The Difference Between “Ordinary” and “Extraordinary” Is Obviously Figuring Out… The “Extra”

By Ron Wolforth –

Earl Nightingale, the late American radio speaker and author dealing mostly with the subjects of human character development, famously stated that being exceptional in today’s culture is a matter of identifying what the average performer in any specific area or arena does, and then doing things significantly different or beyond the average.

In other words, find out what the mediocre performers do and don’t do that. In fact, in many cases, do the exact opposite. There is a reason the mediocre are mediocre. If you do what the herd does, you almost assuredly are going to get what the herd gets… which, most often, isn’t much.

So, how can we separate ourselves from the herd?

Obviously, the possibilities are nearly endless, but let me give you two simple actions that have served Jill and me very well over the past 25 years:

#1 Always learn something valuable when you succeed or perform well.

So often when we perform well, we simply bask in the positivity of the success. Instead, we ask:

What didn’t we do particularly well?

What do we need to change or adjust?

Where were we lucky or fortunate? If we don’t improve or shore this up, next time, could it be a weakness or could it go south on us?

What do we need to reinforce and systemize?

In other words we want to grow and learn, even as we are succeeding and not just from our failures.

#2 Always identify something that we are doing well, even when we fail or perform poorly.

So often when we fail or perform poorly, we marinate in our failures, beat ourselves up, and become stuck in frustration, disillusionment, disappointment, and anxiety. Instead, we ask:

What did we do well?

What did we execute at a high level?

Did we control what was within our control?

Did we stay centered, present, and composed when things were not going our way?

We have found that if we commit to making these two simple behaviors a habit…we quickly and profoundly separate ourselves from the average.

Most people fail to learn much when they win or perform well. They often mistakenly believe success is a destination, not a journey. They fail to learn much when things are going well, they are often too busy celebrating.

Most people are hypercritical of themselves when they lose or perform poorly. They often get stuck in critique and analysis. They frequently fail to recognize the many good things they are doing because the poor results overwhelm them. They are too busy wringing their hands, beating themselves up, or feeling sorry for themselves.

These two simple habits can be a great little extra in your pursuit of extraordinary.

Until next time,

Stay curious and keep fighting the good fight.

Coach Wolforth



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