Every now and then we hear about people who are doing extraordinary things. It could be a world leader saving millions of lives, a businessperson revolutionizing an industry, or even the person down the street helping to make life much better for underserved people in the community. When we hear of these extraordinary people, the vast majority of people think, “I could never do that because I’m just an average, ordinary person.”
In reality, we can all be extraordinary. The key is to realize that being extraordinary is a personal choice. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re rich or financially struggling, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re old or young, or whether you fit into any other categories. Anyone can choose to be extraordinary.
Of course, the thought of choosing to be extraordinary can be overwhelming. After all, where do you start? What do you do? Do you write a best-selling book? Star in a movie? Start a business? How in the world can you be extraordinary?
The answer is: You take it one step at a time. The old saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step is so true.
Every day, make the choice to be extraordinary at whatever it is you’re planning to do. It’s a daily decision. For example, if you’re a student, you might ask yourself each morning, “What would an extraordinary student contribute today given the subject we’re discussing in class? What kind of questions would an extraordinary student ask instead of asking ordinary ones?”
Or suppose you’re a business professional and you are thinking of launching a new product. Before you take action, ask yourself, “What would an extraordinary business professional or CEO do to launch this product successfully?”
Or let’s say you’re a salesperson and you’re about to go on a sales call. Before you meet with the prospect, ask yourself, “What would an extraordinary salesperson do? What would the very best of the best say to the prospect?”
Take a few minutes each day to think about what an extraordinary person in your situation would do. Then, take that action rather than what you were going to do. Soon, people will look at you and think, “Wow! That person is extraordinary!”
Nothing is Beyond Your Means
Sometimes when you ask that question—“What would an extraordinary person to do?—the answer you come up with is something you feel is beyond your means, whether it be financial, intellectual, physical, or otherwise. In these situations, you need to lift the bar on yourself.
Realize that most people underestimate what they can do—probably even you. The fact is that we are all capable of doing so much more than we think. For example, even if you are not blind, you have probably touched Braille at some point in your life. If you haven’t, go to an elevator and feel those bumps on the keypad. What did you think the first time you touched Braille? You probably thought what every other seeing person thought: “How can anyone read this? It’s just a bunch of bumps!”
But blind people can read those bumps quite well. Do they have different fingers? No. Do they have a different sense of touch? No. They simply developed something within themselves that might seem impossible to you, but it’s really not.
Of course, this example is simple in that it focuses on just one of our senses. In reality, we’re all underutilizing all our senses, as well as our brain and our capabilities. And when you think you can’t do something, you usually don’t even try. That’s why you need to ask yourself, “What would it take to do it?” not “Can I do it?”
Realize that you are more than you think you are. You’re capable of more than what you think you can do. Whatever limitations or challenge you think you have, none of them are keeping you from being extraordinary, so skip them. In other words, if you think you don’t have the money to be the extraordinary person you want to be, skip the money issue, put it to the side. That’s not the real problem anyway. Ask yourself; “What would it take to do this without using money?” By skipping what you perceive as the problem or limitation, you are free to discover what’s really holding you back. Therefore, forget about what you think is the problem. If that issue simply didn’t exist, what would you do to be extraordinary in your life or your business? Once you see what’s really holding you back, you can find a way to get around it or to come up with a better solution.
Choose Your Future
It’s time to raise the bar on yourself and see what you really can do. It’s time to be a better version of yourself—to be extraordinary. So ask yourself, what would it take to be an extraordinary boss … salesperson … engineer … student … doctor … teacher … wife … husband … parent … sibling … friend?
Every day you can do extraordinary things in both your personal and professional life if you just ask yourself the right question. You have the power to elevate your life and the lives of those around you. It’s simply a matter of identifying what an extraordinary person would do, and then doing it. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself being extraordinary. It’s a daily choice. Give it a try now. Ask yourself; “What would an extraordinary (insert your job title) do today?” Then go do it!
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DANIEL BURRUS is considered one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and business strategists, and is the founder and CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients understand how technological, social and business forces are converging to create enormous untapped opportunities. He is the author of Flash Foresight.