What images come to your mind when you think of the word “average?” And what do you suppose an average life looks like?
According to some statistics, here is what average looks like in America.
- The average American household is about $131,000 in debt.
- The average American makes less than $50,000 a year.
- The average American spends $69 a day.
- The average American watches 33 hours of TV a week.
- The average American reads just four books a year.
- The average American is 17 pounds overweight.
- The average American spends 116 minutes a day, or about two hours, on social media.
- The average American spends five hours a day on their cell phones.
- The average American consumes 11 alcoholic drinks a week.
- The average American has less than $1,000 in savings.
In order to make sense of the above data, let’s expand on the following quote by Stephen Vincent Benet, which says: “Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways.”
I imagine that no person in his or her right mind wakes up every day just to create a list that highlights a multitude of ways to be average all day long. Everyone would agree that doing so would be absurd, wouldn’t it?
Just as no one stumbles into success, likewise, no one stumbles into mediocrity. It takes time and effort to be average.
But why is this the case?
Why do we as humans, the most fascinating species in our sector of the galaxy, gravitate toward emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical, and physical apathy? Why does it seem that so many people are actively exploring ways to live beneath their potentialities?
Although there are no simple answers to those questions, I maintain that every person with normal mental and physical capacity has the wherewithal to keep pushing against self and transcend apathy, complacency, and mediocrity.
YOU are your greatest asset and it is up to you to live each day as the best version of you—mining every ounce of value from every waking minute. You will be challenged. You will face temptations to take shortcuts and do just enough to get by. You will feel like giving up. BUT, you have made it this far, and you will make it through whatever comes next.
Remind yourself daily of how amazing you are. And look at life’s challenges as opportunities to shine.
So keep going and keep on growing.
Featured image credit: Eddie Barron