A Tiny Bit Average

Are you average and proud of it? If I had to guess, your first reaction was “No way, Greg. I’m WAY above average.” And you’re absolutely right. In many ways, you are indeed way above average. And believe it or not, that might be one of your biggest problems.

I know – the first time I saw that statement it threw me for a loop. I thought it was the craziest idea I had ever seen. I mean, I’ve been working on self-development, working on being above average, for the last two decades. How can that be my biggest problem?

And then I took a few minutes to read more about the idea. You see, it was taking the idea of “dollar cost averaging” (an investment strategy) and applying it to life in general. A simple example of dollar cost averaging would be: I invest $50 every week in a particular stock. Sometimes, the market is up and my money buys less. But sometimes the market is down and my money buys more. Over time, my investment account continues to grow and I don’t have to worry about trying to time the market. Instead, I just think long term and invest a comfortable amount for as long as I can and before I even realize it, my investment has grown beyond my expectations.

Blogger James Clear¬†started applying that idea to life in general and especially in areas where his life didn’t seem to work quite like he wanted. For example, he started weightlifting in an effort to improve his physical condition and he noticed that when he followed conventional advice, his results were sporadic. He applied the dollar cost averaging idea to his weightlifting for a year and found that his results were wildly beyond his expectation. Instead of going for monumental gains every few weeks, James lifted just a few more pounds each week. He had basically dollar cost averaged his weightlifting – pound gain averaging, to be more accurate. And he did not hit a single plateau the entire year.

So, how is your biggest problem that you are above average? If you’re anything like me, you get really happy when your results are as good or better than you expected. And you get really REALLY down on yourself when your results aren’t quite what you expected. When everything is said and done, those highs and lows can be an above average drain on the emotions and cause motivation to virtually disappear.

But what if we avoided the highs and lows and instead we started dollar cost averaging towards our goals? As one example, I want to read 14 new-to-me books this year. I have figured out that I read about 10 pages with good comprehension in 15 minutes. So I have started reading 15 minutes every day, knowing that some of the new books will be thicker and some will be thinner. In other words, by investing a very easy 15 minutes per day in reading, I will have read and digested 3,650 new pages of information, ideas and consolidated wisdom. And honestly, if I don’t actually hit the goal of 14 books, I will still be WAY ahead of the game.

Take a moment and think about one of your goals for the year. How could you apply the dollar cost averaging idea to that goal? Leave a comment and share your ideas and thoughts.

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