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How to Live Above Average

What’s Wrong with Average?


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Dan Marticio

a year ago | 6 min read

Scrolling around social media in the entrepreneur space has more or less the same message.

Keep grinding. Rest when you’re dead!

Mediocrity is the enemy!

Make tons of money. Live luxuriously.

Keep hustling ‘till you die!

Okay, there’s a lot more to entrepreneurship than that — but you’ll see those themes a lot.

At first, I loved it. I’m young. I want to make six-figures fast. Retire early. Achieve financial freedom. Own a yacht.

But slowly, the luster has faded.

It’s not that I’m not motivated or ambitious. I don’t want to live a mediocre life either.

It’s just that I don’t think I need the glitz and glamor of Insta-perfect vacation retreats and fancy cars.

I’m perfectly happy living, well… above average.

I still want to work hard. Making six-figures and up is still the goal. But it’s not some all-consuming force where I feel like my life is lacking.

Instead of living large, I want to live comfortably. I still have goals — they’re just different from my dreams of an uber-wealthy lifestyle.

So what does living “above average” look like for me?

  • Ordering a restaurant menu and not applying a “Filter by: price” in my head.
  • Start a college fund for my kid
  • Max out my IRA/401k contributions
  • Take a lovely two-week vacation 2–3 times per year
  • Affording generous gifts for loved ones during the holidays
  • Have the means to retire by 50
  • Buy organic produce
  • Afford first-class seats when flying (If I reached this level of financial security, I made it)

Living above average means I can afford a comfortable lifestyle and not have to worry about money.

Financial worry is a familiar stressor among many Americans. So many are in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, and are unable to plan for their futures.

Living above average is mostly free from those burdens, with enough disposable income to design the life you want.

What’s Wrong with Average?

Photo by Johnny Cohen on Unsplash

Now don’t get me wrong.

Just because I don’t want a lavish trillionaire lifestyle doesn’t mean that I like mediocrity. Mediocrity/averageness is no way to live — cue the backlash.

After all, you’re sitting on potential and squandering it.

Let me share a fictional story (spoiler alert: no happy ending).

Joe is a 35-year-old man. Single. Overweight. Working an ordinary 9 to 5, making two dollars above minimum wage. He hates his job but needs to pay his bills. When 5:00 rolls around, his mind switches off. The only thing he wants to do is drive home, grab a burger and fries at the drive-through, and eat it while binge-watching his next Netflix series.

He looks at his phone and pulls open Tinder. He’s been dating, but nothing ever seems to stick. The right woman will love him for him, he believes. Before he realizes it, it’s 11:00 and it’s time to head to bed.

So that he could get enough sleep and repeat the whole process.

Life could be worse.

But it could also be better. I’m sure you’d want a life more than the rut that is Joe’s fictitious life.

Mediocre people waste time, energy, their potential — and on what? Netflix and endless scrolling through social media, wishing their lives were different.

Wishing but never doing.

If you’re ready to leave your life of mediocrity and to challenge yourself to pursue a better life — a more fulfilling life, here’s how you can do it.

4 Steps to Living Above Average

Photo by Chris Ainsworth on Unsplash

#1 Start With Your Why

Before you make the change, ask yourself why you’re making the change.

Do you want to feel healthier? Do you want to be empowered? Do you want to be the alpha man that provides for his family? Are you an ambitious woman who wants to live luxuriously?

Be honest with yourself.

#2 Get Your Finances in Order

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Whether you like it or not, the degree to which you manage your finances will affect the quality of life you want to live.

In other words, your financial health will shape your life.

Yes, love, happiness, and fulfillment are all essential.

And so is money.

Money touches your daily life. It puts a roof over your head. It puts money in your stomach. It puts your children through college.

Money is a resource. And having enough is necessary to living a life above average.

Average people live paycheck to paycheck. Above average people manage their money well, which frees their mind to pursue hobbies, especially of the money-making variety.

If you’re just getting started on personal finance, I recommend picking up a book and researching smart finance habits. Also, get started with the following financial goals:

  • Create a budget. Understand how much money you have coming in versus money going out.
  • Start an Emergency Fund. Open a separate savings account with at least $1,000 in it. Use it only for emergencies, like needing to repair your car after an accident.
  • Save AT LEAST Three Month’s Worth of Expenses. How much does it cost for you to live each month? Multiply that by three. That’s the MINIMUM of how much you should aim to have in your savings. This savings account is necessary because your job is never guaranteed. If you’re fired and have no income flowing, you’ll be safe for at least three months, while you get back on your feet.

#3 Surround Yourself with Above Average People

Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

The fastest way to stay mediocre is to be around mediocre people continually.

Jim Rohn said that you’re the average of the five people you surround yourself with.

If your best friends are overweight, unmotivated, socially awkward, with no career trajection, guess what? You’ve just increased your chances of landing in the same limbo of averageness.

Run in the other direction.

Okay, that’s mean. But I’m still not taking it back.

Examine your relationships. Are they encouraging and uplifting you? Or are they riddled with negativity and whining about how the world is unfair?

Chances are, the moment you try to make a change, they will notice. They will guilt-trip you into thinking you’re too good for them. They will chip away at your motivation with passive aggression. Their jealousy and narcissism will betray your trust.

Again. Run in the other direction.

Support groups are essential to your journey into above-average. But make sure your support groups are doing exactly that — supporting you.

#4 Find Three Hobbies

Photo by Kara Eads on Unsplash

As a 27-year old, the best life advice I’ve ever read is this:

Find three hobbies.

  1. One hobby to make you money.
  2. One hobby to keep you in shape.
  3. One hobby to keep you creative.

Make money. Stay healthy. Get inspired.

Make money doing something that interests you.

Are you talented at writing or designing? Consider freelancing on the side. Love pets? Look for pet-sitting or dog-walking gigs around you. Want to finally build a business? There are tons of ways to do it online from the comfort of your home.

Your health is everything. Take care of your body.

The trick to having a hobby is to do something you enjoy. If doing something bores you, you won’t stick with it for long.

That means if running on a treadmill for an hour makes you feel like an annoyed hamster in a wheel, then don’t do it.

Find something that you can see yourself doing on a mostly daily basis.

Lift weights. Boxing. Crossfit. Zumba, if that’s your thing.

One hobby to keep you creative.

A life spent cycling between work and sleep is a dull life, indeed.

Put down your phone and instead, pick up a hobby that inspires you and keeps you creative.

And the excuse that you don’t know how to do anything doesn’t work anymore. Not when every tutorial you can think of is waiting for you on YouTube or a blog — FOR FREE.

I recently stumbled across an online course on how to grow and care for succulents. How niche is that?

I’m telling you. There is something out there for anyone. Play around with different interests before settling which one is right for you.

And do you know the added perk of pursuing a creative hobby you enjoy? You get to join online and local communities to connect with like-minded people.

Knitters, guitarists, candlemakers.

Your community is awaiting you.

Being Okay with Above Average

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

So, there’s a middle ground between hopelessly mediocre and hustle until you’re living in a multi-million dollar home in the Hamptons.

Somewhere in that middle zone is the sweet spot for me.

But whether you want just a comfortable living or want that lavish Hollywood lifestyle, the above tips will help you live an intentional and fulfilling life.

Always start with your Why.

Know your purpose and let it fill every step you take moving forward.

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Created by

Dan Marticio

Dan is a freelance writer specializing in small business and personal finance. He works with FinTech and B2B companies and has written extensively about small business, from startup guides to payment processor reviews. Hire him to write for YOU at danmarticio.com.


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