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Why Being Average is the First Step Toward Greatness

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“I am only an average man but, by George, I work harder at it than the average man.” – Theodore Roosevelt 

I used to hate the term “Average Joe.”

I hated the term because I had an uncanny connection to it.

I was an average student in high school, an average athlete, and basically felt like a middle of the road type of guy.

Oh yeah, and my name is Joe. (No one was into unorthodox names like “Apple” and “Sage Moonblood” when I was born.)

To give myself credit I have always been good at the drums, did well in college, and was/still am a kind and caring person, but that “average” mentality has stuck with me.

The problem with this idea is that if I’m “average” than other people are “superior.”

It is hard to be confident when others are more superior.

It’s hard to be motivated to improve when we’re just “average.”

But what if average is where we all start?

What if average meant you had everything you needed, you just had to keep working at it?

Of course this is why I started my journey and pursuit toward greater knowledge and truth about my existence. (a.k.a self-actualization, enlightenment, potential, etc.)

I had to learn, like everyone has to learn, that who we are today if far from the person we can become.

What lies before us and what lies behind us are small matters compared to what lies within us. And when we bring what is within out into the world, miracles happen. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are on a journey from average to getting better and better.

And like all journey’s it starts with one step.

One step toward being a better person. One step toward a small improvement or a new idea.

One small step and one huge realization that our potential is far greater than we give ourselves credit for. 

Our potential is far beyond our current reality.

Average has nothing to do with potential.

We all have to crawl before we walk, and we have to walk before we run.

Everyone starts as average before they become great!

Stop telling yourself, “I’m not as successful as others.”

Or how, “I’m not going to be happy until I have this and accomplish that.”

Appreciate who you are today, and know that many great opportunities are ahead.

Despite what we would like to believe, we won’t always be at our best or have a great day.

It won’t be every day that we discover the wheel or bowl a perfect game!

Give yourself a break. Stop comparing yourself to other and just do your best.

Don’t think because you have an average day there is a problem.

Allow yourself a chance to make mistakes, grow, and learn.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. Work on your weaknesses and use your strengths to do your best!

Do the best you can today and realize you can keep getting better.

Take some time to appreciate the miracle you are and all that you have already done in this life.

Why Being Average is the First Step Toward Greatness

Joe Wilner

Joe Wilner is a life coach, licensed clinical psychotherapist (LCP), and drummer from the band Yes You Are. He is also creator of You Have a Calling, a blog and online community helping people discover and pursue their life’s work and mission. Through deep and personalized coaching, he helps ambitious, creative, and spiritually minded individuals make a greater impact, grow as leaders, and design a soulful life they are inspired by.

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APA Reference
Wilner, J. (2014). Why Being Average is the First Step Toward Greatness. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 3, 2020, from


Last updated: 24 Sep 2014
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