The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness

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Are you above average? Is your child an A student? Is your employee an introvert or an extrovert? Every day we are measured against the yardstick of averages, judged according to how closely we come to it or how far we deviate from it.

The assumption that metrics comparing us to an average—like GPAs, personality test results, and performance review ratings—reveal something meaningful about our potential is so ingrained in our consciousness that we don’t even question it. That assumption, says Harvard’s Todd Rose, is spectacularly—and scientifically—wrong.

In The End of Average, Rose, a rising star in the new field of the science of the individual shows that no one is average. Not you. Not your kids. Not your employees. This isn’t hollow sloganeering—it’s a mathematical fact with enormous practical consequences. But while we know people learn and develop in distinctive ways, these unique patterns of behaviors are lost in our schools and businesses which have been designed around the mythical “average person.” This average-size-fits-all model ignores our differences and fails at recognizing talent. It’s time to change it.

Weaving science, history, and his personal experiences as a high school dropout, Rose offers a powerful alternative to understanding individuals through averages: the three principles of individuality. The jaggedness principle (talent is always jagged), the context principle (traits are a myth), and the pathways principle (we all walk the road less traveled) help us understand our true uniqueness—and that of others—and how to take full advantage of individuality to gain an edge in life.

Read this powerful manifesto in the ranks of Drive, Quiet, and Mindset—and you won’t see averages or talent in the same way again.

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About the author

Todd Rose is the director of the Mind, Brain, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he leads the Laboratory for the Science of Individuality. He is also the cofounder and president of the Center for Individual Opportunity, an organization dedicated to providing leadership around the emerging science of the individual. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Published on
Jan 19, 2016
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Business & Economics / General
Mathematics / Probability & Statistics / General
Psychology / Applied Psychology
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Eligible for Family Library

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Drawing on their extensive studies in The Laboratory for the Science of the Individual at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, the bestselling author of The End of Average and his research partner examine the flaws in the "standardized" path to achievement and reveal what we can learn from those who have blazed their own ways to success—iconoclasts known as Dark Horses.

If you have ever felt like you just don’t fit, this book will change your life.

Know your long-term goals, work hard (very, very hard), and stay the course in the face of all obstacles until you reach your goal. This is the commonly accepted formula for fulfilling goals and dreams. But what if we have it exactly backwards? While this standard formula works for some it fails for far too many. Then there are those who buck the formula and triumph on their own terms. They are called dark horses. Researchers Todd Rose and Ogi Ogas have studied these dark horses, and in this groundbreaking book, use the experiences of these mavericks to demonstrate that there is a different and better formula for success.

The Dark Horse Project was born at the Harvard Graduate School of Education to research alternative paths to excellence. Dark horses demonstrate that the secret to personal accomplishment is not dependent on connections, money, or standardized test scores. The secret is a special mindset that empowers them to consistently make the right choices to fit their circumstances and complement their unique interests and abilities. The philosophy behind this mindset is simple: it is not the pursuit of excellence that leads to fulfillment but rather the pursuit of fulfillment that leads to excellence.

Dark Horse reveals the five elements of this mindset that have been road-tested by a wide array of individuals nurturing every manner of aspiration. No matter where you are in your career, Rose and Ogas show how the dark horse mindset can guide you to a life of purpose, authenticity, and achievement.

These Habits and Exercises Will Help You Build Iron-Like Resolve and Self-Discipline

Do you make goals, yet get discouraged when your plans don’t work? We all know that person who seemingly was born to succeed. Fitness, health, business, they achieve all their goals. You want that success, and know you can get it... but how?

Everywhere you turn, there are obstacles that block your path. Being successful doesn’t mean avoiding them, it means meeting those obstacles head-on and pushing through. You need the self-discipline and willpower to see you through to the end. You need the tools that will enable you to have that self-discipline and willpower. Daily Self-Discipline has those tools.

Inside, you’ll learn methods to:

- develop powerful self-discipline by building a fit body and mind,

- thrive in face of adversity, cravings, temptations and discomfort and feel good about it,

- develop key self-awareness skills to push yourself through to your goal,

- gain a clear vision of how self-discipline works that will inspire you to carry on no matter what,

- keep pushing when nothing seems to work and you’re on the verge of giving up.

Each page of this book is designed to help you build the self-discipline that leads to the resiliency and mental strength you need on a daily basis. Simple everyday exercises and habit-forming practices will teach you the skills you need to overcome obstacles and have confidence in yourself and your path to success.

Keywords: develop self discipline, willpower and self discipline, self-discipline, self control books, stress, reach your goals, self-control, achieve your goals, instant gratification, long term goals, goal setting success, goal setting books, how to reach your goals, how to achieve your goals, persistence, how not to give up, stick to a diet, stay motivated, build habits, delayed gratification, personal development
How to Develop Self-Discipline, Resist Temptations and Reach Your Long-Terms Goals

If you want to make positive changes in your life and achieve your long-term goals, I can’t think of a better way to do it than to learn how to become more self-disciplined.

Science has figured out a lot of interesting aspects of self-discipline and willpower, but most of this knowledge is buried deep inside long and boring scientific papers.

If you’d like to benefit from these studies without actually reading them, this book is for you. I’ve done the job for you and researched the most useful and viable scientific findings that will help you improve your self-discipline.

Here are just a couple things you will learn from the book:

- what a bank robber with lemon juice on his face can teach you about self-control. The story will make you laugh out loud, but its implications will make you think twice about your ability to control your urges.

- how $50 chocolate bars can motivate you to keep going when faced with an overwhelming temptation to give in.

- why President Obama wears only gray and blue suits and what it has to do with self-control (it’s also a possible reason why the poor stay poor).

- why the popular way of visualization can actually prevent you from reaching your goals and destroy your self-control (and what to do instead).

- what dopamine is and why it’s crucial to understand its role to break your bad habits and form good ones.

- 5 practical ways to train your self-discipline. Discover some of the most important techniques to increase your self-control and become better at resisting instant gratification.

- why the status quo bias will threaten your goals and what to do to reduce its effect on your resolutions.

- why extreme diets help people achieve long-term results, and how to apply these findings in your own life.

- why and when indulging yourself can actually help you build your self-discipline. Yes, you can stuff yourself (from time to time) and still lose weight.

Instead of sharing with you the detailed "why" (with confusing and boring descriptions of studies), I will share with you the "how" – advice that will change your life if you decide to follow it.

You too can master the art of self-discipline and learn how to resist temptations. Your long term goals are worth it. Scroll up and buy the book now.

As a gift for buying my book, you'll get my another book, "Grit: How to Keep Going When You Want to Give Up."


Develop self discipline, willpower and self discipline, self-discipline, self control books, stress, reach your goals, self-control, achieve your goals, instant gratification, long term goals, goal setting success, goal setting books, how to reach your goals, how to achieve your goals, persistence, how not to give up, stick to a diet, stay motivated, build habits, delayed gratification, personal development

William Todd Rose reinvents the zombie story with a thrilling novella of a post-apocalyptic America where saviors are heroes . . . and heroes are killers.
A fatal virus—a biowarfare experiment unleashed on an unsuspecting world—has reduced the once-mighty United States to a smattering of tribes dueling for survival in the lawless wilderness. The disease-free folk known as Settlers barricade themselves in small villages, determined to keep out the highly contagious Spewers—infected humans who cannot die from the virus but spread the seeds of death from the festering blisters that cover their bodies.
Tanner Kline is a trained Sweeper, sworn to exterminate Spewers roaming the no-man’s-land surrounding his frightened community. As all Settlers do, Tanner dismisses them as little more than savages—until he meets his match in Spewer protector Lila. But when hunter and hunted clash, their bloody tango ignites a firestorm of fear and hatred. Now, no one is safe from the juggernaut of terror that rages unchecked, and the fate of humanity hangs on questions with no answers: Who’s right, who’s wrong . . . and who’s going to care if everyone’s dead?

Praise for Apocalyptic Organ Grinder
“With strong echoes of Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, William Todd Rose’s Apocalyptic Organ Grinder delivers on all fronts. The action is brutal and the blurring of man and monster intelligently and inventively handled. Rose has written a smart thriller with a ton of heart.”—Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award–winning author of The Savage Dead and Inheritance

“The book just took me away. . . . The prose is beautiful.”—39 Purple Sunrises
“Dark, and definitely not fluffy . . . a no-holds-barred look at what may happen in the future.”—Mrs. Condit & Friends Read Books










◆ 蘇文鈺 成功大學資訊工程學系教授╱偏鄉兒少程式教學計畫「Program the World」創辦人
◆ 陳怡光 臺北市影視音實驗教育機構主任
◆ 張瑋軒 「女人迷」創辦人暨執行長
◆ 莊智超 IOH開放個人經驗平台創辦人
◆ 江湖人稱S姐 職場力部落客╱商周專欄作家
◆ 理查•布蘭森 維京集團創辦人
◆ 亞當•格蘭特 華頓商學院教授╱《給予》作者
◆ 艾美•柯蒂 哈佛教授╱《姿勢決定你是誰》作者
◆ 丹尼爾•品克 知名趨勢寫手╱《未來在等待的人才》作者
◆ 丹•希斯 《創意黏力學》作者
◆ 霍華•嘉納 「多元智能之父」


◎身為一個創業者,每一天纏繞於心的問題成千上萬,但最終都會指向一個終極問題──我們該如何更好?我們該如何追求卓越?追求卓越之前,本書的關鍵概念極為重要──必須超越對平均與常態的習慣,重新認識個人特殊性的意義。我們已在不同的時代,需要重視每個「個人」的特殊性,這也是我所希望打造的女人迷企業文化,女人迷會因為每一個人的特質去做變化,而不是個人須符合企業固定的職位敘述。在大量、工業化時代之後,我相信這個時代,就像第二次文藝復興一樣,我們必須重新恢復人的價值,重新體現每個人的獨一無二!──張瑋軒 女人迷創辦人暨執行長


◎為何我們努力地想和別人一樣,但同時又明白這個社會需要不一樣才能成功?同樣也是一個中輟生,我大聲附和作者所說的:平均值才是通往成功路上的絆腳石!──理查•布蘭森 維京集團創辦人




◎作者是少見的奇才,他的論述不僅鼓舞人心,而且他是對的。他翻轉了我們對天分的假想,提供更有說服力的方式重新想像我們的世界。精采的故事、最新的資料、大膽的觀念,這本書一點都不平庸。──亞當•格蘭特  華頓商學院教授,著有暢銷書《給予》


◎徹底的震撼!──丹•希斯  《創意黏力學》



◎在天分的戰場上,我們竟錯失了挖掘的大好機會。本書指出:所有測量成就的方式竟成了反指標,嚴重低估每個人的複雜面向,導致我們忽略天分、脈絡、性情三者的結合才能顯現的個體特質。這是一本會讓你放在心上的書。──約翰.史立.布朗  德勤尖端中心獨立共同主席


◎有趣、有用、有深度。作者破除用數字來衡量成功的迷思,本書將幫助每一個人終結平庸,遇見自己的真實力。──哈佛教授艾美•柯蒂 哈佛教授《姿勢決定你是誰》


Sure to thrill readers of Stephen King, Joe Hill, and Dean Koontz—William Todd Rose’s new dark horror novella is a tale of bloody retribution that blurs the line between the waking world and the terrors of the night.
There’s only one thing standing between humanity and the dark forces of the supernatural: the secret agency known as The Institute. The organization depends on regular guys like Chuck, a Level I Recon and Enforcement Technician who guides tormented spirits into the next life.
From an office deep underground, Chuck projects his spirit into Crossfades, monstrous realms where the souls of the dead, unable to move on due to fear or anger, devise macabre tortures for themselves and one another. He’s always been able to leave his work behind at the end of the day . . . until now.
First in dreams, then in waking nightmares, Crossfades are bleeding into the physical world. And now it’s up to Chuck—along with his partner, a woman named Control—to put a stop to it. Because there’s no telling what might come over from the other side.

Praise for Bleedovers
“Rose never lets up when it comes to disturbing concepts. . . . [Bleedovers] has a lot to offer those who love their horror.”—Publishers Weekly
“Bleedovers by William Todd Rose is a strong second novella in a series, and readers will want more of this strange world. . . . Rose has a gift for creating believable science fiction worlds that are wrought with real, and even imagined, dangers around every corner.”—Savvy Verse & Wit
“I give Bleedovers a five out of five.”—Bewitched Bookworms
Combinando la ciencia y la historia con sus propias experiencias, Rose trae a la vida la historia sin narrar de cómo llegamos a aceptar la idea científicamente equivocada de que se pueden usar los promedios para entender a las personas, y ofrece una poderosa alternativa: los tres principios de individualidad.

¿Estás por encima del promedio? ¿Es tu hijo un estudiante de primer nivel? ¿Es tu empleado una persona introvertida o extrovertida? Todos los días se nos mide con la vara de los promedios; se nos juzga por lo cercanos o lejanos que estamos a ella.

La suposición de que una medida que nos compara con el promedio, como los escalones en el desarrollo, las pruebas de personalidad, los resultados estandarizados de exámenes y las evaluaciones de desempeño, revela algo significativo en cuanto a nuestro potencial se encuentra tan grabado en nuestra conciencia, que pocas veces lo cuestionamos. Todd Rose nos dice que esa suposición es espectacular y científicamente, errónea.

En este libro, Rose demuestra que nadie es promedio. Pero aunque sabemos que los seres humanos aprendemos y nos desarrollamos de maneras distintas, estos patrones exclusivos de conducta se pierden en nuestras escuelas y empresas, que han sido diseñadas alrededor de esa mítica «persona promedio». Durante más de un siglo, este modelo ha pasado por alto nuestra individualidad y ha sido incapaz de reconocer el talento. Ha llegado la hora de cambiar esa situación. Combinando la ciencia y la historia con sus propias experiencias, Rose trae a la vida la historia sin narrar de cómo llegamos a aceptar la idea científicamente equivocada de que se pueden usar los promedios para entender a las personas, y ofrece una poderosa alternativa: los tres principios de individualidad.
El principio de la irregularidad (el talento nunca es unidimensional), el principio del contexto (los rasgos son un mito) y el principio de las sendas (todos andamos por el camino menos recorrido) nos ayudan a comprender nuestra verdadera exclusividad, y la de los demás, y cómo aprovechar al máximo nuestra individualidad para tener una ventaja en la vida.

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