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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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          Published on January 7, 2021

          How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

          How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

          Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

          If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

          Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

          You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

          When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

          Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

          In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

          Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

          3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

          Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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          1. Respect deadlines
          2. Understand the work-flow plan
          3. Build in time to mess up

          1. Respect Deadlines

          Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

          One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

          2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

          Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

          3. Build in Time to Mess Up

          You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

          Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

          For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

          Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

          This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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          Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

          Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

          Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

          When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

          12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

          Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

          1. Learn to Listen Well

          You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

          Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

          2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

          Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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          3. Follow Rules

          Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

          4. Take Notes

          Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

          5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

          When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

          As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

          6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

          If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

          7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

          English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

          8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

          Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

          9. Minimize Distractions

          It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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          If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

          10. Take Breaks

          It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

          11. Make Time for Reflection

          At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

          12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

          This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

          Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

          Final Thoughts

          Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

          When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

          More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

          Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

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