Friday, September 04, 2009

Average versus Exceptional

Are you an average or an exceptional individual? Are you in the middle of the scale or are you on the top of it? Are you generally fitting all the descriptions of your generation or are you an outsider?
Safer versus Risky

Being an average person surely gives you a bit of a safety. Average is cozy. You don’t get too much resistance from the society, as long as you fit in the limits. In fact, being average guarantees that society will support you rather than reject you. An average person lives an average life; has an average income, is in an average relationship, follows an averagish career. Not too much trouble, but not too much excitement either.

An exceptional person is usually a risk lover. If you look carefully at all the leaders, inventors or successful businessmen you’ll find they all have something in common: they all loved risk, in one form or another. Risk is dangerous. Risk can not only put you in danger but it can be extended to your close group, to your community, to the entire society. This is why exceptional people are usually rejected by the society. Being exceptional is surely an exciting path but it can be also filled with trouble.
Easier versus Difficult

Being average is usually easier, all you have to do is follow the rules. Go to school, graduate, get a job, get married. But this will not guarantee in any form that you will be successful, nor that you will live a fulfilling life. It will be safe and you’ll survive. It’s the easy way.

Being exceptional is usually harder, because instead of rules you will have to follow your dreams. Start a business, travel the world, love unconditionally or be a rock star. This will not guarantee that you’ll be successful either but you will surely live a fulfilling life. Following your dreams is better than following their rules. But it will be difficult and you may fail. Many times. It’s the hardest way.
Indulging versus Uncomfortable

Even if you strive to be exceptional you may consciously chose to live an average life. Because being average is indulging. You may have the abilities, the talents or the call to become exceptional, but you maintain yourself in a field of laziness and mediocrity. Why? Because you like it living safely, without taking risks and in a comfortable space. You indulge yourself with a underrated lifestyle, with an illusion of safety constantly reinforced by the respect of the rules.

Being exceptional is no lazy afternoon or slow party week-end. It’s constantly getting out of the comfort zone and try something new. It’s restless and exhausting. It’s challenging and full of surprises. Living an exceptional life will give you a lot of pressure and confrontation. Breaking the rules in order to achieve something bigger is no easy task.
Faster versus Slower

Average is faster. You’re walking on somebody else’s footsteps, you move quicker. So many other people were there before so you don’t have much to do than to dumbly move forward. You’ll advance in any standard metric faster than anyone else. You’ll soon have a job, a paycheck, a mortgage, a car, a house, a family. Sooner than you expect.

Exceptional is slower. You’re walking on fresh territory. You discover your own path with each step and you advance slower. Nobody chose the path you chose so you’re actually building a road. You’ll hardly have a job, a paycheck, a mortgage, a car, a house or a family in the traditional way of speaking. But you’ll do it your way.
Pressuring The Exceptional

There is an inner pressure of the average over the exceptional. The average will always try to manage the exceptional, to derail, to confuse, to stop it. Because being exceptional is a danger to the established order and you must be aware of that. You are threatening the rules. If you get rich by 24 and the rules are saying this is impossible, you have a problem: society will try to convince you that this is impossible. You know it isn’t, but apparently you’re the only one who knows that.

Average is based on rules. If there are no rules, the average cannot exist. This is why being exceptional is constantly pushed away. If you chose to be exceptional, be prepared to face not only your inner limitations but a constant pressure from the outside world. You have to win a double battle: with you and with them.
The Choice Of A Personal Path

The good news is that being average or being exceptional are just choices. There’s no genetic imprint that says you’re going to be an average person or you’re going to be an exceptional one. Everything is choice.


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