Living an extraordinary life seems like something only rockstars in business, sports or entertainment get to do. But is that really true?
Doesn’t extraordinary depend on how you define it and the context of how you’re living?
For someone who is super successful in their career but lacks a depth of real meaning at the end of the day – extraordinary may mean finding ways to have more impact. For someone tired of barely getting by financially – extraordinary may mean a better paying job. For those trapped in a city landscape – extraordinary may mean a sabbatical in the mountains.
Extraordinary is a very personal matter. It doesn’t involve looking around at the world of shiny objects and saying, “I’ll take one of those, please.” It involves looking clearly and honestly at your own life right now to define what’s working and to be curious about what’s not. To ask yourself, “What would breathe life back into what has become lackluster?”
Finding your extraordinary takes some leadership on your part. Self-leadership is self-management. There are many aspects of your life and if left unchecked, you may find them working at odds with each other, creating disharmony and fragmentation. Not a recipe for experiencing amazing.
If you’d like to find your extraordinary and then take action to create it, schedule some “think” time on your calendar to answer these questions for yourself. If you get stuck, not to worry. Just asking the question and letting it sit unanswered for a while can bring you some surprising results.
- Define what matters. What is important to you? Not everything can be a top priority, but if you had to nail it down to your top three, what would they be? This can be a cause, a community or values and beliefs that you cherish.
- Imagine possibilities. This is the time to get uncensored. Forget what seems reasonable. Take what matters to you and envision yourself actualizing that in some way. There is no wrong or right here. There’s only imagination. You are the writer of an incredible story called, “My Most Extraordinary Life.”
- Search for opportunities to take risks. All change is a dive into the unknown. To move into the extraordinary means that you do some things differently. How much risk can you tolerate? Not everyone is comfortable with giant leaps forward. Sometimes small steps work best. Either way, find those doors to knock on that can jumpstart your journey to extraordinary.
- Check relationships. Nothing happens in a vacuum. We all need support in one way or another that comes through other people. Make sure you involve others. Some may be thrilled to hear about what you want for your life and will offer ways to help. Some may feel threatened and try to hold you back. If the latter happens, it’s a perfect chance to build trust and foster collaboration, two skills that will serve you well on the road to extraordinary.
To cross the finish line of extraordinary, you’ll need to work through these steps a number of times. Especially when faced with challenges. That’s when you’ll go back to basics, reaffirming what’s important, imagining what could be, looking for ways to go outside your comfort zone and realizing that people are integral to realizing your vision of extraordinary.
I believe extraordinary is for everyone. Whether that means changing the world, landing an awesome job or learning how to rock climb, it’s about adding something “extra” into your ordinary.
Jo-Aynne von Born, Executive Coach