The cream of the crap. That is a definition I heard today for ‘average’. It just made me laugh out loud first and then it made me think.

The conversation that started all this was about car insurance and how I can save an average of $509 a year if I sign up with the company who decided to populate my mailbox with the equivalent of spam. At least with spam I can opt out but junk mail is forever. The truth to the matter is I would save nothing by switching and probably cost me more to try and play that game. That’s a different story for another blog so let’s get back to average.

There is a difference between average and median but usually it’s not huge in real numbers. Follow that link and you’ll get a basic explanation of it. I’m going to use the two terms in this but know they are for illustration of essential truth and not necessarily going to stand up to a fly speck examination (my dad used to say ‘he’s trying to pick fly sh*t out of pepper). You get the idea.

The median income in the US in 2010 was $29,056. If I only made that much it would be a big change for my lifestyle. I suspect that is true of you too. Median income for a real estate agent is $39,070. I came from an industry (engineering) where the median income is closer to $90,000. The difference is that I can do a lot more than average in real estate and I get flexible hours. I get to be self directed a lot more and I get to be home a lot more. I was willing to take the responsibility to work for myself and not for some big company who could tell me what to do and where to go.

I can tell you I am not average. I am in the top 20% of my office and maybe in the top 10%. I have not seen the numbers yet. My office is not average either. We have to top position in market share and sales. I’ll have more numbers on that later but I love being here. We are not average.

So how do you get to be above average? I will tell you that 90% of all people consider themselves above average but that’s not true. It can’t be. This goes back to a previous article about what Walt Disney did when he didn’t have a job. He started a business. That is not what the average person does.

The average person watches 34 hours of TV a week. The average American walks about 2500-3000 steps per day but we ought to walk 10,000 steps for good health. Are you average in your activity?

In 1970, the average American downed 2,169 calories a day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. By 2008, we were consuming 2,674 calories daily. That is a 23% increase. When Susan and I were on a life change of losing weight (we lost 190 pounds) we consumed about 2400 total. For the two of us. We did something ‘not average’.

So if you don’t want to be average you have to find out what is average for your goal and DON’T DO THAT!!. The average person has no written goals, no accountability and no mentor. No one to ask questions of. The average American reads 5 books a year. I have a goal to read at least 2 per month. That’s 24 in one year.

Average is a choice. Everything we do is a choice when it comes down to it. We don’t control the outcome but we certainly control what we do. Here is an previous blog that helps explain that.

All I’m getting at is that you can choose to do something different. If you are where you are because of your choices the good news is you can change where you are by your choices. If you decide to change your activities it will lead to new habits and new habits can lead to a whole new life. Charles Duhigg wrote a book called The Power of Habit and I see it on Amazon for $7.50. I’m thinking that is a pretty good deal and maybe you can read it instead of watching TV for a couple of nights this week.

Or are you ok with being average?

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson