126 Ways to Be Extraordinary


Being extraordinary doesn’t just happen. Doing something amazing isn’t an accident. Living an extraordinary life doesn’t come naturally.

Related: Stop Making Excuses for Who and Where You Are


What comes naturally is to just be ordinary.


And that is how most of us stay. Ordinary. Average. Mediocre. Active yet ineffective. Moving… but not toward our dreams.

Being ordinary is a bad plan. Pursuing the path of least resistance means high-grade mediocrity and close-but-not-quite-there results.

Mediocrity is an effecting (and frustrating) villain. It is neither crashing defeat nor breathtaking failure. But a slow, soul-sucking poison. A silent assassin.

One minute you’re standing on top of the world. The next you’re at the bottom of the heap, scratching your head and wondering what happened. You’ve completely lost your mojo. And you’re not even sure how you got to this awful place called mediocrity. And more than anything else, you want your mojo back. You want that confidence, that feeling of control, that ability to perform at high levels.

You want to do more, be more.

There is a word for that. A word to describe something that transcends mediocrity. A word that communicates “more than average.”


Not ordinary. Something extra.

But how does extraordinary happen?

Extraordinary starts with you—perhaps an ordinary person at an ordinary job doing ordinary things on an ordinary day. No special advantages. No remarkable skills that can’t be duplicated. No large bank account. Just all-around “ordinary.”

Then, you decide to do something extra. To be something extra. Something a lot-a-bit extra. And not just one time. But day after day after day.

And then one day, everyone watching you will notice that “ordinary” is no longer an accurate description for the person you have become. For what you have done. And they will shake their heads and remark that what they have seen is extraordinary. Because it was. And because you will be.

And that’s how extraordinary happens.

By not being satisfied with ordinary. By being vigilant. Being obsessed. No excuses. Just a relentless focus on being better.

It’s deciding to go the extra mile when the last mile was hard enough. It’s controlling your mind in spite of the obstacles ahead.

It comes down to this really simple thought: If you don’t make time to pursue being extraordinary, then you’ll never experience true greatness. All you’ll ever know is mediocrity.

You’re already making time to be average and ordinary.

Why not choose to be extraordinary?


1. Open the door for a stranger.

2. Say, “Thank you.”

3. Learn from your mistakes.

4. Stop whining.

5. Fear less.

6. Be kind.

7. Let yourself be inspired.

8. Lead someone.

9. Pay off debt.

10. Choose a side.

11. Pay more for quality.

12. Lend a hand.

13. Let past mistakes go.

14. Be invincible.

15. Be more efficient with your time.

16. Stop playing politics.

17. Plan to be successful.

18. Be an expert.

19. Stop defending yourself.

20. Decide to take action today.

21. Fight mediocrity.

22. Laugh at life.

23. Go to bed tired.

24. Ask what you can do better.

25. Give a stranger flowers.

26. Hold the elevator door.

27. Compliment a great idea.

28. Work on being patient.

29. Create what’s missing.

30. Stay in mental shape.

31. Practice getting back up.

32. Shake hands while looking the other person in the eye.

33. Assume the best in others.

34. Try something new.

35. Listen to your critic.

36. Get into financial shape.

37. Donate time to charity.

38. Teach what you’ve learned.

39. Give an opinion when it’s hard.

40. Care about others.

41. Pay attention to the details.

42. Be a friend.

43. Do physical labor.

44. Brag on someone else.

45. Share more.

46. Love someone.

47. Have a dream.

48. Get up an hour earlier.

49.  Write down your thoughts.

50. Apologize more.

51. Stay mentally strong.

52. Put yourself in tough places.

53. Cry when you are hurt.

54. Have a purpose each day.

55. Don’t stop until you finish.

56. Be passionate about others.

57. Pay attention to the conversation.

58. Appreciate differences.

59. Be less selfish.

60. Ease someone else’s pain.

61. Imagine the possibilities.

62. Smile at those around you.

63. Care enough to cry.

64. Make a call because “you’re thinking about them.”

65. Be a mentor.

66. Fail gracefully.

67. Practice being vulnerable.

68. Decide to be optimistic.

69. Ask more questions.

70. Read a new biography.

71. Do something outrageous.

72. Think for yourself.

73. Put in more effort.

74. Ask for help.

75. Tell the truth.

76. Get some exercise.

77. Decide not to get angry.

78. Explore new ideas.

79. Be more effective with your talents.

80. Slow down (for a few minutes).

81. Pursue your goals each day.

82. Make a list of tasks to get done.

83. Live with honor.

84. Feed your inspiration.

85. Avoid the crowd.

86. Stop being passive aggressive.

87. Find answers to your questions.

88. Be accountable.

89. Work on your biggest weakness.

90. Replace “No” with “No thanks.”

91. Let someone else get the attention.

92. Listen with your eyes.

93. Say what’s on your mind.

94. Defend your friends.

95. Shake off the straws before they break your back.

96. Offer encouragement.

97. Meditate on your goals.

98. Don’t do anything halfway.

99. Do good things for the right reasons.

100. Get help for your head.

101. Demand brutal analysis of your actions.

102. Put in the effort you expect of others.

103. Share a good example.

104. Offer to buy dinner or dessert.

105. Decide to learn from everyone.

106. Make a big deal of small wins.

107. Let life happen around you.

108. Have a big vision for those around you.

109. Enjoy others’ success.

110. Inspire others quietly.

111. Deliberately invest in healing.

112. Welcome diverse perspectives.

113. Don’t go to bed angry.

114. Anticipate the success of others.

115. Value your own time.

116. Ask others to “pay it forward.”

117. Write a kind note.

118. Offer to help for free.

119. Have a plan.

120. Overlook immaturity.

121. Care less about being right.

122. Schedule time to invest in others.

123. Give away your best idea.

124. Stop being offended so easily.

125. Remember the good times.

126. Decide that caring is more important than winning.

Related: Do These 30 Things If You Want to Be Unstoppable


Excerpted with permission from EDGY Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success by Dan Waldschmidt


Dan Waldschmidt’s spent his life attempting (and often achieving) the outrageous. He refuses to accept business as usual—making him an unconventional, yet highly effective, consultant to some of the world’s largest companies.

Having devoted years to studying thousands of the world’s most unlikely high performers, he’ll share stories of ordinary humans achieving outrageous success that will enliven you to launch an extraordinary life.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar Moses on May 4, 2019 at 6:39 am

    Interesting piece

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