Is the Secret to Success Just Being Average?

Naturally, we all like to think we’re above average compared to our peers, our coworkers, perhaps our family members, and certainly our politicians. Realistically, we know that given a category, there’s a flip-of-the-coin chance we don't really stand out.

We regularly overestimate our own qualities and abilities in relation to those of other people. This is a condition of cognitive bias termed illusory superiority. You can go read the science for yourself, but I’m here to argue given this condition, achieving success lies not in begin superior but being….well, average.

So, here are a few ways to know if you are really, truly, remarkably average:

Americans read an average (median) of four books per year. I imagine the rest of the world is not shocked by this paltry figure. Being American, I was only a little surprised, but I suppose this study didn't count audiobooks. On the other hand, the average CEO reads 60 books each year (or five per month, if you’re bad at math, which half of you are).

The average adult sleeps between 7-9 hours. I wonder who is skewing the mean because I sure don’t remember the last time I had eight hours. Trends do show that people in their 20s tend to undersleep at about six hours per night, while once we’re reaching our late 30s, we’re ritualizing bedtime instead of bar time. How does this change for the best of the best? Innovators average between five and seven hours of sleep.

Want to live to be 100 years old? The average diet for centenarians focuses on grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and small portions of lean meats. Eat your smallest meal of the day in the late afternoon or evening. Try not to drink your calories. 

Want to not live to be 100? On average, we sit about 9.3 hours per day (and that was before COVID-19). The Harvard Business Review has labeled the sedentary lifestyle as “the smoking of our generation.” Don’t have time to get up? Think again. The average Fortune 500 company leader exercises 45 minutes per day. Virgin CEO Richard Branson says the thing makes him more productive than others is--you guessed it--finding time to exercise. 

Ideally, we should save 20 percent of our income each month. (LOL.) But I like stuff inside the sandwiches I’m eating, so, for me, it’s probably like 13 percent, tops. Honestly, though, we could all find ways to trim a little fat from our monthly expenses and get closer to the ideal number. For instance, the average millionaire saves 64 percent of their income.

Pre-COVID, adults averaged 11 hours per day with their eyes glued to some type of screen. Luckily for us still in some type of work-from-home scenario, an average of 300 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Nowadays screen time is more of a quality over quantity metric, but do feel free to dopamine detox if your best friends are Mary, Paul, Sue, and Mel

Want to try something above average right now? Contact us to get started with Blinder. Our quality, reliability, and ease outpace other video and phone call management solutions. Schedule a demo today and get access to a 14-day, no restrictions, trial to try out all our features.

Jared Thompson, Blinder’s vice president of content, is a former digital communications lead at the NCAA, University of Oklahoma, and Purdue University. Connect with Jared (or our Kiwi co-founders Caley and Ross) for help on how Blinder can remake your current content team into a video production powerhouse without adding new equipment or new headaches.