and questioning why you wake up early to do a morning routine for self improvement, people encouraged you?

What if your friends were even healthier than you, and provided moral support and nutrition tips to help you achieve your goals?

Hang around the people who will help you succeed.

2. Set High Standards, and Be Disciplined

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends 2 and a half hours per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking), and strength training for all the major muscle groups 2 times per week. While this is great advice for the average person, if you want to look like a model, this advice isn’t going to get you there.

It’s the same for aspiring entrepreneurs. If you want to own and run a successful business, you have to do a lot of things the average person with a day job isn’t willing to do.

Especially with entrepreneurship, people like to be vicarious entrepreneurs and live through the stories of real business owners who are hustling every day, instead of actually trying to start a business on their own.

You have to get started, set goals, and master self discipline so you can get real results. If you don’t, you’ll never live past “what if?”.

3. Make “No” Your Favorite Word

Life is full of people wanting your attention, and wanting you to do stuff for them or with them. Some of the things people ask of you are good things, some aren’t.

Say no to temptations that will throw you off your game. Say no to favors that you don’t have time to give your all to. Say no to selling yourself short so you can sell big.

Say no to the good things, so you can say yes to the great things.