I ask my children to be extraordinary. At different times they have found this to be threatening, because we think of extraordinary as something bigger than us. We think of Michael Jordan dunking the ball, or Mother Teresa giving up her life to help the poor. These people are indeed extraordinary, but what we are viewing is the result or product of a lifetime of small, committed decisions. Being extraordinary means you have a hunger to grow and develop.
An extraordinary person keeps examining self in relation to some higher purpose and keeps striving to conquer and move beyond the limits of that self. None of us can ignite our potential by staying on the path of least resistance. We find meaning and power when we extend ourselves in the service of something greater than ourselves. When we are experiencing victory over self, we become conscious of our own unique value and become joyful and influential because we are positive deviants.
I want to clarify that being extraordinary does not necessarily mean obtaining a position of honor or glory or even of becoming successful in other people’s eyes. It means being true to oneself. It means pursuing one’s full potential. Interestingly, I believe that when we fail to do this, we actually do ourselves damage. We begin to die inside, and we hate ourselves for our decision to kill our best self and live as an ordinary self. I think we are designed to be extraordinary. We are designed to be growing, and when we are not, we violate the purpose of the universe. We fail to live on what I call the great upward spiral of life.
What does it mean to be extraordinary?
What does it mean to live on the upward spiral?
Who in the organization is doing damage to himself or herself?
How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?