Conway Daily Sun, Wed. Aug 23, 2011
Do you have an extraordinary life? What does it take to realize such a thing, and is it possible for ordinary people to obtain? I suppose we need to know what we mean by extraordinary. I feel fortunate to live such a life, and yet I can’t define it except to say you’ll know it when you’re there, and that if I can do it – well, anyone can.
The most astonishing thing to me is how simple it is to get an extraordinary life; problem is, it only becomes clear once you know you’ve already achieved it.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone more ordinary than me. The humblest of beginnings taught me well. A series of successes and failures taught me still more, and more importantly taught me that there is really no such thing as successes and failures; only outcomes and lessons. If I can schlep along, hammering out an amazing life, then surely you can too. Finding happiness or perhaps we should call it peace, or maybe contentment, or comfort, or fulfillment, or confidence, or faith; finding that elusive quality to define our life as amazing, is within the grasp of every ordinary person.
Is the answer money? I know you’re waiting for me to say something deep and meaningful about the riches of life not involving money. Bologna I say. I had the privilege of stating with nothing (being a slow learner, I even got to repeat it a couple times!). I’ve come to place a real value on having some money. Cash can be an ugly, divisive weapon that ruins people’s lives. It can also be an important tool that eases a great deal of stress; but so does faith or confidence. Money buys opportunities, but so does creativity. Money allows us to take care of ourselves, so we can contribute to others, which is the biggest favor we can do for ourselves. Money frees our minds and our time to pursue more leisurely thoughts and activities. These pursuits enrich our lives, expand our minds, and improve our homes, families, and community. These efforts help us find our own voices, so we can then help others find theirs, and nothing says extraordinary better than that experience. So I say money is not necessary, but it sure can help. If you have the ability to make, and the discipline to save money, life can be much easier, but remember, emotional pain and baggage has no budget. Hard mental and emotional work on yourself is the most worthwhile investment you can make, but there are no short cuts for anyone.
For me, the arrival at my happy place involves a deep appreciation of my past, faith in my future and the relationships I enjoy with family, close friends, community, and work. Work as a business coach deals with helping people make money and live a better life in a balanced and healthy way. I am so grateful I get to be of service to others and make a living doing it. Making a living is the financial reward; the love is the spiritual reward – well balanced.
I’d like to say my clients are extraordinary people, (sorry guys), but the truth is, they are really ordinary people just like you and me. They are ordinary people living extraordinary lives; even if some of them don’t know it yet.
I believe that if you are reading this article, you have the power and the responsibility to create or recreate your life into an extraordinary experience. You can do this through ordinary work, with ordinary skills, but not with ordinary attitude or beliefs. In fact, maybe I can define it after all - you arrive at extraordinary the moment you say it is so.
Your assignment is to know yourself, control yourself and motivate yourself. Try to remember who you really are and what’s important to you. Practice self-discipline and push yourself to take action beyond your comfort zone on a regular basis. Find the inspiration you need wherever and however you can, but not just in theory – make a commitment to take action right away. Get a constant source of fuel for your spirit and use it to get in the game. When you follow your passion and help someone else follow theirs, you will create two extraordinary lives at once. More importantly, you will become addicted to helping still more follow in your path. So come on, be ordinary; just do it extraordinarily well!
Michael Kline is a local retailer, success coach and trainer. He may be reached through his website, www.klineseminars.com, or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.