What does living an extraordinary life mean to you? World travel? Sky diving? Writing a best-selling novel?
These life experiences and accomplishments are exciting. But what about all of the life in between these peak experiences? Don’t we want each day to be extraordinary?
John Wood, one of the founders of Room to Read, was trekking in Nepal and came across a school with a library – but no books. John found a way to help, involving 3,000 books, a father-son adventure, six donkeys, and the “happiest day of my life.”
Interestingly, the happiest part for John was not the adventure in Nepal, but the looks on the faces of the young children. These memories still bring him joy to this day.
Your extraordinary life does not have to involve trekking to Nepal. Here are some ideas to help you get started in smaller but meaningful ways.
Music can take the drudgery out of everyday chores – like the endless task of picking up toys and clothes from your children or grandchildren. A woman I met years ago had a simple solution.
First, she would put on her headphones, because that made the music more intense and gave her more energy. Then, with her favourite music playing, she would dance around her home doing the pickup, as she called it. This made a little fun out of her chores.
You could also get lost in some fascinating music trivia like A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs.
Check out this clip of Myles Frost, playing Michael Jackson in the current award-winning play, MJ The Musical. His music and dancing sure got my heart pounding.
Myles Frost has won the 2022 Tony Award for Best Performance by an “Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical” for MJ the Musical.
My wife and I loved watching the 75th Annual Tony Awards on television. Many of the performances were breathtaking. Arianna DeBose, the host, displayed effortless cool. Just like in West Side Story (the recent movie), her dancing was flawless.
The Tony’s also showed a tribute to the composer Stephen Sondheim. I particularly liked a few quotes from him. “To have a job where you get to be curious about everything would be an unbearable thrill.” And creating plays and music throughout his life gave him that thrill.
A curious attitude toward everyday life can brighten and expand your life experiences. This can include learning about new ideas and new ways of seeing things. Opening your mind and your heart can be very exciting.
Learning more about other people can also be surprising and help create deeper connections. Here is how Deborah Voll, a Sixty and Me blogger, explains the many benefits.
“Being interestED is such an attractive quality. You shine a light on people when you are interested in them. You energize them and empower them.” This really is a superpower we can use with everyone we meet.
According to Michael Laprise, from Cirque Du Soleil, “You have to embrace the joys and fulfillment of life-long learning.” And this includes learning what things are most important to you.
The best way to learn is with movement – learning by doing, at your own pace, under your own direction.
Movement can help us overcome the anxiety and resistance of starting something new. For example, we may be uncertain about committing to a new type of volunteer work. The best way to move forward to find the smallest step to take and then to take it. This might include a visit, or a few days of following others around. This type of movement will help you to know if this is right for you. These few steps will also be the fastest way to move on to your next idea if this one doesn’t work out.
To me, an extraordinary life is one that is filled with emotion – excitement, tears of joy, a sense of awe.
What gets your heart pounding or makes you well up with pride? How can you stir up powerful emotions that make you glad to be alive? Can you think of ways to share such emotion and connection with others, making you both more joyful?