How can I prevent being average?

Being average could mean just going through life. Just like that. Passing through. Letting time tick away. Letting things happen. Letting every day be just like the day before and the day after.

Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing you read about in history books.

Nothing unique.

Just average.

Can things be different for you?

Of course they can.

You just need to start taking control of your life.

And you need to make that your priority.

Like this:

Start expecting things. BIG things. Things you can be part of. Things that you can change for the better. Imagine them, think what needs to happen to make them a reality, then come up with a plan. And don’t stop there. Do something, starting today, however small, to make it real. Then do some more small things tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that.

Have an opinion. YOUR OWN. Just because your friends say something is good, bad, interesting, dull, cool, not cool, totally acceptable or not, does not mean you need to mirror what they say or do. Ask yourself if it is important to you, and if it is, why it’s important. Question things. Don’t blindly accept what you’re told. Grow your critical thinking muscle.

Be proud of your uniqueness. It may be your heritage, the value system you’ve been raised with, the color of your skin, the languages you speak, even the tiny bits and pieces of who you are. The way you like to cook your food. Your book or music collection. Your goals. The way you see your future. Pick something that you find beautiful in that mix, and nurture it every single day.

Dream. Not just at night. Dream while you’re awake. Dream about the what ifs. Dream in small pieces. Dream in minutes or even seconds. Give yourself the time to do it. And never listen to people who tell you that you need to give up your dreams and grow up. They’re clueless.

Stop talking non-stop. Don’t assume people are there to just listen to you. It’s not all about you. Wisdom comes through listening and observing. Listen to what people are talking about. Hear what they’re telling you. Observe their behavior. Learn about the world in this way.

Respect yourself. That’s where it all starts. Value who you are, what you are doing, who you are becoming. Value your time and your efforts. Value your skills. Be aware of your entire journey and how difficult it is to achieve the things you’ve already done. Don’t take it for granted. If you don’t, neither will others. Respect starts with you. Others will follow.

Start making sense. You know those stories you share with friends about someone who went and did something unexpected, illogical, unreasonable, selfish, foolish, or just plain dumb, that took them off their life path, caused them to lose focus on what’s truly important in life and ultimately changed things forever? Don’t be that guy. Use your intelligence. Make smart choices. And even if they’re not always the smartest, correct yourself and get back on your path.

Don’t be thoughtless in your actions. Before you act (or react), think two steps ahead. There isn’t a single action without some sort of repercussion that will be felt somewhere. Be aware of this. Be more strategic. Think things through.

Be consistent. If you really want to get better at something, you need to keep working on it. This applies to improving your personal relationships, mastering a skill you need for school or work, building positive habits, showing compassion towards others, and whatever else you believe is important to you in life. Don’t just talk about wanting to do things or try a thousand different things and then abandon them. Make something stick.Become a master at them.

Read. Read a LOT. Not only stuff on the Internet, or what you have to for school or work. Read books. Big books. Novels. Books written by Nobel prize winners. Explore other centuries, different points of view, characters who were challenged by circumstances similar to yours or perhaps not at all. Read to feed your brain. Read to expand your mind about what is possible.

Work on becoming someone others can look up to. It may be the best version of yourself, or someone people seek to gain knowledge, or a person friends come to when they need guidance or a warm embrace. Be someone’s hero (or as the Greeks called ἥρως (hērōs): a warrior, a defender, a protector.

Stop treating your cell phone as a crystal ball to see life through. It may be a mini computer, feeding you information packaged in attractive apps. But it’s not smarter than you. Don’t let it rule your life. Look up. See the world.

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