The Choice to be Average

Dear James,

You may find this hard to believe, but you have chosen to be average.

I apologize for being direct and cold-hearted, but you must know the truth.  People say that the truth will set you free, but in reality, it’s only when you accept the truth about your own flaws, the process of change will begin.

The truth is, you can be so much more than you are right now.  It breaks my heart to know that there is a goldmine of untapped talent within you and the choices you make are preventing you from unleashing them.

Being average does not mean that I am comparing you to other people.  There is no point as everyone is on a different life path.  I am comparing you directly against your own potential.  Who you are today versus who you could have been.

I don’t like the word average any more than you do, but can you honestly look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you are the best version of you possible?  If your answer is yes, I now know that you aren’t ready to change.  

Now is your time to choose.  Do you want to continue to stay average? Or do you want to find a way to maximize on your potential?  It all begins with this decision.

Each day you wake up in the morning, you are bombarded with choices.  What time will you roll out of bed? What will you wear?  What will you eat?  What will you do?  What will you think?  How will you feel? How will you make others feel?

It’s not easy having all these choices to choose from.  It’s the paradox of choice.  Too many choices leads to decision-making fatigue.  In other words, having too much choice, leads you to make bad decisions.  Bad decisions over time leads to an average life.

Some choices you make don’t matter much, while others will have a long term impact. My advice to you is to focus on making better choices in these categories below and you will start to see your life change for the better.


Choose the thoughts that you think.

Your thoughts shape your emotions, produce your behaviors, and ultimately shape the architecture of your brain.  If you go one level deeper, there is scientific research that supports that our thinking may even change our DNA structure.

Negative thoughts such as resentment, anger, and unforgiveness lead to mental and physical stress.  It’s staggering to see the number of stress related diseases rise over the past few decades. 

However, with a disciplined mind, you can replace the conscious stream of anxious, fearful, and hateful thoughts with ones of joy, gratitude, and love.

Here’s how you can think better thoughts.

Make the choice to be happy, and start thinking happy thoughts.  Shift your focus from the negative to the positive. Is it really that easy?  Yes.  You can choose to think whatever you want.

Spend a bit of time in silence each day, so you can learn to catch and remove negative thoughts before it manifests into toxicity.

Take some time during the day to reflect on what you are thinking about.  Ask yourself, are these thoughts beneficial to me?  If not, stop thinking them.


Choose to control what’s in your control.

There is a tendency for you to want to control the things that you have no control over.  Why bother? It is a waste of time and energy thinking or wishing about changing something that isn’t in going to change.

Ask yourself, what is in your control?  What can you do to make this situation better?

Here are somethings that you cannot control:

  • Other people’s thoughts, actions, and behaviors.  You cannot change anyone, they themselves have to choose to change.
  • The weather.  Stop complaining about the rain, cold, heat or snow.  Accept it.
  • The future. Nobody has any real idea of what is going to happen 1 year from today.  Plan for it, but don’t worry too much about it.
  • The past. It’s over and done with.  Lesson learned. Time to move on.
  • Most of life. With or without you, life goes on.  People move on.  Most of life around us is uncontrollable.  Make peace with that.


Choose to own your own health.

The type of food you eat, the amount you sleep, the quality of exercise you get - is all on you.  Make the right choices in these three areas and you will quickly enhance your life.

There isn’t much more advice I can give you on this topic as you know what you need to do.  You just have to get on and do it.


Choose fear over comfort.

Personal growth only occurs when you stretch yourself outside of your comfort zone.  When you choose to be comfortable, you are choosing to be mediocre.  When you choose to be scared, you are choosing to take a chance on yourself.  You can only discover who you really are and who you can become when you are afraid.

I know you know this. But how come you bow down to fear?  Are you afraid to be afraid?

You can start defeating your fears by first welcoming them with open arms.  Be comfortable with the uncomfortable. 

Put a smile on your face and tell yourself how much you love the feeling of fear.

After all what is the worst that can happen? 

Death? At least you died trying…

Humiliation? The last laugh belongs to those who are brave…

Failure? Life is full of failures and successes, get used to both.

Pain?  Physical pain is short-lived.  The pain of regret lasts forever.


Choose to work hard.

You live in a world that is always online and on-demand.  The things you can do today with a click of a button or a touch of a finger would have been unimaginable a few decades ago.

You can watch any movie at any time.  You can communicate with your friends and family instantaneously through video calls or text messages.  You have access to a lifetime worth of entertainment available to you for free on the Internet. You can shop for new clothes without leaving your house.  You can interact with famous movie stars, politicians and authors through social media.

It’s no wonder that you find being productive is hard. 

But each time you are being seduced by entertainment, you have a choice.  Choose to be entertained, or choose to do something useful with your life.

The time you have on this Earth is limited and it will be the one thing you wish you had more of when you push against the end. Time cannot be stretched, but you can make the most out of it.  Your potential can only be reached if you work hard to unleash your creative talent.

James, you now have your choices, what will you do? 

Choose carefully as the choices you make will determine who you become.