Saturday, March 18, 2006

The 'Average Curse'

Regular readers of my blog would probably have already realized that I have many interests in life. At the risk of sounding very pompous - I read a little, love to write, enjoy listening to music and singing, play the violin, play cricket, table tennis, badminton, and many other games/sports, follow politics/current affairs and try to keep up with the happenings on the economic front. Ofcourse, my chosen field is software development, and I am decent at what I am supposed to do.

However, in all of this, I suffer from what I call the "Average curse". While I may not suck at any of these, I am not exactly an expert in any of them. There is always someone in my friends' circle who can thrash me in each one of these. For example, for everything technical, my good friend Balbir is head and shoulders above me. If you take cricket, there are at least three or four of my close friends who can whack my bowling for over 20 runs in an over, and prevent me from scoring any when they come on to bowl. And then there is TT, where again, I am an also ran. If it comes to music/singing, even my nephews can do better! My brother may not have had formal training in music, but he can recognize raagas even before I can hear them!

In fact, like fractals for which the part is a reflection of the whole, my average curse takes effect both at macro and at micro levels. In computers, for example, I am supposed to have done a Masters' degree with specialization in compiler concepts, but I know atleast two people with no formal background in the field who can run rings around me in the subject. The same applies to networking or security - two fields on which I've worked earlier. Or for that matter, C++ - my favourite language.

So, essentially, you get the bane of my life - being average. An also ran. Now, don't get me wrong. It is not that I am frustrated with what I have. I mean, there is a wholely positive side to this - I do have some amazing friends who can keep me on my toes all the time. But still, there is one side of me that wishes I had something of my own - where I could be a Vijayan, if not a Stroustrup.

Anyways, had to get that off my chest.


Abhi said...


I fully agree with you on this one. I have also become a JOAMON-- Jack of all and Master of none :(. There is not one thing which I can claim that I am exceedingly well at. And this is only in comparision with my circle of friends and relatives!!

We youth dont get to focus on any one single thing to gain the expertise required. I feel that we are very satisfied people who think its enough to know in bits and pieces-- never bothering to learn anything fully.

Sometimes I get so frustrated with this "Average curse" that I decide to do something substantial in some field... But sadly, it is always like a budget proposal!! Never implemented. :(

Ps: Hope atleast now, I will 'decide' to improve on something and try to get out this curse!!

Balbir Singh said...

Well, you would probably be a celebrity if you were too good at something :-)

Being very good at something at some point involves unnatural abilities. I also feel there is an issue at attempting too many things.

I think I am below average at most of the things, but I am happy cause I know I will get better at them if I ever decided to completely focus on them - probably even master them - but that sadly is not my goal in most cases.

Being "average" is not a curse, it is a boon that you were born right and an indication that there is scope for improvement - which makes most of the things in life fun. Imagine if you played cricket and outscore everyone else by a huge margin -- what fun would that be?

Be careful as to what you ask for -- you might actually get it!

Gops said...

Hi Abhi,

We 'youth'? ;) Thanks!!! :)
I do agree with what you say. We never bother to dig the depths of any subject - like my friend Balbir said once "dig a well deep enough to find water".

Do let me know how your improvement plans go...

Welcome back :D
Well, yes, I'd love to be a celebrity - wouldn't you? I still don't agree with what you say about the "Average curse". If I were to outscore everyone by a huge margin, I would be happy, delighted, and satisfied!!! Getting rid of the "Average curse" is something I would want to get!

Anonymous said...

The first thing that comes to my mind with the word 'Average' is neither good nor bad.Since this disease is so very common amongst most of us 'average' in itself has become a new category.
The word 'Average' is something that gives us a "FALSE SENSE OF SATISFACTION" like "Its OK to be average as most of us belong to this category" OR something like "It gives scope for further improvement"...etc. Trust me , one's pace of progress becomes much slower when one starts believing these words.

One proof for this is :
How different are offices today from those 20 years ago? Yeah, there could be many materialistic differences, but the BIG one is, files have replaced computers.Or should I say, files today have become intangible.Whow!!
Guys.....before basking in the glory of technological advancement, just relax and think over.Just think ,who has made an advancement? What's your contribution to this ?
I am afraid the answer would be NOTHING. Nothing other than blindly obliging and letting things happen to us.Doing usability testing doesn't make one technically strong.
what about our mindsets? How many of us are able to think differently? OR how many of us are willing to do something meaningful in life? How different are we compared to 20yrs ago? Trust me 20yrs is a Loooooooong time! Is there any progress?
Originality and creativity in diverse dimensions, proactiveness in social/political/economical responsibilities, cultural mannerisms are all going for a toss.Most of us are not even technically strong. The most common excuse for this is lack of time as we all are busy doing what an average man/women today does.The key factor being, the word 'average' has heavily overshadowed us in every way.

Each one of us are special here. Lets show some respect for our time on this part of planet,strive hard and try to excel in the fields of one's interests.
There is nothing worse than being 'ordinary'.

Gops said...


Couldn't agree with you more. Except about the part regarding cultural mannerisms.

But if you are who I think you are, I can always talk about this in person, so, I'll do that :D