These days I do a ton of thinking about my life’s purpose and the contribution I need to make to the world. There is this feeling that resides deep down inside of me that I can’t shake. It is this undefinable inkling that I’m not doing everything I can to change the world, to use my abilities for the benefit of others, and ultimately, I am simply not displaying the courage to stand out.
I am living an ordinary life. This is my ordinary:
- Ordinary at work is showing up, doing what is asked of me, and doing it very well. It also means not identifying with my work and looking forward to leaving the office every evening.
- Ordinary at the gym is showing up, doing an hour of exercises, and getting out of there because its already 8:00… because I had to show up to work first.
- Ordinary at home is cooking some dinner, watching a tv show or reading a couple chapters, cleaning up, and getting in bed at midnight. I neglect relationships because I just want to spend time doing the things I feel like I should be doing since I don’t identify with my work.
- Ordinary sleep is getting 6 or 7 hours because I can function with that amount.
- Ordinary weekends are stopping by a few of my favorite shops, eating out a couple of times, having a couple of beers, reading some, and realizing its Sunday before I know it.
- Ordinary is taking people for granted. Spending time without really investing in the relationship.
You know what ordinary is. Ordinary comes from getting in a routine and settling for it. Ordinary comes from avoiding those uncomfortable situations without guaranteed success. And there is nothing inherently wrong with ordinary. It is comfortable and generally harmless. It provides streaks of intense happiness, and occasional lows of sadness or frustration.
Now let’s talk about extraordinary. When I think about extraordinary living, I think differently.
- Extraordinary at work is relentlessly generating ideas to pursue my passion. It is waking up everyday with a smile on my face and ready to conquer the world. It is spreading ideas and products and services because I know they are so important that others shouldn’t have to live without them.
- Extraordinary at the gym is getting up at 5:00, pushing myself beyond exhaustion, getting some intense cardio on the bike or with a jump rope, and then being energized for the rest of my day.
- Extraordinary at home is shopping on Sundays to make gourmet meals all week, intentionally planning my free time to invest in relationships that matter, and consuming ideas and messages that inspire and ignite my passion and creativity.
- Extraordinary is forming good habits like eating healthy, getting 8 hours of sleep, and working out so that I am so productive during my days that there is no need to stay up until midnight.
- Extraordinary weekends are skipping the routine and saving on superfluous spending to have life-changing experiences. It is planning to explore local markets or faraway cities. It is finding a hidden stream full of trout in which I can learn to fly fish. It is chasing my dreams and taking my loved ones with me so we can share in the experience.