The “2nd best” theory

Throughout my life, I’ve always struggled with expectations. I was not the most

  • intelligent (those straight A students get on my nerves sometimes)
  • popular (I wasn’t even with the geek crowd)
  • athletic (I still remember missing the rugby ball on my first kick)

amongst other things (let’s leave it at that, shall we?). I was doing well enough, but I was failing miserably at trying to be the best. Then it hit me.

You don’t have to be the best. You just have to be the 2nd best at everything!

Have you heard of the bell curve? It looks something like this:

Bell curve

Statistically, most people are in the middle (yellow zone), getting average results. The people with above average results are one zone to the right (green), and the high flyers are to the extreme right (blue zone).

To reach the “above average” green zone, it just takes a little bit more effort than average. Then, and this is the important part, unless you’re naturally good at it, it will take significantly more effort than average to be a high flyer.

“But this is common sense!”, you cry out.

I hear you, and well, sometimes I’m lazy, and the significantly more effort part is giving me problems. Significantly more effort means I spend more time honing just one skill. What if I can use this time and effort to bring up the level of my other complementary skills?

So I strive to be above average in everything I do. The goal? To be at the top of “above average”. To be hovering between above average and high flying at everything I do. While I’m doing this, I will inch towards high flying results.

I do what I can about things I know little about (be average) and ask for help. I focus on needed skills (be above average) and excel at my natural strengths (be high flying).

Tomorrow, I will share with you how this “2nd best” theory can make you a happier and well balanced individual.