Accepting Average Enables Exceptional

People remain average because they don’t understand exceptional.

A friend of mine recently said, “Maybe average is ok. That’s what most people and organizations are so what’s wrong with it?” We were exploring vision, passion, and excellence. I don’t think he was advocating for average; you don’t have to. He was, however, pushing me and our conversation.

Most are average in most areas.

Out of reach:

Believing exceptional is about everything and not one thing places exceptional out of reach. The impossibility of being exceptional at everything paralyzes legitimate passion for one thing.

Accept Average:

Accept your unique averageness. Embrace the things that you don’t and won’t excel at. The nice thing about accepting average is it doesn’t take passion, vision, energy, dedication, or pursuit. It takes average effort to be average.

Save your strength:

Stop wasting your energy trying to lift your average to extraordinary. Accepting your average frees you to pursue your exceptional; your one thing. The likelihood you are exceptional at several things is so slim it’s not worth considering. You have average intelligence, average appearance, and in many areas, average skills.

Five questions:

Once you accept your average, five questions will help you find, clarify, and amplify your one thing.

  • Why do you get out of bed every day?
  • How will you shape your future?
  • What guidelines do you live by?
  • When you fall down, how do you pick yourself back up?
  • How do you hold yourself accountable?
(Questions from, “One Piece of Paper,” by Mike Figliuolo)


The distance between average and exceptional discourages its pursuit. Tom Peters responds, “A passion for excellence means thinking big and starting small.”

Let others handle average; focus on exceptional.

What holds people back from finding, embracing, and living in their exceptional?

What helps you pursue excellence?