Being extraordinary doesn’t just happen. Doing something amazing isn’t an accident. Living an extraordinary life doesn’t come naturally.
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.”
4. Stop whining.
5. Fear less.
6. Be kind.
8. Lead someone.
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.
18. Be an expert.
19. Stop defending yourself.
20. Decide to take action today.
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.
31. Practice getting back up.
32. Shake hands while looking the other person in the eye.
33. Assume the best in others.
35. Listen to your critic.
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.
45. Share more.
46. Love someone.
47. Have a dream.
48. Get up an hour earlier.
50. Apologize more.
52. Put yourself in tough places.
53. Cry when you are hurt.
55. Don’t stop until you finish.
56. Be passionate about others.
58. Appreciate differences.
59. Be less selfish.
60. Ease someone else’s pain.
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.
69. Ask more questions.
72. Think for yourself.
73. Put in more effort.
74. Ask for help.
75. Tell the truth.
77. Decide not to get angry.
78. Explore new ideas.
79. Be more effective with your talents.
82. Make a list of tasks to get done.
83. Live with honor.
85. Avoid the crowd.
86. Stop being passive aggressive.
87. Find answers to your questions.
88. Be accountable.
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.
95. Shake off the straws before they break your back.
96. Offer encouragement.
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.
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.
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.
126. Decide that caring is more important than winning.
Excerpted with permission from EDGY Conversations: How Ordinary People Achieve Outrageous Success by Dan Waldschmidt