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Chasing Extraordinary

Growing up is messy. I’m a few months away from 30 and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I look back at the last few years and I know I’ve checked off lots of goals, but I’m hungry for more. I don’t want to settle for less than extraordinary. I don’t think we were designed for less than that.

So how do we live extraordinary when the day-to-day creeps in? I don’t have all the answers to that question, but I’d like to share what’s helped me keep the fire burning.

1. Set Some Mighty Fine Goals

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I dream big. My dreams scare me on a regular basis. But I don’t stop at setting big goals. I make sure to set smaller goals that build off one another until I’ve reached the big picture. This keeps me moving forward, constantly pushing myself until I can’t help but reach beyond my current limitations.

That digging deeper is what keeps me coming back to my goals - having to rely on my ability to work things through, even if they’re scary or unknowable. Extraordinary comes with some groundwork. It doesn’t fall into your lap; you must pursue it relentlessly. Fall in love with the idea of extraordinary and don’t stop chasing it.

2. Take up Space

I’m learning and relearning this daily. My voice isn’t something to shy away from; it’s an ever evolving, wonder-seeking thing that requires room to breath and space to grow. Much like I mentioned in my previous article, find your tribe and allow yourself to find your voice.

I think the most dangerous trap I’ve ever fallen into is worrying about what others think of me, and letting that get in the way of what I have to offer and discover.

3. Talk to Yourself 

The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is the one of talking to myself more than I listen. Sometimes our internal monologue isn’t looking out for our well-being. Sometimes our inner critic is too loud. Sometimes we need to take back control of our thoughts.

For the first six months of 2016 I was struggling to do anything, let alone hit these massive goals I’d set for myself. Fortunately, I was surrounded by people who have trained themselves to quiet their minds. Which in turn allows for them to speak truths louder than any doubt. These people helped me realize that I needed to do the talking in order to succeed.

When I’m feeling particularly afraid of my goals, or what others think, I stop and identify my fears and then make a concerted effort to repeat positive mantras even when I don’t feel that they’re true. Sometimes we have to talk in faith before we see the results we want.

4. Do What You Love 

On the back of all these lessons I’ve learned, one point remains true the older I get: Pursue your passions.

The nice thing about life is that you’re not obligated to love the same hobbies forever. We get to explore and add to our lives as we please. People who are unhappy with their lives will poo-poo your interests and tell you that they’re stupid/a waste of time/fill in the blank with nonsense, and it’s up to you to stay the course. If it brings you joy, if it in any way fans the small spark into a raging fire, then do it and don’t let anyone talk you down.

Following our dreams can be scary, but remember, you are enough and you are capable of more than you know. Let your life be one of joy, hard work, and love. Pursue an extraordinary life.

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