I don’t know the exact definition of “average person”, but someone described it as a person who does not really excel at any particular thing, but ain’t the worst either. One who has an average rating in his/her skills. Not outstanding neither poor. Maybe it’s like the saying:
Jack of all trades, master of none.
So what makes a person average? One might say you can tell by the average academic achievement, average work performance, average income, or even average look.
Can all the average scores be improved? Absolutely. Got an average academic scores? Study harder. Average work performance and income? Work harder, or, smarter, or both. Average look? Work out, treat your body nicer, or you can use the abundant beauty products, makeups, and fashion.
It’s true that not everyone born as prodigy. Not everyone can compose music at the age of five like Mozart. Or graduated summa cum laude at 12 years old from a university like Sho Yano. Or started to play golf at 2 years old like Tiger Woods.
You don’t have to be a gifted prodigy to be successful. Even the famous successful inventor, Thomas Edison once wrote:
“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
So it’s obvious, even though you are not a prodigy, it’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t mean that all doors to success are closed for you.
I can’t say I’m a successful person since I still have a lot of things to achieve in my life. So I can’t really write a recipe for success. But recently, I heard a wonderful sermon from Pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest Church at the Chinese New Year 2010 service. The sermon is much longer and a bit different to the following, because I’ll share and adapt to what I think is more relevant to the topic.
1. Sow and plant the seeds
Don’t just wait for miracles to happen. You can’t grow anything if you keep your seed in your pocket. Sow it! Plant it!
Money won’t fall down from the sky or grow on your back. If you think you are not a prodigy, then learn. You can’t expect to play musical instruments on concerts without learning. Don’t expect perfect academic scores without studying. If you’re not from a wealthy family like Paris Hilton or if you are not an ultra-lucky person like Gladstone Gander (Donald Duck‘s cousin) who won all the lotteries, don’t expect to get a lot of money without doing anything.
You have to invest your time, energy, mind, effort, and money to be able to produce something.
2. Maintain your seeds and plants
You can’t just sow the seeds and leave them. They may get dehydrated and die. Crows may come and eat them. Take care of them by watering regularly, fertilizing, and protecting them from pests and other threats.
After investing your money, you still have to manage it. If you’re not careful, your money value can grow insignificantly or may even diminish.
Same thing with skills. Once you start learning a skill, you have to keep learning until you master it. If you stop in the middle of the learning process, you will never be able to master it.
3. Wait for your seeds to grow
If you plant your seed tonight, you can’t expect it to fructify in the morning. You need to wait, give it enough time while maintain it so it will grow healthily.
You can’t expect to become a world-class cook overnight, or build a nuclear reactor tomorrow if you just started to learn physics today. Be patient and keep your determination to learn and train and surely you’ll get better in time.
Once again, not everyone is born prodigy. But you don’t have to be one to be successful. Some people became successful very late in their lives. Colonel Sanders started his franchise business in his sixties. Albert Einstein had a speech difficulties in his childhood.
4. Sow the right seed on the right ground
Don’t try to grow Durians in Chicago. Durian is a tropical fruit that will stop growing when the average daily temperatures drop below 22 °C. So if you really really need to grow it there, you’ll need extra efforts, like building a greenhouse. Or grow evergreen plants instead.
So if you’ve trying hard to learn and pick up some skills but you still feel that you’re not improving much, then maybe it’s not your ground. You’ve been learning cooking day and night for the past few years, but your cooking still taste bad. Then maybe you’re not born to cook. Try something else. Or if you really want to cook regardless the fact that you’re not talented, you can get more professional help such as taking cooking courses instead of just learning only from books.
Sometimes, you still want to be able to grow Durians although you live in Chicago. Although there are workarounds for this, you won’t get an optimal result. Just because some people regard Durians as the king of fruit, it doesn’t mean everyone will appreciate it. Some will even hate it, either the taste, the look, or the odor. So be creative and open-minded. You may have great potential talents deep inside you, waiting for you to uncover them.
Not everyone has to be a businessman, or a politician, or a musician, or a scientist. Just because some people think geniuses should be good at math, it doesn’t apply to everyone. Just because people think that medical career promises fame and wealth doesn’t mean that everyone should become a doctor.
There are a lot of geniuses. Some are geniuses in business, some in science, some in language, some in social skills, some in kindness, some in teaching, some in philanthropy, some in sincerity, some in honesty, some in relationship, some in intelligence, some in diligence, and a lot of other qualifications that people can be geniuses in.
Maybe not all kind of skills can make you rich. Being kind and philanthropist many times even cost you money. But successfulness is not only measured by how much money you can earn in life. You don’t have to be rich to become successful. But don’t ignore your potential just because you or others think that it’s not a money-making skill. Appreciate it, improve it, and maintain it. Sometimes you never know when you will need your hidden talents. And if you’ve neglected it, you can only regret when you realize that you actually need it.
5. Focus on certain types of plants instead of trying to plant all of the kind
Your ground and time are not limitless. You don’t have the time to plant all kind of seeds and your ground can only hold so much. So if you try to plant to many seeds, you will harvest a little of everything. It’s usually better to harvest a lot of one thing.
So if you want to pick up a lot of skills, you will end up learning those only on the surface. You will know a lot things but not actually understand them. It’s good to know a lot of things, but you still need to be very good at something — not only know — to be regarded as an outstanding (above average) person. Focus on one or two things you really like or you think you have a good potential in. Being a specialist can distinct you from others.
6. Ask for God’s guidance and blessing
You have planted all your seeds. You take care of them everyday. But it doesn’t rain for months. It’s so dry that you can water your seeds enough. The weather has been so bad, and pests are coming like flood. You can do anything to salvage your plants. You realize, a man can only do so much. You need the divine intervention.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t go against God’s purposes. No matter how hard you train your body, you can still get sick, grow old, and die. No matter how skillful you are, you can’t live without God’s blessing. You have to realize, that everything in the world is not eternal. And everything is in the mercy of the Lord. So not only you have to work hard, you have to maintain a good relationship with God to receive the divine guidance and blessing.
7. After harvesting, sow again
So your seeds have grown and fruitful. You happily enjoy your harvest. Then you stop working. Can you expect another harvest? You have to continue working, continue sowing, continue maintaining, in order for you to continue harvesting.
Even if you already master the skills you want. You will still need to continue sharpening and using it. Otherwise it will become dull.