You are the Anomaly, Not the Average

In talking with a few friends the other day, I stumbled upon a point of disagreement. I was talking about how making decisions based off of “averages” is a poor heuristic and rarely worthwhile endeavor. I believe that people plan far too much for what is actually effective, but also admit that people should do whatever they want and if planning helps them sleep at night, go for it.

The root of our discussion, and my point of view, anchored in the idea that “you are the anomaly, not the average.” You are the outlier. Even if this is not true, even if you are painfully average, I believe that if you want to, you can, for a moment, pretend to be the outlier. You can pretend to be the needle in the haystack and, for a second, imagine being _that person_. This notion was immediately rejected. “Most people are average.”

I feel strongly that this mindset is inherently limiting because it prevents people from imagining that there is more out there. They are limited to the average but why can they not be a standard deviation to the right?

I simply ask this question…”what can’t you be the outlier? Why can’t you be the one to do the thing that others can’t do? What is stopping you?”

Sometimes…though surprisingly rarely…people have great, thoughtful answers to this question. There are reasons!!

But most people, at least I find, have no good answer. It is easier to say that average is more realistic.

But we only have one life?!? If not this one, when? Why not now?