“I don’t think that there’s anything worse than being ordinary.” It’s a cult line that was famously uttered by Angela Hayes in the 1999 film American Beauty and it’s one that rings true for any high achiever. If you’ve done all the ‘right’ things in life, nothing feels more unfair than ending up with a pretty mediocre life and career. So, how can you transform a mediocre life? Try any of these 10 life hacks if you want to know how to stop being average in life.
10 ways to stop being average
Meditation is a classic “Catch 22” activity. The people who stand to gain the most from it – type A, highly-strung, high achievers – are often those who are most opposed to it. Why? Because it requires you to give up the time you could spend doing something that feels productive to do absolutely nothing. And in most cases the results of meditation aren’t instantaneous, which adds to the idea that it is a waste of time.
But if your life feels significantly more average than you’d like, meditation may help to change that. It can help you train your mind to focus, increase your self-awareness and improve your intuition. But that’s not all. Research has shown that a daily meditation practice can physically change your brain. And it can help relieve stress and anxiety, increase positive feelings and improve your attention span – all the things you need to live your best life.
If you’re anything like the majority of people, the version of ‘you’ that you know is a reflection of the person that those around you want you to be. However, when you step away from your daily life and from those who know you, something magical happens: you suddenly become free to stop playing the character you play each day and start reconnecting with who you really are.
Travelling – especially on your own – provides a great opportunity to do this, especially if you use the time away to stop ‘doing’ and start ‘being’. Once you understand who you are, it’s easier to pinpoint what you want from life and that’s when you can begin to create a life that feels like the one you deserve.
When you step away from your daily life and from those who know you, something magical happens: you suddenly become free to stop playing the character you play each day and start reconnecting with who you really are.
Spend time with inspiring people
Do you feel utterly stuck and clueless about how to turn your life around? Then start spending time with people who embody the person you want to be and who are living the life you want to live. Not only can they inspire you by showing you that what you want in life is possible, you can also treat them as mentors and soak up their wisdom.
Do one thing that scares you each day
Playing it safe is the fastest route a mediocre life because the greatest rewards come from taking risks. If your natural approach to life is to stay within your comfort zone, challenge yourself to do one thing that scares you each day. That thing doesn’t have to be something dramatic like jumping out of a plane, simply going to a networking event on your own or volunteering to give a presentation at work can open up new opportunities that could put you on the road to something great.
Say yes more often
Another way to stop being average and step out of your comfort zone more often is to start saying ‘yes’ when you would normally say no. Just like doing things that scare you can open up new opportunities, saying yes more often can do the same. If you’re ready to stop being average, pause before answering questions from now on. Instead of saying no, push yourself to say ‘yes’ more often.
Self-reflect at the end of the day
An average life doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the culmination of making one ‘safe’ decision after another for years on end. The best way to stop being mediocre is to put an end to those safe decisions.
So, how can you do this?
Adopt the following new habit.
- At the end of each day take 10 minutes to reflect on how the day has gone and name one key thing you’d like to achieve the next day.
- Don’t just congratulate yourself for the things that have gone well or berate yourself for the things that went badly, note down the events that led to the good things and those that led to the bad things.
- Make an effort to do more of the things that led to the results you liked
An average life doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the culmination of making one ‘safe’ decision after another for years on end.
Ditch the TV
According to a recent UK study, the average adult spends 10 years (that’s 27 hours per week) of their life watching TV. 10 years!! And don’t feel smug if you only watch shows online, that still counts. If you’re not achieving the things you want to in life, the quickest way to free up a few hours each day is to say goodbye to your TV habit or at least cut it down by half. Just imagine what you could do with 27 (or 13.5) extra hours each week? You could learn a new language, take a course you need to start a new career, start a business or take on a part-time job to earn enough money to travel the world.
Minimise the time you spend on social media
While social media can be inspiring, on the whole it’s a very demoralising place to be. With everyone presenting a shiny, happy, exaggerated version of their lives, social media can make even the most accomplished person feel like they aren’t good enough. If your self-belief is a little shaky, continued visual feedback that you’ll never be good enough can deter you from trying at all.
And let’s not ignore the elephant in the room. Social media is a huge time drain. A survey by Global Web Index suggests that internet users spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media each day.
Social media can make even the most accomplished person feel like they aren’t good enough. If your self-belief is a little shaky, continued visual feedback that you’ll never be good enough can deter you from trying at all.
Stop worrying about what other people think
The greatest killer of dreams and ambition is the phrase “What will people think?”. The reality is that no one is thinking about you and your decisions as much as you think they are, yet the belief that others are judging your every move can keep you stuck in a mediocre, but safe life. After all, if you never try something unconventional, there’s no chance that you’ll fail and people will talk about you… is there?
You can break free from the fear of looking like a loser by applying some of the actions mentioned earlier in this article. Remember to do one thing that scares you each day and also to say yes to opportunities you’d otherwise say no to.
Learn something new daily
It’s often said that if you’re not growing, you’re dying. And it’s true. Life is about growth – not just physical, but also intellectual and emotional. If you’re stuck in a life that feels like Groundhog Day, taking time out to learn something brand new every day can help kick start your intellectual and emotional growth.
Not sure how to start learning more? Read a few chapters of a book, listen to a podcast, do an online course or go to an inspiring talk.
So, which new habit will you try to stop being average and take your life from mediocre to great? Let us know in the comments below.
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