People who are extraordinary are present to the moment, see magic in simple things and have a deep appreciation for the life they have been given. They leave an imprint and touch others by their very presence. Being extraordinary means we experience the ordinary and add a little something extra to it. It has no age limit. As a matter of fact, children come into this world as extraordinary miracles. I only have to remember the first time I held my granddaughter to remember the gift of being present to that moment, the awe of looking into the eyes of the next generation and the gratitude I felt for the life cycle. That was an extraordinary experience.
It is the choices we make between birth and death that make us extraordinary. I have been blessed to know people who have lived fully after the age of 90. One extraordinary 91 year old woman lives in Indiana. She lives in her own home, still drives herself, volunteers at her church and works 2 days a week at a hospital gift store. Each morning she spends ½ hr on the treadmill, completes a practice of stretching and closes her routine with meditation. She claims her longevity is a result of healthy living, strong family and community support and a positive attitude. So you see, we all have the ability to be extraordinary.
I dare you to be extraordinary! Accept the challenge and your life will change in ways you only imagined. It is really not as daunting as it may appear, it requires three things:
- Find your passion and purpose and live it full out.
- Align your thoughts and actions with your dreams.
- Take healthy risks and step outside the box.
FIND YOUR PASSION: Imagine a time in your life when you felt a sense of joy, a sense of purpose or a deep sense of connection to something that you valued. For me it is the ocean. I grew up in Massachusetts and spent summers on the South Shore of the Atlantic Ocean. I didn’t realize the significance of that passion until I moved out to the desert and felt something missing in my life. It became clear to me what was missing when I was floating on a mat in a swimming pool and felt this deep sense of calm. I knew then that I needed to find places in Arizona that would reconnect me with nature and the sound of water. I began visiting lakes and creeks around the state and discovered the most sacred of places. I dreamed that some day I would create a sacred space in my own backyard that would include colorful flowers, birds, rocks and running water.
ALIGN YOUR THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS WITH YOUR DREAMS: We carry perceptions, assumptions and stories in our minds and we believe they are all true. Our belief or attitude translates into action. Attitude and action creates experience. Experience produces results and the cycle gets reinforced. When was the last time you had a dream, a dream of something you wanted in your life? One of my clients had such a dream. She is a very talented Adult Education Teacher teaching non-credit writing classes at a local Community College. She had found her passion and purpose, loved what she did and received outstanding evaluations from the class members as well as the Department Chair. She was looking for a career change and was advised to apply to the Community College as an English teacher.
She had always dreamed of teaching college credit classes but believed that she needed a Master’s Degree to teach at that level so she never pursued her dream. She had settled for teaching Adult Education Classes and the pay that went along with it. I encouraged her to take a risk and assigned her the task of researching the requirements for the teaching position of her dreams and she discovered that she did not need the Master’s Degree. Her belief had held her back, the dream was set free and she went on to teach the credit classes at the Community College.
In the last 10 years there have been significant results from brain research. Through brain mapping we can see the connection between how we think, how we feel and how we behave. An intriguing aspect of the research shows neurological patterns that emerge in the prefrontal cortex with thoughts and words and their impact on our emotional experience in the limbic system. Beautiful and uplifting words create neurological patterns in the limbic system that are different from negative words demonstrating the power of how we think and its link to how we feel.
What is your dream? Dream the dream and use your imagination to bring it alive. Imagine the details of the dream, your thoughts, feelings and actions. We become extraordinary when we allow ourselves to dream and align our behavior to attract what we truly want.
TAKE HEALTHY RISKS AND STEP OUTSIDE THE BOX: 15 years ago I completed a vision board that had a beautiful spa-scape on it. At that time I had no idea why I placed it on the board but it gave me a connection to nature and the things that were most important to me at that time in my life. I had never done a vision board and it was fascinating to see what emerged. I stepped outside the box of my limited backyard space and limited budget and let the dream flow onto the board. I placed the vision board on my garage wall and for 5 years the vision board greeted me everyday with the colorful rock garden and the waterfall.
The dream of creating a sacred space in my backyard was set free 10 years ago. It is a simple English garden in the backyard surrounded by the sound of running water that nurtures my soul and brings delight to all who visit. I have hummingbirds outside my kitchen window and they are what greet me now in the morning. My roses find their way to the office and into the homes of friends and the fragrance of the honeysuckle in the walkway brings delight to my neighbors. And all of this is still in Arizona, home of the cactus, prickly pear and desert.
11 years ago I took the risk to join Best Year Yet and create my first one-page plan. I have created my plan every year since and work with a Best Year Yet partner who keeps me focused and accountable. That decision has brought extraordinary experiences into my life and today I not only live my own dream, I have the privilege of working with clients who have discovered their dreams and are making them come true.
Now, I double dare you to engage in some of the exercises above or sign up for your own Best Year Yet Online plan and set your dreams free so you too can dare to be extraordinary…………..
Diana Baysinger, co-owner of Arizona Partners, has been in business for over 28 years. She has a successful coaching and consulting business in Arizona. Di works with leaders, small businesses, non-profits, educational institutions, couples and individuals in transition. She is a trainer for the Best Year Yet Online Coaches Certification program and has trained partners all over the world.Di is an energetic leader who inspires her clients and has provided programs and presentations throughout the United States and in Europe.