Do you remember that moment? That time when you felt inspired to be something better, do something better, go somewhere better? That call to rise above the magnetic pull of mediocrity to something greater, something extraordinary.
It happens to me when I visit some of my favorite places on the planet, listen to my favorite speakers, read my favorite authors, spend time with my favorite people, look at my favorite art or listen to my favorite musicians.
The older I get, the more I believe there are moments, places, people and ideas in this world that say to us,
“Don’t settle. Don’t waste a single day on average. Come be adventurous and risk the average life for one that will be filled with stories to be told.”
These moments can be a person we meet or sometimes even never meet, a place we go, a thing we see or an idea we have or have shared with us. They are different for each of us but their call is the same,
“Risk the average life for an extraordinary one.”
Travel Seasons Us
I love the quote from Mark Twain, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
When you travel, you travel more than the earth beneath your feet, you travel to new places in your soul that you never knew existed before.
You come in contact with all of those things that call us to be extraordinary. You meet new people, you go new places, you see new things and you think new ideas.
Travel seasons us. It makes us better people by changing our perspective.
This month I was able to travel to Salt Lake City for the first time and I didn’t know what to expect. It was a business trip and I got to spend some amazing time with the all star kids and doctors at the Shriners Hospitals for Children there.
Every time I meet the kids and staff at these wonderful hospitals I am blown away by their perspectives, attitudes, and zeal for living.
The doctors and nurses have a love for these children and their families I haven’t seen anywhere else. They treat them as if they are their own children and it shows.
These children and their families deal with unbelievable medical issues, some from the moment they are born, and yet they are some of the happiest people I’ve ever met.
What some people would see as disabilities, these children have turned into the most beautiful abilities I have ever seen.
They call me to be extraordinary.
The Unique Vibe of Places
I believe every city or place you go has a certain vibe to it. Some of my favorite ones are the islands of Hawaii and the North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota. These places, have a special place in my heart and it’s because of their unique vibe.
I think Salt Lake City may make it’s way onto my list of places I love. At least during the summer, as I’m not a huge winter sports guy, unless you count making snowmen with the kids a winter sport.
But each of these places have a laid back feel, as if they don’t care what pace the world is going at, they’ve set their own pace and determined what’s important to them and it isn’t being in a hurry.
These places call me to be extraordinary.
People Who Matter
There are people we know who call us to be extraordinary.
It could be a first love, or a love that has passed the test of time, or maybe a great friend or family member that you always look forward to seeing.
Maybe you respect them for their character or talents. Maybe they’ve just been there for you when you’ve needed them the most or perhaps they’ve stood by your side during life’s highs and lows and you couldn’t think of anyone else you trust more.
No matter the history, the fact remains that your world lights up even when you think of them.
There are also people who we’ve never met that call us to be extraordinary.
We may have read a book or article by them or heard a story about something they’ve done. More often than not, they’ve lived lives in pursuit of something better, something that called to them to risk the average life and be more.
Whether you know them personally or not, these people call us to be extraordinary.
An Idea Worth Living For
Those people we haven’t met, but that call us to be extraordinary, are probably some of the great men and women who have given up their lives for an idea they thought was worth dying for, and many times they’ve become heroes that show us a better way.
But for most of us, we won’t have to make that choice, but rather the choice we face is finding an idea worth living for. We hear stories of those who gave up everything to pursue a dream or a cause and it inspires us to live extraordinary lives.
It forces us to think beyond ourselves and into a world filled with people uniquely different than us. These ideas challenge us and ignite a driving force inside of us that begs us to make our world a better place.
These ideas call us to be extraordinary.
Call Your Kids to Be Extraordinary
It’s our jobs as parents to put these types of people, places and ideas in front of our children in order to fill them with a zest for life that calls them to be extraordinary.
In order to do that we have to model that same appreciation for these things that we want our kids to have, and even more importantly, we have to model our own action in chasing after these things and break free from being too easily amused with the mediocre.
This is the reason I started HappyDad. I can’t ask my children to chase their dreams if I am unwilling to take the risk to chase mine.
I must jump wholeheartedly into a pursuit of my dreams, and only then, can I call back to them to pursue their own dreams as recklessly as I am my own.
I call my kids to be extraordinary.
Will You Live?
So the question is, will you live?
Will you risk the average life for the one that pursues the extraordinary?
Will you model a life of adventure for your children or one of excuses?
No matter your choice, you will be teaching them how you think they should choose.
I’m scared, but I am alive.
I’m afraid, but I am moving.
I’m chasing my dreams.
Don’t die before the end of your life. Rise up today and start living.
If not for you, then for your kids.
See you on the extraordinary path!