9 ways to be above average

37 thoughts on “9 ways to be above average”

  1. Good post Steve. I agree with all the points you mentioned. Currently we have the “Oh Shit” money, but trying to have the “FU” money πŸ™‚

  2. I’m pretty good with your list except the debt. We have way too much mortgage debt on 3 properties. Someday, we’ll consolidate and get rid of most of that debt.
    Here’s one – limit recreational screen time to 2 hours/day. This is tough with all the entertainment options nowadays.

    1. I was trying to be a little more open-minded with #3. πŸ™‚

      I agree, mortgage debt can be an absolute killer, and you don’t necessarily make money in real estate. I lost a ton on the first (and only) house I bought.

  3. People don’t read enough. It’s unbelievable how small the portion of people that actually take time to read things. I admit I was one of those people too. Yes, the print is too small but that’s probably more reason why you should read it.

    Ahhh it drives me nuts as a Airbnb host and guests come in having read nothing. Um, you just booked someone’s house – don’t you think you should have read what you booked??? Even just the intro paragraph?

  4. Great list! I have long accepted that there are many people out there who are smarter, richer, nicer, better-looking, and just better in general than me, so I don’t feel too bad about myself.

    Being perfect is not attainable. Thanks for pointing that out with this great post, Steve! πŸ™‚

    1. Most welcome! Yup, there will be people that are better than us out there. But a lot of the time, they are just trying to look the part, too. It doesn’t actually mean they are better. It means they want to LOOK like they are better. πŸ™‚

  5. “Ancient” iPhone 6 user here, thanks for the love πŸ™‚ Great list, I’ll take above average any day of the week. As for reading, I read so much now (blogs) that my high school English teacher would be shocked hahaha. Take care Steve.

  6. My LG phone, which I only paid $60 for brand new in the first place, now has a crack in the screen after I carelessly dropped it. Everything still works perfectly fine though, so I’m riding this baby out till she dies. Most folks would likely replace it because it now “looks bad”. It’s a phone, it’s not a runway model.

    So yeah, learning to live with imperfection or “less than 100% beauty” is a handy skill indeed!

  7. Nice list, Steve! The only thing I might add is to start early. I didn’t do that and it’s taken me a lot longer to get to the point where we are today.

    And, dammit, I just upgraded my old phone this year… now you’re making me feel guilty! πŸ˜‰ I couldn’t take it anymore and just got the Galaxy S8. For a cheap bastard like myself it was a splurge, but I’ll definitely hang onto it for years to come.

    — Jim

    1. Don’t feel bad, just take care of it and keep it for quite a few years. That way the cost per year will be pretty small. I have a Galaxy S6 which I still like and is in excellent condition. I’ll keep it for a few more years if possible and only upgrade if can snag a super deal. But you have to be careful talking about fancy new phones and cars on these blogs πŸ˜‰

  8. Old number 9, my nemesis! I had a manager who gave me exceptional reviews every year, each year his number one critic was “Smile More”. Ten plus years later I still struggle with #9 but since early retirement I think I am finally beginning to smile more.

  9. Good points Steve. For me its been about just trying to do better and right the ship. Small improvements really add up and can make a big difference. Eat a little smarter, cut back a little on some areas you spend too much, etc. Start small and make progress. Once you get going you’d be surprised how much the momentum can carry you.

  10. I like this list, it’s one I’m killing it on! πŸ˜‰ Love Courtney’s smile, makes you smile right back for sure. I want to add eat healthily most of the time and be active at least 15 minutes per day.

  11. Having “Oh shit!” money has been such a game-changer for us. Over the last few months we’ve had several $1000 emergencies (and mini-emergencies). I had a health scare in November that also cost a pretty penny. This fund can save your finances!

  12. My dad used to tell me that half of life was just showing up. The truth of that has played out over the course of my career as I see folks who literally, and figuratively, just don’t bother to show up.

    I remember reading a book by Ben Stein a few years ago where he stated “The Best is the enemy of the Good. And Good is usually good enough.” He was relating it to screen writing and folks who just could not let things go and so never sold scripts. I can appreciate that. As a lawyer I work with the most perfection oriented group you could imagine (I’m an exception). The 80/20 rule, as applied to the law, and to life generally, has improved the quality of my life greatly.

    Good list, Steve.

  13. Great list Steve! I feel like one of the best ways to do better than average in life is to simply care — care about whatever it is you do, and you’ll get better results.

  14. “Don’t try to cheat the system, because you are the system.” I know I love it when people to justify purchases, especially when I read that on blogs. Hey it’s your money and your life. It doesn’t affect me either way. It still comes out of your bank account! lol

  15. Good read Steve, thanks for posting. Another one that I’d add is “ask questions” and/or “be curious.” You pretty much hit it in #8, but I’m still amazed at how many people I come across fail to try new things or ask others for advice. I guess being average is easier than being above average, but being above average is way more fun!

  16. Love it!
    I do 8 out of 9 of these. I suck at goal setting and achieving goals but it looks like I’m doing well on the others.
    I love to be thought of as above average. My kids think I’m below average in everything!

  17. “For extra credit, seek out voices that you probably disagree with and read those things too.”

    Well, you probably just lost everyone! It feels like no one does that. But I’m a big fan of it. You don’t know you’re wrong until you find out, and I’d rather discover that myself instead of being shown πŸ™‚

    I have always been a “try to be the absolute best” kind of guy, but recently I’ve embraced “good enough”. We don’t have infinite time or money or energy, so declaring “good enough” on one thing frees yourself up to work on more important things you can have more impact on. In order to discover that I had to read a dissenting opinion though…!

  18. I’m not really into the latest iPhones or any andriod phones(Samsung Galaxy) that are always advertised. Give me the minimal smart phone and I’m okay. I have an LG that I recently bought for $70 after 4 years with the older model LG. I literally ran that phone to the ground since it stopped working and forced me to get my newest LG. I plan to have this phone until it doesn’t work too.

      1. Silikon skin/cover and a tempered glass screen protector. My old Galaxy S3 fell down a couple flights of stairs, off a second floor deck, and more tables and counter tops I could ever count. I still have it and it works. That $5 for the skin and $3-4 for the tempered glass are always a good investment. Heck if you buy tempered glass protectors multi pack, you can usually end up only paying ~$2 per protector and are set for a couple years (I go through one or two a year).

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