Some parts of my life are not at all what I would like them to be, and in another conversation a friend could easily be saying, “Oh, poor you. How do you survive?” Most of the time I not only survive, I thrive, because I choose to focus on the big picture, and overall life is pretty damn good. And, I don’t need to apologize for that. In fact, I need to claim it because I have created this life.
Yes, I am lucky to have an amazing husband who supports me in all that I do – that too was a choice I made/we made. A choice to date and marry him, to invest in our relationship during the dark moments, and work on the partnership we’ve had for 30 years, and to recommit to him in front of 80 friends and family for the rest of my life. He wasn’t handed to me on a silver platter at my birth, and we didn’t get to where we are today without commitment, work, love, humor, and a willingness to draw together in tough times.
I have an extraordinary life and I truly believe that an extraordinary life is available to each of us, whether you have an amazing partner or not. In fact, I believe you probably have an extraordinary life right now, even if you haven't seen it that way.
Life doesn’t always go the way we planned it to. “Bad” things happen to us and to people we love. Dreams we’ve held forever don’t come true or shatter all around us. Stories of what family should look like may be more fiction than truth in our world. Our work and financial life might not look like what we’d love it to be. And, always, always, always we have a choice about how we respond and what we do with life. The chain of choices and responses leads to today’s reality.
How many times do we quit before the miracle can occur? There are no overnight sensations. Things don’t happen as quickly or in the way that we’d like, so we walk away discouraged and distraught before things even have a chance to get rolling. We listen to the harsh inner voice that questions and challenges us with a nasty voice that says, “You’ll never make it – what were you thinking?”
How often do we let despair take over and wash away hope? When things look and feel daunting, overwhelming, and totally out of whack, this is an easy place to succumb.
How often do we live in the past, dwelling on regrets and “could’ve,” and “should’ve” wishes that didn’t come true? Alternatively, how much time do we spend worrying about the future – what might be? Fretting about things that might never come to pass? Drifting away from what is real right now takes us down roads that don’t serve us in creating what we want. We must first stand solidly with what is true today.
How often do we hold back rather than take that stretch, follow our heart, take a risk, or dare to try something new – something we’ve never done before or even imagined we could? If we never ask for what we need or want we don’t stand a chance of getting a “yes.”
In order to change today’s reality and to begin to chart a different course, something has to change in mindset, action, or both. As Einstein said, it is insanity to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
Hard times come to all of us. My “extraordinary life” is not without struggles, sadness, heartbreak, and loss. I feel them and at times they take me down and out. But these aren’t the places I choose to stay overly long.
There have been plenty of things along that way that could have stopped me in my tracks and there are things now that could consume me and take me off course if I let them. None of this “extraordinariness” came to be overnight, and it certainly didn’t come without effort, commitment, decisions, and baby steps along the way that have brought me to today.
What would an extraordinary life look like for you? What is extraordinary about your life right now, exactly as it is? Sometimes just noticing things differently creates a new "reality." Is there one small step you might want to take today that's a bit different?
One powerful practice to living an extraordinary life is gratitude – noticing the good and beautiful in your life, the things you may take for granted and forget to appreciate, and finding something to be grateful for, even on the days that really suck.
How you see your world is a powerful influencer for what comes next. If I were to choose to stay in the dark, wallowing in what I don’t like about my life right now, it’s not very likely that I’d go on creating the life that I want for myself for the next 50 years.
Life experience + Choice = Life Reality
Are the choices you’re making the ones that will create the reality you yearn for? Choice can be action or perception - both powerful forces.