The Art of the Average Life

Likely each day, in some form, you hear that nothing but the best will do. Often, you then hear a description of what is the best. This idea that there is better, better than you have, or better than you even imagined, often comes from a product marketer who seeks to sell you something. You may not buy the product, but did the marketer sell you doubt (about yourself)? Mostly, that depends on who you are and how you see yourself.

Statistical averages of measurement on most subjects, including people, tend to show a normal distribution of the subject as a single bell curve, where the median is a line drawn down from the highest point in the curve to the base. For a population of people, we would expect to find most people to be at this point and within the bell of the curve. The best people would be where the curve tapers to the right and the worst where it tapers to the left. From this place of discussion, we could go anywhere, but I want to point out to you that the average is a good place for people to be. That is where most people are, with their family, their friends, and their coworkers.

Happiness may not accrue to people who embark on being the best at anything. Often, the best equals life-altering dedication, a greater cost in time, money, and effort, to exclude many things that occupy one’s perception of how to be happy. We admire those who become the best of something, but we also see quite frequently that those who achieve the best, become profoundly unhappy because they do not know where to channel the drive that got them to their personal pinnacle of achievement.

The art of the average life is how one lives it each day. It will be better if you have principles, an underlying morality upon which you anchor yourself and others who matter to you. Figure out who you are. Are you an average person who cannot find time to play with your family and friends because you have a second job, attend night school, commute two hours to work each day, or live vicariously through a video game? Maybe you should check your face to see if a smile is there.

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