I read somewhere of someone asking how to make her life extraordinary. Is your life ordinary? Mine too. The good thing with life is we are all born ordinary. Yes, others may have been born with a silver spoon in their mouth, but that does not make them extraordinary. Outwardly, perhaps. They live in huge abode than anybody else, do not need to clean their toilet like anybody else, and even have bodyguards and assistants who are always attentive to their every need.
Still, those things do not make someone extraordinary. Being extraordinary is an inward thing. It is a journey. It is a choice. Media may have its definition about being extraordinary by the way some things or people present themselves. That is why many aspire to be great, famous and wealthy in order to become extraordinary. Worse, they do all means whether acceptable or not just to get there. And we are all amazed at how they managed to climb on the pedestal they are currently standing on. However, when some things got out of hand, we then become shocked upon learning that someone with their standing committed suicide, or got divorced.
Having the same feelings and emotions is what makes us ordinary just like anybody else. What makes us extraordinary is the way we handle ourselves, our strengths, our weaknesses, our gifts, our pains, our life questions.
How then can we become extraordinary? I got the following hints from ordinary people trying to lead extraordinary lives. Together let’s walk through the pathway of their experience.
Be the best version of yourself
When we are in a difficult situation we tend to forget our better self. Most often we associate our self with the situation. When the situation is unfavorable, we also believe we are unlucky or just plain stupid. Being the best version of our self does not mean we are perfect. It means we are the best in our imperfections. It is to maintain grace in the presence of pressure.
It also does not mean we have to be somebody we are not. It’s normal that we admire some people. They only serve as an inspiration but not paintings to be imitated stroke by stroke. Thus, we need to discover our strengths. From there we follow the blueprints within us that make us great just as we are.
Be nice with others
Be nice to yourself first. You could not give what you lack. From there extend that niceness to the people around you. Most people shrink when they are expected to be nice. All because being nice is wrongly linked with being weak. They do not know that it requires great strength to be truly nice. As Richard Dawson said, “Be nice to each other. You can make a whole day a different day for everybody.”
Follow your passion
J.K. Rowling became the first billion-dollar author by following her passion. Passion is a flame that ignites our very being every time it is expressed. Whether our passion is as simple as gardening, nothing can compare the ecstasy we feel every time we see literally the fruit of our labor.
Look for beauty
Beauty is everywhere. It can be the smile of a child, the grace of old age, a flower in bloom, or simply looking within. Beauty presents itself effortlessly when it is sought by an unclouded mind. It is easier to find beauty by freeing our minds from our conditioned thoughts.
Practice random acts of kindness
When you show kindness to others the one who benefits more from it is our self. Take that from me. The sunny feeling of having been kind lasts a lot longer. And it brings a lightness inside for having shared a part of yourself with others.
Build people up
It is easier to tear people down than by building them up. That is why this is so challenging for most of us to do. If we want to be remembered or leave a lasting legacy, we have to muster all our strength to build up others.
Be surrounded by extraordinary people
In one of my unlucky days, I asked myself why had I been so stupid in my judgments. It then dawned on me that I had been surrounded with people of mediocre thinking. They’re nice, they have dreams but they’re not the type who’ll do anything to chase their dreams. Hence, I exited myself from their presence. We may not be physically surrounded by extraordinary people, but their works are much accessible through the internet. Also, we can join organizations online that draw out the best in us.
The present is inevitable. We could not change the weather, our culture or other people. We have to accept whatever the present puts in our table. The present is just the way it is. If there is something we don’t like in the present moment, we have to accept it, then tweak something that would promise us a favorable future.
Be the hero of your own story
Each of us has our own dragon. We may either slay it or tame it to our advantage. The surest way is to slay the thoughts that would bring the villain in us. Heroes too never give up that easily. Whether in victory or captivity, we can be heroes when we maintain that tenacity within. Heroes are powerful. That power lies within. And when that power is brought into the open, others would benefit from our hero journey.
Heroes do not serve themselves. They serve Someone up there greater than themselves. And when they do it rightfully their power is increased.
Let us then serve God even if others do not. Remember, we might be the only gospel that others ever read.
Are you now ready to live the extraordinary life? Me too!