Why Embrace Being Average?

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I finally got around to watching “Big Hero 6” via Redbox and was surprised at how much I enjoyed the story as well as the moral behind it. In many ways the movie hits the mark in describing that inside all of our geeky, quirky, and oddball shells lies a soul longing to fight against dullness.

There’s a huge fascination for turning yourself from an ordinary human into someone with super powers: Hollywood, comic book creators and video game developers exploit this. Let’s also not forget sci-fi and fantasy writers. It’s nice to live vicariously through an avatar, one that is stronger, braver and smarter than you may ever be.

But while many of us don’t have super powers, we still are excellent at controlling our ability to push ourselves beyond our own limits. Sometimes that in and of itself demonstrates the sheer power of the mind, that we are able to motivate ourselves to accomplish incredible feats of human endurance. Watch the Olympics and you’ll probably be in awe at the stories of world-class athletes overcoming unfathomable odds to become the very best in their sport.

Take a look at professional climbers like Tommy Caldwell, 36, and Kevin Jorgeson, 30, who struggled, fell yet continued going for 19 days until they made history on Jan. 14 by conquering one of the most difficult climbs in the world, the previously unconquered Dawn Wall of El Capitan in California’s Yosemite National Park. Caldwell and Jorgeson were the first to free climb that 3,000-foot section of rock peak using just their hands and feet and a network of ropes to move from pitch to pitch.

Just one day before making history, Jorgeson tweeted, “To anyone writing about #dawnwall, this is not an effort to “conquer.” It’s about realizing a dream.” And therein was the motivation. It wasn’t someone else’s dream, but theirs alone to use super-human will and fight to make the ascent.

However, Caldwell and Jorgeson are just two ordinary men who happen to be expert climbers. While excellent athletes they are not Herculean strong men. They may be quite average in other subjects in life. Mark Zuckerberg, no matter how brilliant of a computer programmer, social media maven, and entrepreneur he is, could not realize the dream that Jorgeson and Caldwell achieved. Neither could Arnold Schwarzenegger in his hey-day.

The Bottom Line:

Every ambitious, motivated, super-human achiever out there is average at something. No one can be perfect at everything and no one can be all things all the time. There might be people that come pretty darn close; they appear to be great at everything. But, really, they’re not. Though, why the fascination to be above average, anyway? We’re all so terrified of being labeled “average” that we succumb to superficial means to prove ourselves to the world that we’re not average. From plastic surgery to educational degrees to material collection — they all reflect self-worth, as it seems the worst thing in the world is to be considered average.

We are all unique and amazingly talented at those skills and talents we’ve chosen to hone. Humility can go a long way for most of us; just as brilliant as we might think we are, we may not be so brilliant at a host of other things. It definitely takes a certain amount of humility to realize this, that while you might be larger than life in some areas, you’re likely average when it comes to other subjects. While we all want to be super heroes, most of us should be content in the fact that we put our best effort to be extraordinary when we can and at the end of the day, we can also embrace our average selves.

Colin Powell


4 thoughts on “Why Embrace Being Average?

    irrationalliving said:
    March 26, 2015 at 4:17 PM

    I agree with you! The disconnection from self-worth is liberating. Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      lilpickmeup said:
      March 26, 2015 at 5:10 PM

      Definitely. I have had to learn to disconnect myself from all the titles and labels and attainments, or lack thereof, that I associated with my self-worth. I still have to work at it. I still have to try and not compare myself to others either. But, you’re right: Disconnecting from self-worth is totally liberating. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        irrationalliving said:
        March 26, 2015 at 5:16 PM

        Right on. We all have “bad days,” or times when we seem to regress, but it’s all about inching forward 🙂 You’re better now than you have ever been!

        Liked by 1 person

    Ellen Hawley said:
    August 9, 2015 at 1:52 AM

    We can’t all be at the top of the chart or we’d end up like the people in Garrison Keillor’s Lake Woebegone, “Where all the children are above average.”

    Liked by 1 person

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