“I believe success is achieved by ordinary people with extraordinary determination.”
- I actually would like to take this a step further and point out what C. S. Lewis observed, “there are no ordinary people”.
- No two people are alike. Even identical twins have different fingerprints and a few different genes. This is just taking into account the physical differences. Personality adds to this in amazing ways. We are all born with certain abilities – some are introverts and some are extroverts, some are extremely logical in their approach to life and others feel their way through life. There are very serious people and ones that laugh and make others laugh easily. But none of these things we are born with makes someone less than anyone else or any better. It’s all in how we use what we’ve been given that continues to mold us into the person we are.
- Life experiences can, and actually should, be life-changing in that we learn from them and they change the way we approach the world and interact with people. We further influence who we are by the people with whom we associate and the choices of how we will live our lives – will we be different than those who raised us or will we conform to repeat history – sometimes it is a great history and sometimes the damage is astronomical. It all shapes and molds us, but we do have a choice, we always have a choice, about how we will let events and people affect us. I honestly didn’t understand this until recently.
- The part about this quote I love is the “extraordinary determination” part. We are extraordinary just because God made us that way, but it takes extraordinary determination to grow and be willing to face things about ourselves that need to change to be better.
- When I was growing up, my parents always watched “60 Minutes“. Every two weeks, they had a feature called “Everybody Has a Story” someone would throw a dart at a United States map and wherever it landed the reporter, Steve Hartman, would go. When he arrived in the town where the dart had landed, he would flip through a local phone book and pick a person at random. He would then contact the person and interview them. The stories people had to tell were amazing. There were some easily recognized extraordinary stories by very extraordinary people. There were also times when the person he was interviewing made it like pulling teeth to get anything from them, but he didn’t give up. The more he talked to them and let them show him where they lived and what they did, the story or stories would rise to the top. Even the people themselves seemed surprised at what came out. It’s like they didn’t realize or remember this part about themselves. As I look back on those stories, I realize that these people had decided they were ordinary or less than ordinary people with nothing of value to share, but every one of them DID have a story to tell that was extraordinary.
- There are no ordinary people. I believe the people who struggled to find their story had told themselves, or been told, that they were of little value. They were never shown that they mattered and that they made a difference. This is definitely where extraordinary determination comes into play. It takes determination to decide what people said was wrong and to stop listening to them so they could find the extraordinary person they were and always had been.
- It is helpful to everyone if we would all take the time and effort to dig a little deeper to see the extraordinary person in every person. The problem is that most of us aren’t willing to or don’t even know to look deeper. To have someone come up alongside us and tell us we’re so much more than we’ve been told can change everything. Sometimes it’s the extraordinary determination of someone else fighting for us to see who we really are and to help change our internal dialogue that makes the difference.
- I often wonder what this world would be like if we all were seen for who we are and what we bring to the table. So many times, especially in group situations, people focus so much on themselves and how they can shine and be recognized that, sometimes even without realizing it, they diminish others who are working with us to promote ourselves. The thing is that no one is good at everything. However, if we give people the tasks they are suited for and allow them to shine, what we are trying to do turns out better than we could have ever imagined and everyone involved shines even brighter. That’s called good leadership AND teamwork.
- My oldest went to a private school Kindergarten through eighth grade for gifted students (my youngest was accepted as well but he chose to go to the public school with his friends where he could play sports much earlier). It was always so amazing to me how all the students not only recognized what they did well, but they also were very aware of what their classmates did well. They chose groups for projects with everyone’s abilities in mind. It was amazing to me how often my son was utilized in writing material, performing a part or creating something as a visual aide. It’s what he excels at doing and none of the kids were threatened by this because they were utilized in the same way where they excelled.
- Bottom Line – you are extraordinary. Period. God doesn’t make junk. If you don’t know this already, it may take some extraordinary determination to get rid of all the nastiness people have told you, but there is extraordinary just waiting to be unleashed.
~ Joanna Lynn