Some men were in a boat crossing a lake during a storm. All of a sudden, their leader, who had stayed back on shore when they left, came walking to them on the water. Of course, they freaked.
But their leader basically said to them, “Hey guys it’s me, Jesus. Chill.” In that moment Peter–unreasonable Peter–asked to walk on water, too. So unreasonable! He stepped out of the boat and into an extraordinary new world of possibility. And just as quickly, he got reasonable in the face of his circumstances and began to sink back into his old world where people don’t walk on water. Especially not in storms with waves and such!
We can move from ordinary to extraordinary and back again in an instant.
Last week we began a conversation to distinguish between ordinary and extraordinary. This week I’d like to continue with those distinctions. Notice how each one plays out in your life and impacts how you show up in the world.
- Ordinary (O): Sticking with what has worked so far (or in the past).
- Extraordinary (E): Generating a new context for re-invention and re-creation.
- O: Being nice.
- E: Being kind.
- O: Waiting for life to turn out before I take the next step.
- E: Experiencing life turn out because I take that next step.
- O: Being reasonable.
- E: Being unreasonable.
- O: Stopping.
- E: Stop stopping. Being unstoppable.
- O: Judgment: making experiences good/bad, right/wrong.
- E: Freedom: what is is, what isn’t isn’t and what happened happened.
- O: Seeing challenges as obstacles and an excuse to stop.
- E: Seeing challenges as opportunities and a call to keep going.
- O: Unaware of the impact my speaking has on the quality of my life.
- E: Speaking with intention to transform the quality of my life.
- O: Scarcity, either/or, lack.
- E: Abundance, both/and, more than enough.
- O: Focused on what I don’t want, what I’m avoiding.
- E: Focused on what I do want, what I’m living for.
- O: Survival and contraction.
- E: Aliveness, expansion and expression.
- O: What will I get?
- E: What will I give?
It’s human nature to give up old ways that just don’t work for us anymore. We never continue with something that’s not serving on some level. What can be trickier, however, is identifying our old ways of being that are still working. So take a look at your ways of being that have worked for you so far, have brought you love, significance, promotions, success, etc. I invite you to ask yourself, “If I wasn’t confined to this particular way of being, what would be available to me then? What if I didn’t need this old way of being for what I want next?”
If I wasn’t confined to this particular way of being, what would be available to me then?
It’s always your choice, to be ordinary and to be extraordinary. Get present to the distinctions between the two. Live into them. And for the life you really want—in your health, your marriage, your finances, your career, your family and friendships, your greatest contribution—which way of being will create that?