There’s probably not a lot of us who wake up in the morning saying “I just want to be ordinary,” at least I hope not. Most of us have goals and dreams and aspirations of being more and doing more with our lives, work and careers. We have ambitions but in a lot of cases something derails them along the way. It’s not intentional but it happens. A gap gets created between where we are and where we want to be.
It’s when we settle.
When we let the resistance of life and the effort of progress push back on us to a point where we stop pursuing more… not because we don’t want it, but simply because we’re preoccupied with merely trying to get by. Trying to pay the bills, raise the kids, have some sort of balance, etc. Can you relate?
But that’s where the problem slowly creeps in. We start to trade our desires for what is comfortable and easy to achieve. We begin to see the accomplishments of others and admire them, even wish for them in our own lives but there we sit… admiring instead of doing.
Doing is hard. Comfortable is easy but it’s wrapped up in maintaining the status quo and a one way path to ordinary.
If you want to be extraordinary, at whatever it is you do, then you have to pay the price to get there. Being the best starts with desire but is then followed with actions.
It takes effort. Sometimes it’s not a lot but… it’s a little more than what we’re usually giving it right now.
Why does it seem so hard?
A lot of us over estimate the gap between ordinary and extraordinary. We create this picture in our mind that says the gap is too wide. We make it appear unattainable. The gap requires too much sacrifice, commitment and work. We tell ourselves we can’t clear it, even with a running start. We make excuses. We stall. We want to get to the other side but we’re standing on the other edge just wishing instead of doing what needs to be done to build the bridge and walk across.
The gap isn’t as big as we make it seem. In fact, the bridge to cross it is only 5 letters wide.
E X T R A
That’s what fills the gap between ordinary and EXTRAordinary.
It’s not the big things. It’s the little things done every day that make the difference in helping us move from where we are to where we want to go or from who we are to who we want to become. It’s a choice. It’s not very easy and it’s certainly not focused on being comfortable. But that’s part of the deal. If you want to grow, you have to stretch. Stretching can hurt a little but the more you workout the easier it becomes. Same goes for moving from ordinary to extraordinary.
You don’t have to be an Olympian trying to swim .02 seconds faster than your opponent for this to apply. It’s practical to each one of us in almost every aspect our lives depending on where you apply it.
Think about your life and what would happen if you:
- Made two or three EXTRA sales or client calls each day?
- Looked for ways to add EXTRA value by offering solutions rather than just pointing out problems?
- Went the EXTRA mile and did a little bit more on a project or responsibility than just what was expected of you?
- Owned it. If you treated it like it was your own and poured your heart into it with a little EXTRA attention, detail and commitment.
- Spent an EXTRA 15 minutes each week and called, emailed or mailed a hand written note to 3-5 clients or friends expressing your gratitude for their business or contribution in your life?
- Chose to turn off the TV a few nights each week and replace that time with something EXTRA that would help you rise above (working out, writing, connecting, etc)?
- Gave a little EXTRA time to your kids, spouse and family by being present, encouraging and uplifting?
- Gave a little EXTRA to others in the form of everyday kindness and generosity? A smile. A helping hand not because what they’ve done for you but because of what you can do for them.
Each of these things is nothing major. They are just little EXTRA’s that, over time, add up to big results. And the best part is that not only does this help you but it helps others along the way. When you choose to go from ordinary to extraordinary, people notice, they become inspired and are often challenged to bridge the gap with a little EXTRA of their own.