“We’re all so busy chasing the extraordinary that we forget to stop and be grateful for the ordinary.”
We live in a society that has “taught” us that bigger is better and more is what to aim for. Almost always if not always. And I think this need for more and bigger and extraordinary is hurting us, because so much of the “not as big” and “not as much” and ordinary can be enough – and even wonderful – in and of itself.
My clients who were chasing the next big project or promotion, and who have learned to appreciate – and even relish – the work they’re doing now and the team (or organization) they’re working with now. My friends who were working toward “the next big thing” or moments so sublime that they are undeniably magnificent, and who have found ways to be satisfied with – and even appreciate – their day-to-day moments and less huge accomplishments. Myself who got caught in making sure every minute and choice was absolutely intentional, needing to reach millions with my memoir and message of hope and self-love, being my unquestionably, perfectly most evolved, “best” self, who has discovered – and even savors – a new path of ease, not trying so hard, letting good enough be good enough, and living and allowing a more “ordinary” life.
When we stop chasing the ultimate and the extraordinary, the ordinary has an opportunity to flourish and to allow us to flourish with it.
I never thought I’d be the executive coach who would tell clients to do less and to do what they do less well. I was so caught in my own compulsion to do more and do everything as powerfully and flawlessly as possible. But, over the decades, I have learned that that drive and tenacity within me, while it did help, and may help, me push through in difficult times, isn’t always necessary and, actually, often backfires. It not only makes my path harder, but also makes me harder to be around and the results of my actions, actually, less spectacular. This contradiction still confuses me at times, but I have found it to be true over and over again.
When I slow my pace and make time to appreciate the simple and ordinary in my life and work, I am generally just better – better feeling, better accomplishing, better living day-to-day. When my clients slow their pace and make time to savor and relish the simple and ordinary in their lives and work, they tell me that they see these same results.
Again, still counterintuitive to me at times, but, again, still true.
There is so much in the ordinary for us to be grateful for, and gratitude can be such a balm for the challenges in life. How can we, once again, focus our minds and our lives – and our ambitions – there?
What of your ordinary are you grateful for?
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If you want to find more gratitude for what is in front of you, contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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