The unorthodox list of 16 attributes that will take your from average to stratospheric.

1. Introduce yourself to everyone and anyone.

If you want to stop being average, you need to let the world know who you are. You need to introduce yourself to everyone you come in contact with.

At cocktail parties, at the office with people outside your department, wherever! If this feels weird at first the best place to practice is when you grab a coffee: when the barista asks you for your name for the order, kindly ask them for theirs after.

2. Optimize your body during breakfast.

Too often do people find themselves eating a high carbohydrate and sugar diet during the morning.

This causes their blood sugars to spike and then deplete rapidly throwing off their energy levels. Instead, try a high fat, high protein diet that slowly burns energy for the subsequent hours of the morning (I choose greek yogurt with a nut and seed medley over the top).

3. Take a punch to the face.

Both literally and figuratively. In life, you cannot have prosperity without struggle. That’s true by definition.

You also cannot have good without bad.

When you fall over and get knocked in the face, you callous over and come back stronger than before. A physical punch in the face builds humility and strength in the face of adversity.

4. Create your own PhD.

Once we leave school, we really have two choices: we can settle for what we have, press the “easy button” in life and glide through till our heart stops beating.

Or perhaps we can press the “hard button” become a life long student, always be reading always be learning and make mistakes that teach us the way. The “hard button” is the way to overcoming average.

5. Put your oxygen mask on first.

When was the last time you took a flight?

Remember when the flight attendants go through their safety protocol and they talk about in the case of loss of cabin pressure, apply your oxygen mask before helping others? This is a metaphor for life.

You cannot expect to change the world and overcome being average if you are focusing on other peoples’ problems over your own. Clean yourself up first.

6. Throw away your television.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers were onto something with that title track.

Stop being mediated.

Cable and satellite providers are doing nothing but providing you with mental heroin for >$50 month. Fire your cable provider and take back your freedom. Forge your own way. The mediation of the large telecom companies are influencing your average life.

7. Resist falling into credit card debt.

What are the biggest concessions you have to make when you fall into debt?

Well, for one, you don’t give yourself the freedom to look for a job that complements your personality.

You need the money and you need it now to dig yourself out of the hole you’re in. When you stay away from debt you allow yourself the freedom of choice. Choice makes you powerful.

8. Learn the art of negotiation.

What is the point of trade?

When you unpack that question it really becomes the idea of two or more parties switching products or services with one another with the outcome of leaving the exchange in a better spot.

Great trade can be achieved by learning negotiation. Practice asking what you want and mix that with empathy for what the other party is looking to gain.

9. Listen to your muse.

Modern technology and society is a double-edged sword- at least for a lot of people. We find ourselves in an economy that allows us a lot of comfort and ease.

We are virtually able to have what we want, when we want it.

This comes at a cost- many of us feel lost and misguided.

Why is that?

We have a lost our drive and mission.

We are working at companies that don’t fill the void in our souls. If you like to write, write. If you like to make jewelry, make jewelry. If you like to blog about comic books, blog about comic books. Following you muse can turn into a side hustle which can turn into a business which will surely take you out of average.

10. Have the hard conversations.

The truth will set you free. It may be cliche but it’s 100% true.

What conversations have you been having in your head that need to be actualized with a real recipient?

Is a romantic partner holding you back?

Is there something you need to demand from your boss?

Is a family member stalling you from really truly optimizing your life? In order to smash average you need to sit down and stare the devil in the eyes and have the tough conversation that’s holding you back.

11. Sweat.

Your body is an amazing machine.

In order to overcome average, it is imperative to optimize your body and fitness.

We often forget the mind-body connection. You cannot have an optimized mind if you don’t optimize your body.

Sweat everyday. Jog, lift weights, box, swim, have sex, etc. Make sure you are working out your heart and training your muscles.

12. Mind your diet.

This goes hand in hand with the above point. If you are going to take your body to a level above average you are going to need to fuel it with the proper nutrition.

Stop eating foods that have a commercial (processed foods).

Make sure everything you are putting in your body is either coming from the Earth or from animals that are fed products of the Earth. Ideally, you are going to look for non-pesticide animal product and non GMO plant products. If you don’t have the funds to afford these higher priced products, go with the GMO and pesticide products over the frozen food aisle and processed junk.

13. Crave the uncomfortable.

Growth happens when you in a new and uncomfortable situation. When you are stagnant and complacent you will not grow.

You need to undertake projects you don’t have too much experience with.

When you are put up against a wall you have two choices: wither and cower into defeat or push back, grow and learn how to tackle the new challenges that come your way.

14. Learn to fast.

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse is an amazing book. In the book, the protagonist, Siddhartha finds himself negotiating for a job as a merchant. When asked of his skills Siddhartha responds with,

“I can read, I can wait and I can fast.”

So what does this tell us?

Siddhartha is illustrating his mental prowess and will power. He can read- he is always learning and adept with the most important tool- human language. He can wait- he is patient, he won’t be thrown to the whims of near-sightedness. He can fast- his willpower can conquer all, he won’t be seduced by the trivial gluttonous vices of life. To overcome being average, learn to strengthen your will power.

15. Learn to laugh at yourself first.

Humility is a liberating tool. Life can be so absurd at times. Laugh at the absurdity of it all and especially the absurdity of you.

Life cannot be taken too seriously. Have fun with it all. When you fall flat on your face, own it.

When you make a fool out of yourself, own it. You’re going to trip and fall regardless, embrace it and never feel embarrassed again.

16. Believe that you “can” (even if you need to fake it).

Sometimes it’s hard to build inner confidence. Sometimes you need to tell yourself you’re a king in order to live it.

When I wake up in the morning and when I’m walking down the street I catch myself partaking in internal negative self talk.

When I finally identify this pitfall I quickly correct the internal dialogue with, “I am enough” and I say it over and over. I keep saying it until I begin to smile.

To overcome average and mediocrity tell yourself “you’re enough” because I’m damn sure you are.

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