Average?? Oh No!!

September 4, 2014

For the most part, I’m average.  Although I’ve spent a lifetime trying to prove to you and me that I’m exceptional.

And yes, in a couple of areas I stand out a bit.  I’m a pretty strong communicator.  (But clearly not totally kick ass because I haven’t had one blog go viral, nor have I written a book!).  I’m an engaged and busy therapist and coach.  (But do you have any idea how much schooling, how many books, and how much time, energy and sweat have gone into me knowing what I know?!  Maybe that means I’m also a bit of an exceptional student?) And I think possibly I’m getting better at being a friend.

So, although there are a few things I’m quite good at, there are also a few things that I’m really, really terrible at.  I pretty much suck at anything to do with spacial relationships (i.e. virtually no sense of direction; can’t put together empty boxes without help; don’t get geometry; and judging distances feels like a sixth or seventh sense that I don’t possess); algebra;  tennis; statistics; details; patience (although if I do say so myself, I am making progress on the patience thing).

Here’s the shocker that ultimately became one of the most relaxing aha’s I’ve had:  the ways that I’m average are too numerous to list!  Start with anything not listed above :).

The punchline is that there are so many ways we can torture and shape ourselves into pretzels in an effort to look exceptional, they’re beyond counting–and we don’t have to do that!!!  By the way, nobody else cares.  They’d prefer that we’re average, right?  So that they can feel exceptional!

Who decided we had to be exceptional at everything?  Or that we have to give 100% to everything we do?  There are just some things I could care less about…geometry, statistics, tennis, computer programming, house cleaning…and some other things that matter enough for me to work on though they don’t come naturally…patience, details, daily workouts and meditation, consistency, being the best friend I can be.

Won’t the things I suck at and don’t care about best be done by someone who doesn’t suck at them??!!

So what do you say?  Any interest in giving yourself a break?

Much love,

5 comments

  1. Dick says:

    Early morning ramblings.What’s wrong with mediocre? If I mean by that, not being subject to extreme behaviors, in either direction.

    Perhaps there is an answer to bi-polar behavior, that doctors seem to be able to treat only with physical drugs? I do not dismiss the physical causes of this disease, but to emphasize the bi-polar “symptoms” I, a “normal” person (who defines this for us?) can exhibit, when trying to maintain a balanced emotional/mental life, swaying, sometimes swerving from one roadside ditch to the other.

    I like to describe this as being mediocre-I don’t have to be the best or worst. I just have to be me, good and bad, highs and lows, and always getting better, every day in every way.

    Getting better. Not being the best. Best never lasts, anyway, just ask any “record holder.”

    Mediocre. No extremes. Balance. Serenity. Wandering gently through life, not racing to the next big fix. Obtaining happiness, not seeking pleasure. Welcoming, embracing all that life offers me…in this moment.

  2. Karen says:

    A couple of comments…I was ready to vehemently take issue with your comment that you are not good at “spacial” relationships. Then I realized you really did mean “spacial” not “special.” Because those who know you, totally understand how excellent you are at “special” relationships. And, we also know that “spacial” is not your “specialty.” Secondly, I, too, sometimes worry about the fact that not only are there many things I can’t do, but just as much I don’t “want” to do them. Then, I console myself with the fact that there all those wonderful people in the world who have jobs and careers making a living at exactly the things I don’t “want” to do.

  3. Kirsten says:

    Accepting myself as average and having an average life was both difficult and good for me. I used to expend untold mental energy justifying how I was better than others in this way or that. All it did was cause me anguish. I came upon this while studying the Tao Te Ching and learning to let go of my strong grip on my ego. Of course we can’t let it go altogether, but being aware of it’s constant demands and learning to set them gratefully aside in exchange for a peaceful existence of a simple life has been very good for me.
    I read a book called Strengths Finder where they discussed all kinds of research that has gone into what makes the best productive workers. It turns out that what people need to do is focus on their strengths. This is in contrast to our culture where we are told that we need to spend our time working on our weaknesses in order to bring them all up to par. However what they have found is that what we don’t have natural talents for, we will only ever be adequate at. So our best bet is to go with our strengths as much as possible. I believe that our individual strengths, and we all have them, make us unique. Not better than each other, just unique. And because of that, each one of us is special. I think it is possible to cherish that special-ness without having to turn it into superiority. That all being said, I think there is always room to learn and improve in any area. I have a problem with patience, but I work on it. It may not be my strong suit, but it is important and it improves my life to have more of it. But forget statistics. There are other people for that. Perhaps it’s about choosing our battles more wisely.

    • Robyn says:

      Thanks, Kirsten, I love how you apply what you learn to yourself and your life – you make what can be a heady idea practical and personal and meaningful.

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