Average is like gravity. It’s a constant force that’s just there, usually showing up as a path of least resistance. If you’re perfectly average, you probably feel safe and comfortable in your place. If you’re above or below average, you’re A. applying some gravity-defying superpower, and B. feeling the effects of its pull on you.
When you’re a C- student trying to get a B (speaking from some past experience here), you figure out what to do to boost your grade. Maybe there’s an extra credit assignment or you figure out what you’ll need on a paper to drag your grade up. Moving from below average to average takes in the box grit.
What if you’re an A student trying to get better than an A+? Is it even a thing? I mean, there’s not even a grade for that, right? Better than the best might include the right unique extracurricular activities or locking down a dream internship. Average to above-average takes outside the box grit.*
Average report cards, resumes, products, services, experiences, careers, etc. are all bound to a center of gravity. If we have to get in line, we can fix the weaker metrics to unlock the average experience. If we want to get to above the line, we have to find the metrics to enhance the average experience and make it positively different.
Here’s the cheat sheet:
– Write down the stuff that matters to get the results you’re after.
– Score what’s working and not on some scale.
– Note what combinations amount to average (and if there are different ways to achieve it).
– Figure out where to put your finger on the scale to tip it to your advantage.
– Review the process, review the variables, and defy that gravitational pull.
*honorable mention to dropping and staying below average. This is a dark headspace. All of us have been there, some lower than others. And, like its loftier cousin, it stems from an out of the box dedication to something bleak. If you’re here, you’re not alone and need to find some help. Average is closer than you think. You can do it. Gravity isn’t pulling you down, it’s trying to pull you back.
We’re on a roll here – this is based on Tren Griffin’s poetic idea of “escaping the gravity of base rates,” from his Infinite Loops interview, “Tren Griffin – Escaping Gravity.”