There are two types of people – ordinary and extraordinary. Many factors determine which type we are, but most of us instinctually know how to classify ourselves. Whether in sports, entertainment, real estate, medicine, business or science, we know the difference between extraordinary and ordinary. …though we might not always give credit where due when it comes to the extraordinary.
Extraordinary people live in a bubble of their own. They are extraordinary by definition because they make our world more interesting by going where others dare not. Their passion and unstoppable perseverance to pursue the unthinkable is not well understood which, historically, makes them more susceptible to scrutiny and criticism. The general perception of extraordinary individuals (if recognized at all) is that they are mean. Some even label them selfish, irresponsible bitches or assholes who take unnecessary risk. Those reckless dare devils!!
Fact is, while most of us need a little crazy adventure in our lives, extraordinary people crave it for survival.
How many Michael Phelps, Kelly Slaters, Tiger Woods, Steve Jobs, Michael Jacksons, Albert Einsteins, Kurt Cobaines, Lady Gagas and Trumps do you know???
The naked truth is that, it took 28 medals for us to finally accept Michael Phelps as one of the very best and it took the rise and fall of Tiger Woods for us to notice that he too is one of a kind. Kelly Slater, the greatest surfer of all time, went unnoticed by people outside of his arena despite winning 8 consecutive world championships that nearly cost him his life. It wasn’t until he built a $30 million perfectly-barreling FAKE wave, that the world took notice. Extraordinary at all levels.
It is my opinion that the “judgers of this world” have perhaps set very high unrealistic expectations for becoming “extraordinary”. Most tend to be more comfortable recognizing extraordinary people if they can look down on some aspect of their character and therefore feel better about their own “ordinariness”. This is why negative attributes tend to get extraordinary people more acknowledgment than positive. Many talented athletes come and go but we tend to commemorate the ones who take a fall from grace, so to speak.
A perfect example is Lance Armstrong – the only seven-time winner of the Tour de France – who, despite his poor decision to use illegal performance enhancing drugs, is still the only person who has completed the race, let alone seven consecutive wins. He is inarguably extraordinary but he is also human and susceptible to temptation. In fact, his flaws might keep his legacy alive for longer than it would otherwise. Newsflash: we LIKE our heroes to be flawed. A perfect hero makes for a boring story – an ordinary story, if you will.
Sadly, in sports we prefer to commemorate the adventurers who dare to reach the highest peak but don’t live to tell the tale. Yes, many extraordinary people have to die before the general public becomes aware of their true value.
Even in entertainment, fame doesn’t necessarily make you extraordinary anymore. Actors come and go rather quickly. Most of us only become aware of certain “washed-up celebs” when they appear on Dancing With the Stars, which offers a humbling opportunity to gain attention outside their original purview and at a very challenging level. Those who succeed can be catapulted from marginalized public figure to ‘extraordinary status’ instantly!
So, which are you? Ordinary or extraordinary?
Well, if you are an overachiever and people perceive you as crazy, weird, selfish and an irresponsible risk taker then.. Voila!! There is your answer.
I strongly believe that the crazy in each of us – our own unique daring qualities – are what will set us apart from others. We are all capable of adding “cool” to our society.
You will never know your full potential for extraordinary, until your remove the emphasis on what other people do and follow your own inner compass.
You don’t need to be on the front cover of a magazine nor do you need a million+ fans kissing your ass to be extraordinary. We are all capable of achieving a one-of-a-kind form of greatness, setting and meeting our very own standards of extraordinary. Remember, “extraordinary things only happen to extraordinary people” -. C.S. Lewis
Extraordinary or not, only you can label yourself. To achieve the unthinkable is possible so long as you follow your true passion on your own distinct path. If you’re content being ordinary, do not discourage the extraordinary – instead, support their dreams and risky endeavors. And if you are extraordinary, don’t allow anyone to dull your shine; continue to set the bar high to guide and inspire those who might follow in your footsteps and take your achievements to the next level. The power of will is the only gift that cannot be taken away from us while we’re alive and kicking. So, use it and learn how far you can go.
By Esmie Gallemore at Esmie Blog’s Corner.