This post was orginally published on August 22, 2013, but is still relevant. Enjoy!
Average is a word used to describe mathematical statistics or to show a comparative value to others. The words common, typical or ordinary could be used to replace the word average.
Think about that for a minute. In your personal life, do you seek a common meal, a typical day or an ordinary relationship with your child or partner? Sometimes the answer may be yes, because these are the things in your life that give you balance. But, often I bet the answer is no. You want a tasty meal that pleasantly surprises you, a day filled with things you love to do or a fulfilling, meaningful relationship with a person you see often.
How about from your professional life? Do you want a common business or brand, a typical customer or an ordinary team member? Sometimes the answer may be yes. But, that’s most likely after a difficult experience. Because if you’re truly honest you won’t have your business or your job or a client for long if you are common, typical or ordinary (average). So, my guess is that most often you’d answer with an emphatic “no.”
What does this take? This drive to stay away from average. As I tell my kids and my students, the bad news is that it takes work, the good news is that it isn’t difficult once you’ve established good practices.
Here are three key ingredients to being better than average:
Proactivity – look ahead. See what is next or what your organization/manager/client will seek from you. If you don’t know and you don’t have a crystal ball, ask them.
Adaptability – change. Be open to trying something new after asking the previous question. It may lead to a new opportunity. Use this concept for your timeframe too. Give a little in when you meet your client; or work with your co-worker or set up a deadline with your manager.
Motivated – stay this way. Don’t get easily discouraged just because a conversation, a task or a day didn’t go well. Keep putting in the effort. Results for “beyond average” people sometimes take a while.
Ask yourself often…would an average person do this? “Be better than average. It’s overcrowded.” Enough reading, go do!
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