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10 Common Characteristics of Average People

10 Common Characteristics of Average People

The world is filled with two types of people: successful people and average people. There are plenty of resources online if you want to learn how to be successful, but what about those who are only looking to achieve adequacy? If you’re shooting for the big dog pile at the bottom, here are 10 common characteristics of average people to aim for:

1 – Average People Had That Idea First

Anytime you hear about something cool and new, there’s always someone who had that idea first. iPhone? I could’ve invented that. Amazon? I was telling people about online shopping years before they existed. We all have millions of ideas – it’s the person who takes the lead and acts on those ideas that gets all the glory. Nobody cares what you could’ve done if only you had made the right decision.

You weren’t just one wrong move away from achieving fame and fortune. Overnight success only exists for people willing to claw and climb their way to the top for years with little to no recognition, money, or energy. Put in two years of sleepless nights slaving away at thousands of pages of code…then you won’t need to tell me the story of how you invented social media. I’ll hear about it from someone else.

2 – Average People Waste Time

I work a lot. It doesn’t feel like work because I love what I do, but I’m almost constantly doing something for my job. Every successful person I know has the same work ethic. Sure, I can get a hold of someone for a quick meal or drink, but we don’t hang out day in and day out — we’re just too busy for that. Average people don’t prioritize their life this way.

Average people are always finding ways to get out of work. No matter what you may have seen in a commercial, there’s no easy button to life. If you’re not working towards your dreams, you’ll never reach them. Either you’ll make a career out of a menial job, or you’ll shift back and forth between entry level drudgery until you retire or die. Along the road to success, you’ll meet plenty of people who want to waste your time. You only have so much time in the day, and how you utilize that time is up to you. Whether you want to be a rapper, superhero, or scientist, your time is better spent in the lab than partying.

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3 – Average People Are Always Broke

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    Dude… if you’re broke for a few years while busting your ass toward a goal, you’re going to be successful. If you’re broke longer than that, you’re average. You need a savings account, and you need to stop spending money. Pay off your debt and keep all your bills current. Start living within your means. Just because you see Lil Wayne on TV bragging about all the money he has doesn’t mean you have those same means. If you keep buying Cristal on a Coors budget, you’ll get kicked out the club.

    Stop eating out. When your friends ask you to go out, be honest about not having money to go. Just because you have $200 in your savings account doesn’t mean you have to spend it, and how much you have saved up is nobody’s business but your own (and your partner, if that’s a mutual decision you’ve come to). You don’t need the latest and greatest of every gadget that ever comes out. Make do with what you have. There’s entirely too much free stuff out there in the world for you to waste your hard earned money on frivolous things.

    4 – Average People Talk More Than They Act

    I spent my early 20s halfheartedly pursuing a career in the music business on the side of my day job and school. Although I decided to pursue other career options, I learned a lot about the music business from the experience. You’ll constantly meet musicians if you go out and about town – they’re everywhere. The problem is that most of these self-proclaimed “musicians” aren’t actually making any money in the business. They have nothing more than a pipe-dream. If they were really going to explode on the scene like they tell it, you’d be hearing about them from someone else, and they’d be too busy working to talk to you.

    That was just one example. People constantly talk about a book they should write or how interesting their life is as though their birth and the events of their lives entitle them to some sort of celebration. These people sit around their entire lives with their hands out, waiting to be “discovered” and given instant super-stardom. They think that by telling everyone they’re already successful, they can trick their way into becoming the person of their dreams. Unfortunately they end up dying as just your average broke dreamer who never lived up to their potential.

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    5 – Average People Focus on the Past

    We all have complicated pasts. It’s not like we all spend decades on Earth and nobody but you ever gets cheated, swindled, hurt, or worse. Everyone is a three-dimensional human being with many facets in their lives. We all have our own unique perspectives and experiences. My point is that you’re not alone — we’re all suffering.

    Average people focus on their past. I’m not saying you should be a robot or drone with no feelings or history. Missing your childhood doesn’t bring it back. You can’t turn back time. You only get one chance at life, so make it count. The past and future only exist in your mind. What happened to you at 12 years old isn’t affecting whether or not you wake up today, eat anything, and go to sleep. Brush that chip off your shoulder and perk up. Focus on the here and now, and you’ll find yourself in more than average situations.

    6 – Average People Have Lottery Dreams

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      When I win the lottery, I’m finally going to straighten out my life, because money is the source of all my unhappiness — surely an influx in cash will provide everything I need. When I win the lottery, I’m going to fix-up my backyard, finish all my projects, travel, make time to care about my family, and accomplish everything else that I’m too lazy to do right now.

      None of these are unobtainable dreams or goals, but you have to be willing to put in the work. You’re going to suck at first, but you’ll learn by doing. Planning is great, but executing plans requires disciplined actions. I’m a writer living with a teacher in the summer. Instead of stressing about work, she’s off for the summer, and I work from home. We haven’t had to leave the house for much more than recreation and the occasional errand in weeks. I get paid to fly kites, play video games, read the news, and surf the internet all day. I couldn’t tell you the last time I got out of my pajamas and loungewear.

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      I didn’t win the lottery. No external easy button came along and changed my life. I put my nose to the grindstone and worked 24/7 to get where I’m at, and I’m still not even close to my goal. I have a comfortable life, and it didn’t take money to obtain. It took patience, resourcefulness, perseverance, and the willingness to adapt. Instead of sitting around planning the garden I’d have built if I could afford it, I tilled, watered, and fertilized the soil. I planted my own seeds, and nurtured my life my way. I put in the work, and reaped the rewards. Keep your lottery ticket.

      7 – Average People Think Inside the Box

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        When lucky enough to be approached by the occasional box while meandering down the path of life, the average person will jump in it like a cat or toddler to play and begin thinking completely within said box. By contrast, successful people stand outside the box like grown folk, shaking their heads at the absurdity of the scene. Your problems aren’t as black and white as you think, and they’re certainly nothing to get worked up about. If the tragic event in your life isn’t being broadcast on the news, it’s because you’re experiencing something everyone goes through. Since the world isn’t going to end based on your decision, don’t put too much thought into it.

        One of the best ways to gain other perspectives is to communicate with someone you trust. Whether it’s a parent, child, partner, friend, or therapist, talk your problems out with someone. They may see an angle you didn’t, even if it’s some wonky work mumbo jumbo. If you need to figure out a difficult problem or just identify some unknowable in your life, family and friends are a great resource. Worst case scenario, you discover you can’t depend on any of them and can move on to some new people — a valuable life lesson.

        8 – Average People Are Never Responsible

        A Democrat or Republican in office never did much to change my daily life. God isn’t responsible for pulling each individual out of the gutter. We all deal with terrible people, but I’ve most definitely met more good people than bad. If you’re not getting the point yet, we’re all responsible for our own lives. We create our own reality with our own effort.

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        Successful people understand this concept and spend their time working. Average people watch TV and play on the internet, wondering why nothing is changing in their lives — it must be because of your age, race, beliefs, bad luck, or anything else you can blame it on. It rains on everyone, my friend. You make the decision whether to run, stand in the rain, avoid it, use an umbrella, help people around you, or just dance.

        9 – Average People Have Unfinished Projects

        The average person constantly starts something new and wants to explore it…until things get difficult. Once the going gets tough, the average fluff loses their gruff, while the tough get rough. Don’t start golf, spend $3,000 on equipment, then decide you don’t like it, and take up video games, which costs hundreds to thousands of dollars per year. Don’t be a sneaker head who lounges on the couch watching cable TV all day, draining electricity, and wasting money — walk a mile in your shoes, and if you fill them, they will come.

        Have a guitar you never play? Sell it. Is there a huge truck taking up half your backyard that you’re incapable of fixing or moving? Tow it. Your dead goldfish, ornery dog, barren garden, dirty laundry, etc. are giving people the impression you’re not in control of your life. You’re missing out on all these important aspects of your life because you’re focusing on the wrong things: work, bills, your overbearing boss, car troubles, rent, mortgage, insurance, what other people are doing, celebrities’ lives, and oh so many other unnecessary burdens on your brain. Either shit or get off the toilet – finish those projects, or salvage/sell the materials. Stop saving your best for a later date; it’ll never come.

        10 – Average People Choose Average Lives

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          The President of the United States is no average person. Barrack Obama is the leader of one of the largest civilizations on Earth. He didn’t get there by choosing an average life — Obama chose leadership. He put in the work, and he took the reigns (that’s not a typo). Because he chose that life, he made decisions to bring himself toward that life. He didn’t hang out with his friends while secretly harboring his political aspirations. POTUS put himself out there.

          If you want to be average, all you have to do is keep your dreams and goals to yourself. Do nothing to accomplish them. After enough years go by and you realize the world doesn’t stop for you, keep telling everyone about all of your past accomplishments. Soon you’ll start hating the music, TV, and movies you ignored life for. You’ll yearn for the good ol’ days you’ll never get back. Life doesn’t have a reset button. You had your shot, and you chose an average life. Now enjoy the fruits of obscurity… or change your destiny.

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          Last Updated on July 18, 2019

          How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

          How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

          Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

          However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

          Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

          Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

          There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

          Better Job Offers

          Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

          People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

          Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

          You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

          Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

          A Shot at Entrepreneurship

          Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

          We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

          13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

          1. Update Your Resume

          You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

          Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

          While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

          There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

          2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

          Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

          That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

          To hone this skill:

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          Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

          Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

          This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

          How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

          3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

          Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

          Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

          To hone this skill:

          Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

          4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

          No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

          Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

          To hone this skill:

          Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

          Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

          These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

          The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

          5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

          Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

          How to hone this skill:

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          Practice being resourceful.

          Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

          Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

          No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

          If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

          6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

          6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

          Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

          The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

          Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

          How to hone this skill:

          Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

          Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

          17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

          7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

          Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

          What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

          How to hone this skill:

          Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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          Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

          5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

          8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

          Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

          Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

          How to hone this skill:

          Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

          Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

          What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

          9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

          How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

          Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

          How to hone this skill:

          Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

          Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

          The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

          10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

          Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

          How to hone this skill:

          Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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          Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

          What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

          11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

          Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

          You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

          How to hone this skill:

          All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

          How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

          12. Build Networks and Relationships

          You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

          Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

          How to hone this skill:

          Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

          To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

          How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

          Final Thoughts

          Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

          You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

          Happy career switching!

          More Resources About Career Advancement

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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