The Ordinary that is Extraordinary

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it is easy to become disillusioned about many things. It depends upon what you measure for. If you measure for the good, you may notice:

· There are more stories of survival than despair.

· Vast numbers of people, paid and unpaid, did the right thing at the right time, helping neighbors they didn’t even know.

· The flood of support from Americans and from our friends around the world has been inspiring.

If life were perfect, news broadcasts would have an even balance of positive and negative news. If life were perfect, we’d be just as interested in the good news as we are in the bad. But we aren’t, are we?

It’s never embarrassing to join in angry talk about something that wasn’t handled correctly. But crying for joy in public? Now, that’s embarrassing! It’s easier to be mad than to be moved.

If you looked with fresh eyes, you might see that you are surrounded by circumstances all the time that would move you to tears of joy. Measure for how amazing life is and watch how your ordinary life becomes extraordinary

Here is the question of the day:

What are you measuring for?

If you were to rate the percentage of good versus bad in your life, what percentage would you say is going extremely well versus what’s not?

If you measure for what you have, your life is undoubtedly extraordinary. Start with the fact that you are alive. For many of those in Louisiana and Mississippi, that is number one – so many came close to dying.

Do you have food, water and shelter? The percentage is going up.

Do you have at least one person (or pet!) who cares whether you live or die? Add extra percentage points if there is more than one. That needle is climbing.

Do you have income? Are you healthy? Are you talented? Have you enjoyed a movie, a TV show, a book or a musical piece recently? That needles is climbing, climbing, climbing!

The Law of Attraction works like this: you get more of what you focus on. That is both the good news and the bad news. It’s good news because we have control over the quality of our experience. It’s bad news because as a society we primarily focus on what’s wrong.

I know you’ve heard all this before.

SO WHAT (she typed rudely, all in caps)?!?!?

Read it and ponder it anew!

If you’ve paid attention to this message in the past, then I am preaching to the choir. Not only is your life extraordinary, you KNOW it, which is even better. If you haven’t been listening and you still can see only what you lack, then it’s probably safe to say that you’re pretty unhappy and annoyed by this column.

Hoping to get what you want from life by measuring what you don’t have will reap the same benefits as arguing with a skunk – not only do you get sprayed, but the stink will stay with you for a long, long time.

Here is an ordinary event I witnessed yesterday that was really quite extraordinary:
At lunchtime, two men sat in a restaurant at two tables, their chairs back to back. Visually, they looked very different. One was short and in his late 20’s, the other was tall and 40ish. They were also of different ethnicities. When I noticed them, the older man was turned around saying something to the younger and they were both laughing. It was obvious they didn’t know each other but had found some common ground on which to share a funny moment. It was nothing profound except when you consider how many times we hear about strangers who are different and fighting with each other over some imagined slight.

Let’s start measuring for the ordinary that is extraordinary. When we look, we discover it is all around us.

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