Finding The Extraordinary Ordinary Life
As summer winds down, and Labor Day is upon us, for many the mood has already changed to a more serious, focused energy. Whether it’s because grilling season is coming to an end, the track closing, school starting, or even just the hint of autumn weather emerging, the tendency is to re-engage in a goal-driven activity. We are back to seeking…seeking more of something aggressively.
This is, of course, typical and by itself…not problematic. Yet most of us aspire for ‘more’ in our lives in some fashion, often failing to find ‘enough’ in this day or this moment. Perhaps it’s not enough love, or perhaps not enough cooperation from family, or perhaps not enough calm or ease in daily life, or perhaps it’s about not enough money or resources…the exact cause does not matter.
The absence of a sense of fullness or completeness at this moment robs us of the full happiness we deserve. It’s easy to become distracted or even stuck in a state of restlessness.
Myths That Hide Our Extraordinary Lives
Myth 1. Complaining Is Sharing, And That Is Useful
The tendency is to complain about our lives, our neighbors, our boss, or even the kids and seek out a compassionate ear. We feel that we want to share, and yet we ‘share’ the same or similar stories over and over.
Truth: Complaining Makes Us the Victim of Life. There is No Happiness There.
Instead, make a commitment today to end all your complaints. Yes, all of them. About your body, your sleep, your kids, your spouse, your job…everything. This opens the door for real change as your attention can leave the past and return to this moment.
Myth 2: Focus on What We Don’t Like, or View as Awful. This Is Surely Useful.
No, it’s not. Not really…if we want happiness.
Of course, I would sound silly to suggest that this is no audience for those who can do this with a loud, angry, or clever voice. There is a huge audience, both in your neighborhood and across the globe, who seek to engage in finding what is wrong with the world, and discussing it over and over every day. Some podcasts and blogs thrive on just that and stirring the pot of those who follow.
And, it’s okay to do this. It’s okay to invest life in this. Many wills and even make a living doing this. It’s just that little sustaining happiness is there. Almost none.
Truth: We Become What We Think/Talk About Most.
This trust is quite simple. It’s about where we invest our energy and attention. When we have focused upon what we dislike and the world, we are in a state of resistance…not acceptance. Thus, when we spend most of our time resisting the life that sits in front of us, we are in a state of resistance. This brings tension, frustration, and angst.
For an abundant sense of satisfaction today, I simply must have my attention somewhere else. It’s okay to see a problem of course, as there are many in the world. But the key to finding that extraordinary life is to practice turning toward what we value and appreciate, as well as where we can take action that will make a difference.
Myth 3: The Future Is the Key. Focus There. Everyone Says That Is Useful.
To focus on the future is certainly essential in the attainment of goals. However, to be more accurate, focusing on the future is critical only in the planning aspects of a goal. This is a strategic discussion, yet quite limited. It’s about the direction and a plan for the day…not about where your moment to moment attention should be. This is a critical distinction.
Truth: The Ordinary Extraordinary Life Always Happens Right Now. Right Here.
It’s never tomorrow, or next week or even next year. Who knows…we may not make it till then!
The great stuff is right in front of us now. This is what deserves our full attention and full presence. Complaining, focusing on events out of our control, or worrying in any form about the future is quite common, but inevitable misery making.
If we don’t like what is in front of us, then change what we can…and fall in love with the rest! I know it sounds a bit corny, but it’s the reality of the extraordinary life. We must start exploding into each moment with joyous anticipation of life, absence of an opinion, or resistance to that moment. This is magic.
Try this: Expect love. Expect good. Expect your best to show up.
Obsess on finding these in endless ways today, and the extraordinary open up to us in great abundance. Forget being reasonable (like everyone else). Instead, become unreasonably obsessed with finding this moment to be enough, and move into that with love.
Of course, have your plan for growth and evolution. But then, surrender your focus on that and bring your attention to your life today, and continue moving forward with joy and love in your heart.
We don’t need to be a celebrity. We don’t need to be others to view us as spectacular or special. Our lives are enough.
Truly, our ordinary lives can truly be extraordinary, if we abandon the three myths that steal our happiness and blind us to the ordinary extraordinary life that we live.