When I ask people where extraordinary shows up in their lives, they usually describe the BIG THINGS like the birth of a child, an extreme accomplishment, or getting a front row parking spot at Costco. “Extraordinary” seems most often to be perceived as unusual, rare, and not a normal or every day occurrence.
When I ask what extraordinary FEELS like, most often a smile appears, and then I hear things like: awesome, exhilarating, joyful, fulfilling, successful, peaceful, alive, happy, exceptional, worthy, and so on. What comes up for you?
The dictionary describes extraordinary as: 1. exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy; remarkable. 2. going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary.
Notice that it doesn’t state HOW FAR beyond usual/regular/customary before extraordinary is achieved!? That’s the great news because if you know me even just a little bit, you know that I’m all about challenging our UNsupportive BS: Beliefs and “Shoulds”.
Words carry a lot of power and can instantly trigger emotional responses. Since the word extraordinary is so charged with powerful positive feelings, I say we change our BS around reserving it for once-in-a-while-big-ass-life-events and use it regularly in our EVERY DAY LIVES!
Oh yeah… who wants more of that?!
Think about it… if:
- extraordinary is something that makes us feel ANY amount of awesome/happy/peace etc. whatsoever, and
- the dictionary describes it as simply “going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary”, then why not create extraordinary REPEATEDLY every day?!
You don’t have to invent something life changing, or win the Nobel Peace prize… simply start with the little, ordinary, everyday things you repeatedly do, and make their details—the ones that matter to you—BETTER. Even just a little bit. Over time, those little bits add up to a whole lot of extraordinary and become your new way of life.
Soon, normal = extraordinary 🙂
There are 2 THINGS that massively contribute to creating and maintaining extraordinary.
The first is simply noticing. Noticing is all about being present, as in really being in the moment, without multitasking or being in a hurry. Being in the moment gives us the opportunity to NOTICE. When we multitask, we miss the details because we’re focusing on the outcome. The outcome is the FUTURE, not the right now. In that way of functioning, our mind is thinking several moves ahead …what’s next, then next after that? Someone once said, “To multitask is to do neither task well”.
The more focus we give to any one thing, the more extraordinary it becomes… The key is for your MIND to be present. When your mind is present that’s when you actually notice all the fabulous details that YOUR BODY is constantly receiving… smells, sounds, textures, sensations, flavours, connection, and so on. The thing is, your body is receiving these sensations REGARDLESS of whether you pay attention to them or not. When you’re not, it’s like scarfing down a Snickers bar during a rerun of Breaking Bad and hardly realizing you ate the whole thing! The same yummy ingredients were there for your enjoyment whether you were concentrating on Heisenberg’s shenanigans or that chocolatey-nougat combo…
NEXT TIME, you pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea (or a fabulous glass of cab-sauv… or whatever), then consciously DECIDE whether it’s going to be part of a multitasking ritual you barely register, or if you’ll CHOOSE to have it be an extraordinary opportunity to relax, reframe, indulge, watch a sunrise, connect with someone you love—even just for 15 minutes—where you actually notice the taste, the aromas, your surroundings, and so on.
There’s a scientific benefit to extraordinary as well! Physiologically, when we’re present and focusing on something we enjoy, our systems function better due to the LACK of stress and unease, thus benefitting our overall health. On the other hand, when we’re multitasking and not being present, our stress levels rise and we’re much more susceptible to getting sick.
Okay, so the SECOND PART of extraordinary is GRATITUDE. These two are like best friends; they are always together. Gratitude is a very powerful force. If you’re ever stuck on trying to find something extraordinary, just ask yourself what you have to be grateful for. Bingo… there’s your extraordinary! The things we’re grateful for are the things that MATTER to us. Therein lies a fabulous clue to what you may want to focus your energy on creating more of in your life.
My grandmother once told me that I could look for beauty in all things and find it. She was right. There will always be challenges, and stress, and hardships, and boohoo BS… but the good stuff, the beauty, the EXTRAORDINARY is all just a change-of-mind away 😉
Fearlessly live an extraordinary life…
I believe in you!