Why live an ordinary life,when you can live an extraordinary one
Have you ever wondered what creates an extraordinary life and exactly what the difference is between living an ordinary life and an extraordinary life?
Living an extraordinary life does not happen by chance and with most things worth having it does take work and effort. This can be a challenge for people invested in wanting everything quick and easy along with instant gratification: a culture where speedy internet connections and fast food are the models for enlightenment and growth.
After working with hundreds and hundreds of clients I have observed an undeniable pattern of two keys to living an extraordinary life. Some people have all the visible signs of a successful life such as good health for themselves and their families, loving relationships and financial freedom; however they feel emptiness deep inside. Their lives feel ordinary. They sometimes feel confused why they are not completely happy and may even feel guilty that what they have is not ticking all the boxes. They may even ask themselves “isn’t there more to life than this?”
What these people living ordinary lives do have is the four needs of the personality being met; however the two extra needs of the spirit are unmet. According to renowned coach, speaker and author Anthony Robbins each day we fulfil these four needs in either a positive, neutral or negative way. These four needs of the personality are:
Certainty – the need for safety, security, comfort, consistency, stability, order and control. A feeling of being grounded and protected. An excess of certainty can lead to boredom, hence the need for variety.
- Variety or Uncertainty – the need for challenges, excitement, adventure, change, surprise, novelty, difference and even chaos. An excess of uncertainty can lead to stress.
- Significance – the need to feel special and needed, unique, wanted, a sense of importance. An excess of time gaining significance can lead to a lack of love and connection.
- Love and connection – the need for the feeling of closeness or union with someone or something.
If the above four needs of the personality are being met in a positive way we have an ordinary life. If, on the other hand they are being met in a negative way, for example by over eating, smoking or drinking alcohol then we have a potpourri of possible negative outcomes in people’s lives. Yes, people can get their needs met by such things as smoking although, with dire consequences.
A smoker is certain that they will feel a specific way when they smoke a cigarette and there is always a variety of different people when they go to the designated places where smokers are allowed. Even though smoking is frowned upon in many countries, smokers feel significant because they are being noticed and people are making a fuss about them, even if it is not in a particularly accepting way. Smokers seem to form connections and attachments to other smokers.
An example of a positive way to meet the four needs of the personality could be exercise if done to a sensible level. You can feel certain you will feel good after exercising and by changing what exercise you do you will have the variety. If you exercise in a group or excel, you can gain a feeling of significance and of course love and connection with your team mates.
The first key to living an extraordinary life is “GROWTH”. This is the need for emotional, intellectual and spiritual development. An expansion of capacity, capability or understanding. If you are not growing you are stagnating. Some examples of ways to grow are to improve your communication skills, learn more in your own area of expertise. Attend seminars and meet new people. Read positive type motivational, spiritual and philosophical books. Books help us learn from something called O.P.E. Other People’s Experiences. Make your learning greater that your experience. On a neurological level learning helps stimulate our brain cells. Remember, if you don’t use it you lose it! Growth helps us feel alive, stimulated and inspired.
Growth is about mastering and understanding yourself. We don’t just grow for ourselves, we grow for others.
The second key to living an extraordinary life is “CONTRIBUTION”. The need to give beyond ourselves and to care, protect and serve others, or the planet or animals. A sense of service and focus on helping, giving and supporting others. Just as you can’t survive without others contributing in some way to your welfare, you will live an unfulfilled life not contributing to others. There are many ways to contribute to something bigger than yourself. Your business could have a way to contribute. It could be by mentoring somebody in need, giving to charity, offering your time and energy to others, taking better care of family and friends with thoughtfulness. I have witnessed many unhappy and even depressed clients who experienced a powerful improvement in their lives simply by contributing to others. By helping others it took their focus away from themselves and what was wrong in their own lives and gave them a feeling of importance, significance and often of love and connection.
Years ago I decided that everybody I came into contact with would feel better for the experience. This has the added bonus of me feeling even better for it. An example is that any time I am being served in a shop I use the cashier’s name if they have a name badge on and enquire about their day. Often they seem surprised, particularly in the supermarket that anybody cares. Little things do contribute towards the happiness of others.
We all have a need to experience a life of meaning and fulfilment. We all have a desire to live an extraordinary life. This can be achieved through consistently living a life in which we focus on these two needs of the spirit – GROWTH & CONTRIBUTION.
Lynda is passionate about helping people live extraordinary lives and has helped thousands do just that. She walks her talk by living an extraordinary life and continues to research and learn the latest findings in personal development and human potential that will empower people to achieve to a greater level and more importantly, enjoy life to the fullest. Apart from founding a coaching/consulting business, Lynda is an owner and director of a multi-million dollar company, a wife and mother. Visit Lynda at: www.lyndapetterwood.com.au