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<title>I assume I'm below average </title>
<p>
96% of cancer patients in a hospital claim to be in better health than the average cancer patient.
</p><p>
93% of motorists consider themselves to be safer-than-average drivers.
</p><p>
90% students see themselves as more intelligent than the average student.
</p><p>
94% of college professors said they are better-than-average teachers.
</p><p>
Ironically, 92% said they are less biased than average, too.
</p><p>
The psychology term for this is <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_superiority">illusory superiority</a>.
</p><p>
To me, this was like finding out I'm a cylon, or this is the Matrix. Hard to accept facts.
</p><p>
At first, like almost everybody, I thought, “<strong>Yes, but I really am above average!</strong>” Then I realized I was doing it again.
</p><p>
So I decided to gamble on the opposite:
</p><p>
<strong>I now just assume I'm below average.</strong>
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It serves me well.
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I listen more. I ask a lot of questions.
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I've stopped thinking others are stupid. I assume most people are smarter than me.
</p><p>
To assume you're below average is to admit you're a beginner. It puts you in student mind. It keeps your focus on present practice and future possibilities, and away from any past accomplishments.
</p><p>
<strong>Most people are so worried about looking good that they never do anything great.</strong>
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<strong>Most people are so worried about doing something great that they never do anything at all.</strong>
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You destroy that paralysis when you think of yourself as such a beginner that just doing anything is an accomplishment.
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(Or even better, an <a href="http://sivers.org/this-is-a-test">experiment</a>.)
</p>
<img src="http://sivers.org/images/spoon.jpg" width="500" height="367" alt="there is no spoon" />
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