How to Be More Than an Average Joe No one wants to settle for the results that come with being average but it's easy to fall into the trap.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
So you're sick of being average? You say you want more out of your life and work? The question is really about what you're going to do about it. We can all express how we're feeling, but that will not take you from being where you are right now to feeling like Superman.
Being average is a choice. Unless you become consciously aware of what you are doing day-in, day-out, time will slip through your hands. With this leakage of time comes feelings of frustration, negativity and disbelief in the greater good. It's time to plug the leaks in your timeline, put on your wetsuit, and go for a swim in something new known to some of us as the extraordinary.
Here are the six ways to avoid being an Average Joe:
1. Think differently.
Steve Jobs made this catchphrase famous, and you're going to make it yours from now on. No longer are you going to be afraid to voice your opinion. The more different your opinion is, the prouder you should be.
Average Joes are obsessed with fitting in. You're going to be obsessed with doing the opposite from now on. No more excuses, half-written goals or numbing the pain with alcohol. You're going to get clear about what you want, despite the status quo. You're going to sit up straight, hold your head high and think whatever thoughts you want. You're going to become a believer and to inspire the mediocre.
2. Act crazy.
At work, people think I'm a lunatic. (Desired outcome achieved: tick that box.) Once in a while, be off the charts. Act crazy and shake things up a bit. Become a disrupter in the true sense of the cliche. Wear your hat to the side; stick your thumb up at the 7-Eleven guy; do something that people don't expect. Being an Average Joe means being predictable.
You're not predictable, though, because you want to be remarkable; that's why this post caught your attention in the first place, not because of my pretty smile. In the world of success, there is no such thing as normality. Each day is always different from the last. Every day, you take one small step towards some impossible, humongous goal.
People naturally think you are pathological because all that you do shows that you're not like the 90 percent who are afraid. You're going to face your fear and ask that guy or girl out. You're going to high-five the kid that fell down the stairs trying to do a summersault because at least he tried, right?
3. Be proud.
You know, for a flawed human being like the rest of us, you've done a pretty excellent job. I mean, your mind is set up to bring you down and somehow you're still here. You haven't committed suicide; you haven't been hit by a car; you're just here, living and breathing and believing you were put here for a purpose. You may not have discovered that one true thing that makes you get up each day, but you're trying.
Stop and smell the roses. Be proud of what you have done, not what you haven't done. Being average is being disgusted with everything all the time. A pebble falling on the footpath is enough to get people's jocks in a knot. None of us knows the meaning of life, and who knows what wild, crazy adventure comes next in our existence?
There are no rock-solid answers to most of your questions, so quit trying to predict the lottery like an Average Joe. "Life could be a dream," as the saying goes. Why not be proud and make it a dream right now?
4. Have hope even when there may seem no point.
Sometimes, all the little events that happen seem like they mean nothing. Average Joes don't believe that moments in time are connected. They believe that something is either good or bad. The reality is that everything is connected, and you need good, bad and nothing moments to succeed. Each event in your existence helps to link up prior thoughts in your brain, adding up to something important.
What that something important is may not be known yet, but it will reveal itself if you refuse to settle for mediocre. Keep practicing your habits and keep crossing off goals. At rock bottom, it can feel like there is no point, but there is, I promise you. There is a point to everything, you just don't know it yet, and you're not supposed to. Be happy with the surprises, those moments when you say, "Where the heck did that come from?"
I had a tough few weeks, and the Entrepreneur.com community lifted me up with its messages about my posts. That underscores why we should have hope, even when what we do in the moment may seem meaningless. It's the posts that you didn't read or like that lead to the ones you did.
5. Build people up.
Average Joe's have a habit of tearing down the sand castle in a rage. Your job is to help people build their own sand castle so they can feel good. Practice finding the good in people rather than the bad, and your success will transform into something special.
I can find a thousand faults with you, but the real game is to find the five amazing facts about you. We're attracted to things that make us feel good, so why not become a being in this world that does just that? Think of all the cool things you could attract in your own life if you give other people what they want.
6. Be you.
Average Joes are like professional Hollywood actors. They spend most of their time trying to be anything but themselves. They believe that people won't like them for who they are so they buy a car, house and (insert material possession, here) to appear to be someone else. This fictional character is who they believe the world wants them to be -- except it wants the opposite.
Extraordinary people act as they are. Everything is on show, and they believe they're special in their own unique way. It's not that they have a massive ego (in fact, quite the opposite), it's that they are happy with who they are because they feel they're making a difference. It's the act of making a difference that drives them rather than the perception of themselves by others.
Take that beautiful body you've been given and use it for some wild purpose. Go from the place where your life is solely about you and go to the place where it's about serving others. With this one thought, you can now put on your Superman cape and get to work, chief. I look forward to seeing what you can achieve.