When given the option of being ordinary or being extraordinary, which would be your choice? Without a doubt, most of us will choose the latter, “being extraordinary”. This is no surprise because human nature is such that it craves power, excellence and perfection. On first thought, nobody would want to settle for less. We all want to be at the top, we want to dominate and we want to be extraordinary. But the question remains, why is it that “the extraordinary”, “the exceptional” and “the profound” only accounts for a small percentage of the world’s population?
The answer is simple! The majority of us cannot pay the price to live above the normal. We just cannot go that extra mile to be extraordinary. We are afraid! We do not want to lose our family, friends and relations! We do not want to stand alone! We do not want to be kicked out!
As a result of this fear, weakness and naivety, we settle for “the normal”. We feel like normal is good, okay and safe. We expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. This, of course, is an aberration! And the purpose of this article is to correct this aberration.
WHAT IS NORMAL?
Normal can be defined as a usual, common, typical or an expected standard, state or condition. One may wonder that if ‘normal’ is typical, usual and expected, what then is wrong with normal? This can be answered by some very simple questions:
- How will you stand out when you are usual?
- How will you be successful when you are common?
- How will you change the world when you always do what is expected?
Normal is what keeps us within limits. It is what takes us back a step every time we take one forward. It is what truncates our ideas and demoralizes our innovative spirit. If the Wilbur brothers never left the zone of normal, would we have the airplanes of today? What of Mark Zuckerberg who founded Facebook and is among the youngest billionaires in the world today? What of Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Abraham Lincoln, Ben Carson, Robert Virchow, Archimedes, Mother Theresa, Galileo Galilee and other great individuals who have changed the course of existence? Ever wondered how the world would be without these people? Unimaginable, I guess.
LEAVING THE COMFORT ZONE
To stand out, you need to leave the comfort zone. The world is looking for life changers, breakthrough innovations and mind-blowing discoveries. All these can only be achieved if we step out of our comfort zones and shoot for the stars instead of settling with the grass. So, how do we leave this comfort zone? How do we leave this “normal” zone? How do we stand out?
First, the decision has to be made. The very first step to changing any situation is decision making. If you want to leave the normal zone and change your world, you first have to make that decision. According to Tony Robbins “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped”. A lot of people today are not comfortable with their current condition but are too afraid to take the quantum leap. Get up! Brace up! Embrace your fears! Leave that comfort zone they call normal and aim for the top! Want to make the decision but afraid it might be the wrong one? Remember, “The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision”-Maimonides.
Second, set goals. When you leave one place, you are expected to be going to another. This is where goal setting comes in. Goal setting is the act of deciding what you want and planning how to achieve it. When you leave the comfort zone, where are you heading to? Goal setting gives a point of focus. It gives a standard to aim towards and it serves as a driving force to action. A good goal should have the following features
T- Time Bound
Third, achieve your goal! After setting your goals, your next feat is to achieve them. Do not rest! Do not be weary! Keep on working until you achieve your goal! To help you do this, the following measures may be helpful:
- Write down your goals
- Writing a goal down on paper makes it authentic. It also cements that goal into your mind so you are unlikely to forget it.
- When writing your goals, it is advisable to write the goals as though you are certain you will achieve them. For example;
“I will get an A in all my courses this semester” instead of “I want to get an A in all my courses this semester”.
The former gives you a sense of courage and belief.
- Set a plan
What do you need to achieve your goals? How do you want to achieve your goals? When do you want to start working towards achieving your goals? All these should be included in your plan. Do not be distracted by how valuable or nice your goal is as you may forget to set a plan towards achieving it.
- Lastly, a very important point to note for achieving your goal is “never give up on it”. A lot of goals have ended up unachieved because the creator of these goals got easily swayed. For this reason, it is important to set up prompts to keep your goals on track. Writing your goals down on paper and pasting it on the wall or always keeping it within your reach is also a good way to keep yourself focused.
Being ordinary or being extraordinary? The choice remains yours. Anyway, I challenge you to choose the latter. I am quite sure that you do not like your present condition. I am quite sure that you want to be a light in your family. I am quite sure that you do not want to end up in the streets. So, why not leave the “normal scope”? Do you have to be among the people spending tremendous energy merely to be normal? Today, I challenge you, leave the comfort zone! Take your mindset above the normal! Tackle your fears! Be the best! You could be the next big star the world is waiting for…