How to be Above Average

Most think they are above average.

For example, in one survey 94% of college professors claim they do above average work.

Statistically, it is impossible that 94% of any group is above average.

An educated group of college professors should understand the statistical impossibility that all of them are superior, but illusory superiority leads people to believe they are more capable than they really are.

All groups are divided into predictable ways. Most are divided according to Pareto’s principle, otherwise known at the 80-20 rule.

Pareto’s principle says that for most things, 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort.

This theory has been proven over and over to be true across many applications.

For example, 20% of the richest people in the world account for 80% of all global income. This generally holds true for athletes, income, students, employees, or any measurable statistic in any group of people.

It can be said more harshly, 20% are winners, while 80% are losers.

What separates the winners from the losers?

Today, everyone has access to the same information—there are very few secretsThe blueprints for success are available for free at every library.

Most highly accomplished people have biographies that describe their path, and if you pay close attention, they all have three things in common.

  1. First they choose – High achievers simply choose which group they belong to. They do not wait for anyone else to anoint them with elite status, because that day will never come. They appoint themselves to the 20% group.
  2. They take responsibility – Winners know they are 100% responsible for their own success or failure, while losers often view themselves as victims of someone or something. The 20%ers know that by accepting responsibility for their success, or failure, they become empowered to decide their own fate.
  3. They think and behave like winners – It’s impossible to belong to the 20% group while hanging on to the beliefs or behaviors of the 80%. Winners model winners.

Earl Nightingale summarized these three behaviors:

“If you had no successful example to follow, in whatever endeavor you choose, you may simply look at what everyone else around you is doing and do the opposite, because—The majority is ALWAYS wrong.”

The majority is the 80%, but you get to chose to be part of the 20%.

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5 Responses to How to be Above Average

  1. Christy says:

    Hi Chuck,
    Everyone has a different filter of life experiences in which they see the world. That said, what I notice in my world is that winners are always focused on what they need to be doing to not care what others think of them. In the meantime, losers will always attribute their *misfortune* on someone or something. Great post! Consider tweeted:-)

    • Chuck Rylant, MBA, CFP says:

      I like that Christy. I like it a lot! I’m really interred by superstars that are eccentric like Eminem, Madonna, Michael Jackson, etc. These type of people create their own identity and do nothing to follow the crowd and it makes them a huge success. While us mere mortals are trained and work so hard to fit in and not be different. I’m not 100% sure if that’s what you meant Christy.

      • Christy says:

        LOL Chuck I was thinking about ‘mere mortals’ when I wrote that! Whether it is a homemaker taking care of her family, a person working at a job, a small business owner taking care of a business, the people “I” see are goal focused. They have a goal and will not rest until that specific goal is accomplished. Another trait the winners have, is they are always questioning how they can make things better or more efficient.

        They are definitely not following the crowd 🙂

      • Chuck Rylant, MBA, CFP says:

        “They have a goal and will not rest until that specific goal is accomplished.” That’s it when it comes right down to it!

  2. Dayo says:

    Pareto’s principle has been my best management principle. I apply it in all of my projects

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