Obsessed with Average

I have worked with and run sales organizations for my entire adult life.  There is a question that always comes up.  You can’t escape it.  It doesn’t matter the industry.  The question will always be asked…

What does the average person do?” or “What does the average person make?

I’ve heard it so often that it is difficult to patiently give a reply.  Why are we so obsessed with average?

The average person is out of shape.

The average person is broke and in debt up to their eye balls.

The average marriage ends in divorce.

The average sales person struggles and eventually quits.

The average new business won’t even exist in 5 years.

Average is a terrible thing to aim for. If average is our plan, we shouldn’t even do it.  I would say I’m an average chess player, but chess isn’t that important to me.  It is something I do very rarely for fun.  It is better than watching TV even if I’m just average.  That’s OK.  It doesn’t mean much to me.

For anything important, we should avoid average.  The better questions are, “Who is succeeding?  What are they doing?” Then let’s aim at that.  Sure, we may fail.  We may not be at their level YET. But we can aim at it.  We can measure and improve a little each day.  If we do that, we will rise above the average.

 

 

Was Yoda Wrong?

For many years if you asked me one of my favorite quotes, I might reply with “Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

I would give that answer partly because I love movies and because I am a huge Star Wars fan. I also love the wisdom in the simple phrase. It addresses the mindset of fully committing to something and burning the bridges leaving no option for failure.  Clearly, I still love the advice given by the greatest Jedi Master of them all, but maybe it isn’t right all the time?

What about the person who is sitting on the sidelines scared to get in the game?  What about the person who is so concerned that their new product or business idea has to be perfect so they aren’t even taking action?

“Do it” implies that our attempt will succeed.  If we don’t think we are “ready” yet, we may wait to do anything. Waiting, procrastinating, fear of failing is what keeps us from making progress.  We are never ready. If we wait for the feeling of being ready, we may never act.

Who am I to challenge a Jedi Master? I’m just a normal guy. I can’t use the Force to send objects flying through the air. But I can try.

Maybe that is the right advice sometimes.  Let’s just try. What if we don’t succeed? Well, let’s just try it. Let’s take the first step.

Let’s not be scare to try and fail.  At least, we started. We should celebrate trying. It is a whole lot better than not trying.  Once we are trying and taking action, Yoda’s advice makes sense when we want to master it. We have to fully commit and go beyond trying. But we don’t have to start there.

I have challenged a Jedi Master. I may have failed in my attempt, but at least I tried. I can feel good about that.

 

Why Do We Want Complicated?

Why is it that we push back against the simple plans but gravitate towards the complicated?

If we have something we want to achieve we tend to push back against the simple strategy.  Surely, it needs to be more complex. We need to use a strategy that almost no one has ever thought of or maybe only the most successful have and that is their secret.

Could it be the most successful just execute? I was speaking to someone I really respect several years ago and I noticed he had lost a lot of weight and was looking really good. I asked him what he had been doing.  His response was so simple. “Yea, I’ve just been eating less.” I kept waiting for the complicated, long answer on why his plan was better than all the others. Turns out it was a pretty simple strategy. He didn’t even have to sign up for a course to do it.

Don’t most of know this? We can all get healthier if we just EAT LESS and MOVE MORE.

Deep down most of us know that works, but why do we insist on the complicated? Maybe it is because if we find a complicated plan and it doesn’t work, we can blame the plan? We can always say that we didn’t fully understand it or that it wasn’t the right plan for us.  So then we can turn our focus on finding the next plan.

The good news is capitalism is alive and well.  There are endless entrepreneurs out there to sell us a complicated strategy whether it is fitness, business or anything else.

Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to ignore the simple strategies. The only challenge is then we may not have anything to blame but ourselves if we don’t do it.

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