Raise Your Average: An Exercise To Shift Your Perception
You might not be average, but you have an average. Each day, you perform roughly the same at work, eat the same kinds of food, exercise the same amount, do the same things. I call this Your Average. Your Average isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Your Average could be pretty nice—maybe you have a good job, hobbies you love, and healthy relationships with your friends and family. But when you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, like there’s something more you’re supposed to be getting out of life, like you need a change, then Your Average becomes a problem. It holds you back, keeping you stuck in your normal routine.
To move forward, you need to raise Your Average. A great way to do that is to use what I call the Average Accelerator exercise. This exercise will help to change your perception and thus your actions, raising Your Average.
The average accelerator
First, I want you to imagine that you have a target out in front of you, with a bullseye at the center. Next, place every non-negotiable in your life inside that bullseye, right in the middle. Anything negotiable is up for discussion—there’s flexibility; we can talk about it. Non-negotiables, on the other hand, shut any other ideas down. Your non-negotiables are the things you know that you must do: go to work, make money, exercise, stick to your commitments. Non-negotiables are things that you are going to do no matter what. You don’t even have to think about them; they’re going to happen.
We all have a lot of non-negotiables in our lives, and they are specific to you and your life. Yours are different than mine, and mine are different than my neighbor’s, and so on. Your non-negotiables might include picking up your kids from school, taking your vitamins, or paying your rent or mortgage on time. By definition, your non-negotiables are things you are already doing on a consistent basis, because they are non-negotiable—they must happen. They are not simply the things you know you want to accomplish someday, like “Making X amount of dollars” or “Going to the gym every day.” If you’re not currently doing those things, then they are completely negotiable.
Place these items—the things you want but have not yet achieved—in the additional, bigger rings on the target.
Now take a look at all the items on your target. The bullseye with your non-negotiables is Your Average. That is where you spend the majority of your time, energy, and money. The truth is, we pretty much ignore the outer rings because we’re preoccupied with our bullseye. We keep shooting at the important things in the bullseye because, of course, who wouldn’t want all those points, right? While you’re so busy shooting at the things that are non-negotiable, you’re missing out on the bigger game.
Now obviously, you can’t stop shooting at the bullseye. Those items are non-negotiable; they need to happen. The trick is to make your bullseye bigger. Expand the bullseye so that it includes the negotiables that are most important to you. This represents a shift in perception. Those negotiables are now non-negotiables, and you must take the actions that will ensure you complete those items.
Raise your average
Yes, I know: this is easier said than done. But I’m not asking you to expand your bullseye to fill the entire target. I’m simply asking you to grow a little bigger—to raise Your Average. Start small. Expand your bullseye just enough to turn one negotiable into a non-negotiable. Then, once you are comfortable with this new bullseye, expand it again. This works. It has worked for me, and it has worked for many of my clients. If you want to achieve your goals, you must make them non-negotiable.
Change your perspective, change your actions, change your results.
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