Let’s face it, being exceptional is not for everyone. Most of us do not have the drive, desire, or capabilities required to stand out in a crowd. Success is an elusive, perplexing concept that remains out of reach like the will-o’-the-wisp of folklore. As someone who excels at mediocrity, I am here to help you set your sights lower, think smaller, and lean neither out nor in…but against a wall. Here are the 10 keys to an average life (the list should be longer, but procrastination and apathy set the word count):
- Focus on yourself. This is number one on the list and perhaps the most important. Self-indulgence and instant gratification will propel you into an average life. The primary question for this mindset is “what can you do for me?” There is only taking and receiving in every situation; give is a four letter word.
- Live paycheck to paycheck. Finances play an important role in the average lifestyle. Work is only about getting paid in exchange for the least amount of effort possible. I suggest the “wing-it” method for budgeting expenses and future planning. Credit cards are an acceptable way to supplement your income.
- Never take risks. Taking a chance is for suckers. Maintaining the status quo will ensure there is no disruption in your average life. Doing the same things every day will get you the same results. It’s scary out there, stay home in the company of your anxieties.
- Engage in gossip, complaining, and jealousy. Backbiting is also appropriate in the professional setting. Realize that everything wrong, in any situation, is beyond your control and should be bitched about loudly and often. If a friend or coworker experiences success, it was likely because of special treatment. Belittling others makes the average person feel better about themselves.
- Fill your days with entertainment. Television, social media, and video games are appropriate uses of one’s time, especially at work. Replace actual personal interaction with digital communication. This will allow more chances to conquer the next level or catch another episode of The Big Bang Theory. There will be ample occasions later, or next week, to take care of your responsibilities. (See #6)
- Procrastinate. Why do today what can be put off until tomorrow? Don’t get sucked into the belief that our time is finite and should be used carefully. That just leads to stress and misery. Let your days happen as they will; there will be enough time for work, love, and success…later. Nothing makes a difficult task more manageable than time and distance. If you put it off long enough, someone else will handle it. Voila!
- Acknowledge your limits. Rather than be crushed by unrealized hopes and dreams, understand that you have parameters in your life…and stay within them. Through no fault of your own (birth, parenting, financial resources, education), you will only rise so far. Be content with your life and fill it with whatever extravagances you can afford. Those who say “If you believe, you can achieve” are selling something.
- Use others for gain. Rather than meaningful relationships based on trust and gratitude, get everything you can manipulate from others and move on. Kindness, respect, and friendship are for fairy tales. “Do unto others before they can do it to you” because they will. Trust no one.
- Live in the past. Everything good has probably already happened to you, so instead of looking ahead, relive your glory days. Never forget the wrongs that have been done to you. Let them be reminders daily in your relationships and business life. Your anger will keep you warm when the world is cold.
- Do what everyone else is doing. The absolute best way to have an average life is to follow the crowd. Forging your own path is scary and lonely, and others might think you are strange. We all know that we are defined by what friends, family, and strangers think of us. Don’t risk it, a highway toward ordinary has been trampled by the masses before you.
In this fast paced world of ladder climbing, deadlines, and pressure to achieve, you can find your space comfortably in the middle somewhere. Don’t draw attention to yourself with excessive effort or ideas, and at the end of the day dull the sharp edges with alcohol and mindless television. I have given you the keys to an average life. Now implement them with half of your ability and attention, because a partial effort is all any undertaking deserves. The speed of average is HALF-FAST!