The Curse of Being Average

Where is Your IQ on the Bell Curve?

While most people do not want to admit it, the vast majority of people are in fact, average.

The bell curve that applies to IQ can also be applied to anything that has a statistical average.  That large blue portion that encompasses 68% of any given population is the area of the first standard deviation on either side of the literal average.  The brown area is the second SD and the light blue area is the third SD.  The grey area is the fourth and is the realm of the extremely exceptional on both ends of the spectrum and in all categories.

Basically, blue is most people, brown is the noticeably above or below average, light blue is very much below or above average and grey is wow on both ends.  This applies to looks, intelligence, creativity, physical strength and a bevy of other qualities which people judge both themselves and others upon.

Most people who are active on the internet have seen this distribution curve before and are familiar with it.

The funny part of “averages” is that when surveys are taken about self-perception of any given personal quality or attribute the average (median) result is that people rate themselves at a 7 out of 10.  That is, the MAJORITY of people rate themselves in the right hand brown second SD area while, obviously, this is not possible.

Not everyone can be exceptional in all areas.  There are a few cases of those who are extremely intelligent, extremely good-looking, creative, physically superior, what have you.  But for the vast majority of the population this is not the case.

Pursuing excellence is always a worthy goal and it is unimaginable that anyone would discourage that.  But it should be tempered with a realistic perception of both ability and potential.  A positive attitude will increase anyone’s chances of success in any field and everyone should encourage others in reaching their goals and pursuing their dreams.

But there is nothing wrong with being average in certain areas.  This is perfectly normal and the perception that it is somehow subpar to actually be average in any area can have a negative impact on people.  Those who excel in one category do not necessarily have time to devote to excelling in others and should not feel inadequate because they are not superstars in 14 out of 15 categories.

It is perfectly ok to be normal


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5 Responses to “The Curse of Being Average”

  1. Torquemada of House Stark Says:

    Found this, while searching for a nice, descriptive bell curve image. Good work, citizen! 🙂 Anyways, my IQ (by a proper test, done at a psychologist’s office, with a certificate to prove it) is 138. And your article made me happy about it again.

    Cheers from Latvia. Kristaps Resnais.

    • expressiveepicurean Says:

      Thanks for enjoying…mine is high too, unfortunately I have not maximized my potential

  2. flim flam Says:

    enjoy television!

  3. I can’t get no… « Video StudentGuy Says:

    […] books, the most recent being Outliers. Outliers is about the people who stand outside the average bell curve of achievement. they’re either remarkably successful, or unsuccessful. A bell curve is a way […]

  4. expressiveepicurean Says:

    Ive read Tipping Point and Blink, but will need to check out Outliers…the reading list is unending right now…thanks for the recommendation.

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