By Jay Timms : In my life I have had the opportunity to meet many extraordinary people. I met a mother from Haiti who had taken her daughter from a country of famine and disease and literally walked to the Dominican Republic to provide a better life for her daughter. I have met a woman who was abused for most of her life by family, neighbors, and intimate partners, who fought back and has learned to stand on her own so that she can teach her children how to be a strong woman and how to treat women. I met a man who fought in World War II and was in a battle where most of his fellow soldiers had been killed, and he chose to risk his life to get to one of his friends and drag him back to safety. I met a young woman who lost her father to cancer, and so decided that she would raise funds for cancer research by selling baked goods at her school. I have met a young man, who at the age of 15, was in a serious car crash that paralyzed him from the waist down. This man went on to to raise millions of dollars for spinal cord research. I have met countless others throughout my life that have made me take a moment to pause and marvel at who they are and what they have been able to accomplish.
From all of the extraordinary people I have met, I have asked them what they did to become so extraordinary. Each one of them have said the exact same thing. They actually aren’t all that extraordinary at all. They are just normal people like you and I. They have fears, pains, worries, bad hair days, and emotional breakdowns just like you and I. The difference is very simple. The extraordinary people in this world are ones who have made extraordinary choices.
The people I have spoken of above have all had life-altering experiences that put them into situations where they are forced to make a choice. Some of us who read this will gratefully not have had to make those kind of choices, but that does not mean that we cannot be extraordinary. We do not need to hear the screams of war, feel the pain of loss, or feel nothing at all. We can be extraordinary just the same.
My brother and I were speaking a few weeks ago and he taught me something that I will never forget. He spoke of his work and how every single day, he had literally dozens of opportunities to make choices. For him, the most common choice was, “Do I put in the effort to make sure that this is done properly, or do I choose to take the easy way and just get it out of the way?” I think that this is what sets the extraordinary apart from the ordinary. It is the decision to do what is needed rather than do what is easy.
Take a moment to look around the room that you are in right now. Look at the place you are in, the furnishings, your physical health, even the clothes that you are wearing. What in your physical world has come to you because you made an easy choice? Now, look again. What in your physical world has come to you because you made an extraordinary choice? Imagine what your world would look like if you had made the extraordinary choices consistently throughout your life. How would your life be different?
As you go throughout your day today, your week this week, and moving forward, become aware of the choices you make. Are you taking the easy way or the extraordinary way? Become extraordinary. You will never regret it.