Ordinary Vs. Extraordinary

A longtime friend of mine and I got together this weekend for some great conversation. (Aren't great conversations with old friends the best?) Amid our talk, we decided there are two types of people in this world: the ORDINARY and the EXTRAORDINARY.

We decided that ORDINARY people aren't bad people - in fact, they tend to be quite nice and pleasant people - but the lack a certain passion for life. Their lives fit in pretty packages. They do what they must to meet the status quo, but they don't always enjoy what they do. Their dreams are simply dreams. These people live to just be.

EXTRAORDINARY people's lives, on the other hand, tend to look messy at times - a little rough around the edges. Often, they don't meet the status quo (perhaps they defy it), but they don't care because they enjoy what they do and they work hard at it. They sometimes make unexpected choices, but their decisions work for them. They set goals and do what it takes to see them through - even if it takes years. They revel in the small moments perhaps even more than in their successful achievements.

It's not what one does or accomplishes that makes a person fit into one category or the other. It's the zest for life they possess and the precious sparkle they add to the world.

Maybe it was my friend's and my desire to figure out what we want out of life that steered us to take on this topic, but reflecting on this conversation, I intend to make sure I live life in the EXTRAORDINARY category. We only get one chance to pursue all that the world has to offer, so why should we waste time trying to fit into a little box? Maybe I can learn from my friend Katherine, who couldn't figure out how to fit into the world around her, so embarked on a personal mission called "Project New Box." Overall, I don't want to meet people's expectations of me, I want to exceed them - perhaps throw in a surprise here and there.

I've been known to, at times, gripe because I'm not where I think I should be in life. (I am, after all, my own worst critic.) But the truth is, as messy as my life has been the past couple years, I wouldn't trade it for the world. I've experienced life outside of what I've always known. I faced hardships when things have always come easy. My life has for sure taken some unexpected twists and turns. Slowly but surely, things are working themselves out, better than I could have ever planned. Best of all, I haven't compromised my goals, dreams, values or desires to become the person others think I should be. I'm living life for me. It's been an amazing adventure.

Jordan Christy
, author of How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World, includes a quote in her book from an unknown source that speaks to this ideal:

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

We can choose to live an ORDINARY life or an EXTRAORDINARY one. What about you makes you EXTRAORDINARY?

Photo courtesy scarabuss


Crys said...

I don't think there's enough room on here to write about why I'm extraordinary. :)

Bex said...

I first started thinking about this when I was in high school. I remember it exactly: It was around the same time that I realized that, unlike all the books I read, I was never going to suddenly find out I had special powers or an eccentric rich great uncle. I was never just going to wake up and find that I had been extraordinary all along. If I wanted to be extraordinary, I'd have to make it happen.

I guess extraordinary, to me, is something that you do, not something that you are. Even Mozart and Shakespeare would have been forgotten long ago had they not chosen to actually DO something with their talent.

I think about this kind of stuff a lot. Great post, sorry I'm coming to it so late :)