Have you ever noticed how many things in your life that are really extraordinary become very normal things for you? Repetition seems to numb our awareness of the abnormal, the uniqueness that can find its way into our lives. It is really sad if you think about it because there are some pretty amazing things in this world and far too often we just plain miss how amazing it really is.
Imagine a waitress who works at one of the top rated restaurants in the country. The waitress may come to a point where she will no longer eat any of the food served in this amazing restaurant because she is around it every day. The extraordinary becomes normal to this waitress. The extraordinary becomes ordinary. People will continue to flock to this restaurant from all over the country to experience and taste this amazing food, but to this waitress, she views the food differently. The food has not changed. She is eating the same food that everyone else is, but she just sees it differently than those other people do.
The result of this altered perception can be tragic if you are a spouse, a parent, a leader, an entrepreneur or just about anything else. Parents miss entire relationships with kids over this. Spouses get divorced because of this. Leaders miss opportunities. We all miss the opportunity to live in awe of what we’ve so graciously have been given. We all tend to forget to celebrate wins and embrace the good.
To overcome this reality, to keep the extraordinary from becoming ordinary, we MUST stop and reflect on what is around us. We must put the things going on around us into the proper perspective. We must take notice of our surroundings and circumstances and ask ourselves the following questions:
What is amazing around me?
What may I be missing out on here?
What is so unexplainable in my life that it simply cannot come from human origin?
It is an improper attitude that causes the extraordinary to become ordinary. It is a limited perspective that turns the amazing into the mundane. It is even the simple reality of repetition that can turn our red beating hearts into gray, motionless stone.
Let’s look at this from a simple equation point of view to gain some perspective on this.
Extraordinary thing x frequency = perceived ordinary thing.
Frequency acts as a diluting factor in this equation. As the frequency increases, the more ordinary the extraordinary thing becomes. Obviously, we have very little control over the frequency. It just happens sometimes even when we don’t want it to happen. We also can’t control the extraordinary thing that is occurring.
Since we can’t control the extraordinary thing or the frequency, we need to look at something else that we can add to the equation. I would like to propose the following two alternative equations:
Extraordinary thing x frequency x REFLECTION = Extraordinary thing.
In this equation we see that if we take the time to reflect on the extraordinary thing and recognize that it truly is an extraordinary thing, we can prevent the diluting factor of frequency. We can keep the extraordinary thing extraordinary by reflecting regularly on the fact that it is extraordinary.
Extraordinary thing x frequency x PERSPECTIVE = Extraordinary thing
In this equation we see that if we take the time to put the extraordinary thing into the proper perspective, we can view the thing as extraordinary and not ordinary. By keeping things in the proper perspective, we can prevent the diluting factory of frequency. By doing this, the extraordinary thing stays extraordinary.
A sad reality is that if we don’t learn to embrace the extraordinary things in our lives today, there will be no extraordinary things in our lives tomorrow. Either it will be there and we’ll miss it or it won’t be there because we never learned to embrace it the first time.
Life is going to happen to us whether we want it to or not. There will be good things that happen to us and bad things. Things that will make us smile and things that will make us cry. There will be ordinary things that happen to us, but there will also be extraordinary things. When these extraordinary things come along, we need to keep them extraordinary. We need to embrace them. We need to ask for more of them. Whatever you do, don’t miss them.