Sunday, April 27, 2014
An Ounce of Prevention: '10 Ways to Live an Extraordinary Life'
There are two things that I like about the particular article that I'm about to reference. One is the title of the blog that it's posted on: "Be More with Less. Life on Purpose". Secondly, it reminds me that one of the best ways to have an extraordinary marriage is to live in extraordinary life, even now, as a single woman. As you consciously strive to do "beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular, or established" and more importantly, to be "exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy; remarkable", it just might surprise you how your standards will shift and your attractions will change. And how that will bring you closer to true marital greatness.
Indeed, for some of us, God is like "I'm waiting on you to stop living such an average life so that I can bring you to the one who is truly extraordinary for you---and your lifestyle!"
That said, here's the list that this particular author provided:
1. Pay attention. When you are distracted, it’s impossible to notice the extraordinary things around you and how you feel about your life. Unplug, look up and be present.
2. Be grateful. Expressing gratitude will help you stay focused on the magnificent happenings of your day to day life. It feels good to say thank you and it’s always a good reminder of how extraordinary your life is.
3. Stop comparing. Someone will always have more or less than you. There will always be someone who is better or worse at what you do. You can’t assess who you are or what you have based on others and if your focus is on what they have or do, you can never fully appreciate all of the extraordinary blessings in your own life. Even your past and future cannot be measuring sticks for your life today. Keep your eyes on your own paper.
4. Let go. Every time I think something has a hold on me, I realize I’m the one with the tight grip. Don’t be afraid of space and the absence of all the things you think you need to be happy and secure. Absence makes the heart grow.
5. Make space. Clear out the clutter and the excess. You need space and room to pay attention to what matters most.
6. Slow down. The extraordinary life you’ve been waiting for is happening right now. While you are racing to the finish, making plans, keeping up and getting by, your extraordinary life is patiently waiting for a warm welcome. Slow your pace and look around or come to a complete stop to fully appreciate what is right in front of you.
7. Admire small miracles. Extraordinary isn’t always in the grand gestures and big impressive changes or events. Revel in the little things like the first bite of a ripe piece of fruit, a beautiful view, a stranger’s kind smile or some of the other things that happen every day. Enjoy small pleasures and find love in the little stuff.
8. Write it down. Keep a journal to record some of the extraordinary things in your daily life. Knowing that you’ll be recording your observations will be a reminder to notice and the more you notice it, the more you will notice it.
9. Act like a tourist. You might get used to your surroundings and daily events and forget about the extraordinary parts. Be a tourist in your own life and backyard and see things for the first time. Remember how that view used to wow you, or how the way someone treated you used to make your heart race. Recapture awe by changing your lens.
10. Be extraordinary. The best way to live an extraordinary life is to be extraordinary. Be extraordinary in how you treat people, including yourself. Be extraordinary in how you choose to spend your time. Be extraordinary through your thoughts, words and actions.
If you're not living this way, it's definitely something to ponder (Proverbs 4:26).
Sooner than later.