Think of the people you admire.
Chances are, they’re just like you and me ..… ordinary people doing the extraordinary – as they (or we) define it.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, working with, coaching and interviewing the most extraordinary people over the last 30 years.
Yes, some are hugely successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, sports people, and celebrities. Others are people who are living life on their terms, ordinary people with extraordinary lives.
There’s no straight road
Their journeys haven’t been easy or straight forward. They’ve had twists and turns, stops and starts, successes and failures, yet they’ve risen above it all to be, have, achieve and give all that they desire.
I’ve noticed there are common threads, common beliefs that have guided those extraordinary people to be who they are.
Here are the seven beliefs of extraordinary people. You can model these beliefs too.
Belief 1: 100 percent accountability
Life is full of tough bits. Extraordinary people find ways to get through them. What they don’t do is get resentful, give up or sit back in a fog of self-entitlement, waiting for their luck to change. They understand and accept that life is a journey. They are 100 percent accountable and responsible for everything in their lives.
Belief 2: People matter
On one hand, this has become a truism of modern life: people matter. On the other hand, most of us forget it, every day. Often we take our loved ones for granted. We do what we need to, in order to keep the home fires burning or to fulfil our social or business obligations, and we forget that this is a dimension of life in which we can either succeed or… not. Extraordinary people recognise that people are critical in all parts of their lives – business and personal – and they treasure them.
Belief 3: Constant learning
Success in its widest definition is built on staying dynamic. Not settling. Continuing to learn. Often as adults we forget how exciting it is to learn and grow, and how vital this is to a meaningful life.
Extraordinary people also grow by being productive. They create; they don’t just consume. It might be pottery or cupcakes or electronic music. It could be something more amorphous: setting up a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee or putting together a library of kids’ books for the local children’s hospital. Any process that incorporates learning, problem solving and creativity into our lives enables us to grow.
Belief 4: No such thing as failure
Personal growth only happens when something changes, and change is often painful. It means we risk failure, which is very often painful. But failure is a fact of life for anyone who is dynamic, and failures are fast tracks to growth. Extraordinary people don’t view them as failures. They see them as opportunities for learning. We should try to fear failure less. How about ‘failing forward’, as I call it?
Belief 5: Everything happens for a reason
As much as this is hard to take when times are tough, we are where we are in life right now for a reason. There are lessons and learnings to take from our current experience and situation. There are new horizons on offer because we are at this juncture. When we learn the lessons we move forward, often in new and unexpected ways. Extraordinary people understand that, and look for the lessons in all dimensions, so they can move forward, fast.
Belief 6: Commitment and focus
As Shakespeare said: “Nothing comes from doing nothing”. One of the fundamental traits of extraordinary people is their ability to deploy laser-like focus on achieving their goals, no matter the distractions, challenges, bumps and bruises along the way. For as long as the goals remain relevant to them, extraordinary people remain committed and focused. When we really focus on something, we turbo-boost our efforts and see more clearly how to do the work.
Belief 7: Happiness and gratitude
Happiness is a decision we make. It’s not derived from an event, nor is it dependent on somebody else. Happiness is not a stroke of luck. Too many people say, ‘I’d be happy if ……’ or, ‘I’ll be happy when ……….’ Pinning our happiness on something that has yet to come to pass is a sure-fire way to miss the happiness available to us in the here and now.
The practice of gratitude is absolutely fundamental to replenishing our energy reserves. It is one of the key ways in which we choose happiness for ourselves and it also boosts our ability to empathise with others and live in a more open-hearted and generous way.
Extraordinary people know that happiness and gratitude is central to their sparkle in life. In some way, it also outwardly contributes to their magnetism that we’re attracted to.
You’ve made it. They’re the seven beliefs of extraordinary people. They aren’t unique to others. They’re simple strategies that work and can be mastered by us all.
Are you up for it?
Say yes, and become extraordinary – as you define it.
QUESTION: Which of the seven beliefs do you practice already? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to read your thoughts.