On average.

clipped from www.utne.com

I once was talking to my friend and mentor Steve Chandler when he said to me, “Have an average day!” Taken aback, I asked him what he meant. Isn’t the idea to have great days, even exceptional ones?

He told me a story about one of his mentors, Lyndon Duke, who studied the linguistics of suicide. After receiving doctorates from two universities, Duke began analyzing suicide notes for linguistic clues that could be used to predict and prevent suicidal behavior in teenagers.

Duke came to believe that the enemy of happiness is “the curse of exceptionality.” When everyone is trying to be exceptional, nearly everyone fails because the exceptional becomes commonplace, and those few who do succeed feel isolated and estranged from their peers. We’re left with a world in which a few people feel envied, misunderstood, and alone, while thousands of others feel like failures for not being good, special, rich, or happy enough.

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2 thoughts on “On average.

  1. And maybe why it can be a relief when the holidays are over? The calm that can wash over a person when all the decorations are taken down and the home is returned to its everday averageness? But in any event, hope you are having some good ones Matthew.

  2. And maybe why it can be a relief when the holidays are over? The calm that can wash over a person when all the decorations are taken down and the home is returned to its everday averageness? But in any event, hope you are having some good ones Matthew.

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