Even for over-achievers, there is one place where being average is good.
Whenever there is a yardstick, there are those of us who would want to exceed all expectations and break the barriers, challenge the limits to create new paths.
Be it in school, at work, community service, or simple activities like gardening, there is always a competitive environment that keeps us going.
Anyone who has worked in a Corporate environment knows this too well… especially during Appraisal time. Everyone is expected to beat expectations. Meeting some or all expectations set on the work front is not sufficient – that means one is an average employee, whereas the one who beats or exceeds some or all expectations, outstanding performers are the ones who get noticed and selected for promotions and better benefits.
In such an environment, would being average be tolerated by anyone?
Answer is Yes.
When we get our annual physicals done, we all are given our health reports and for each line item, there is a benchmark or range level that we are measured against. Remaining within range and being neither high nor low is GREAT. The yardstick changes. Now, being average is good. In fact it is great and signifies great health.
Being average means a lot more work-life-balance. Good balance of healthy food, physical activity and sleep is key – every single day, routine life!
While we try to push ourselves on any specific facet of life, we have the tendency to get the other areas out-of-balance, creating an outstanding accomplishment on one front, and figuring out how to wade through failures in the other.
Look at someone who is extremely successful on the work front, they might not have time for enough sleep and that causes health issues over the long run.
Being average is good, it creates long term players, healthy ones, like those running a marathon and not short sprints. If we want a good healthy balanced life, change your yardstick on what you would measure and how you would grade yourself.
I am not saying ambition is bad. Pushing yourself solely on one front, without creating the balance on the other fronts of your life to sustain it long term is not good. That takes a toll on us and our support systems on the personal front and at school/work.
Next time you want to exceed expectations, think again. Being average and being a long term player is perfectly fine – to protect your physical & mental health and sustain a balanced life.