How many of us out there equate success or happiness to big things or events that happen in life? I think more people than not operate in this way of thinking which is very natural in our tunnel-visioned "go go go" culture. Most of us probably feel insignificant or small unless something giant happens where our name is 'in lights'. I think this is especially the case for those of us living in New York City. I've felt like the smallest fish in the biggest pond at times here but that is ironically also what keeps me sharpened and challenged.
Recently, I've had some significant reminders of how powerful the 'ordinary' can be. Normally, we walk along, day after day, doing our same routines without much thought. We get up, we go to work, we pay bills. Some of us exercise, some of us don't. Some of us have families, some of us are single. We all have our daily schedule that we abide by and, for the most part, it probably seems mundane. There's no denying that most of our life will probably be boring. (I actually listened to a terrific sermon on this the other day from my old pastor in Atlanta. It's the one from 9/19 that you can find here if interested.) I say that meaning most of us won't have our name in lights and instead we will simply live day after day in an 'ordinary' fashion. Now, I find nothing wrong with that. What I do take issue with, however, is the lack of focus on just how incredible so many ordinary things can be. I think the entire measure of a person's life comes down to how they live out those ordinary moments. Do you find joy in something daily? Are you able to live humbly in gratitude for the ability to walk or talk? Do you recognize the treasure it is to have a true friend? Do you find happiness in giving selflessly? Do you appreciate the roof over your head or the car that you drive or the clothes that you wear? Do you understand the value of life? Do you make every effort to never use people and to give of yourself without taking? Do these seemingly ordinary things impact you in the giant way that they should? These are the questions that I ask myself all the time. Know what the best part is? We can actually control these things everyday in order to make the ordinary become extraordinary.
I've reached a breaking point with a couple of people recently who consistently choose to see every possible thing wrong with their lives rather than appreciate these small, seemingly insignificant blessings. It's not easy to shift your focus or perspective but I've really had it with people being so ungrateful. I mean, there are plenty of things I really wish for that I don't have but you know what? I can't do a darn thing about it so I might as well shift my focus to being thankful for what I DO have. I want to live my life in a way where each of the ordinary things counts. It's a choice that we can each make, bottom line. It's not always easy but the most we can do is try. I am. Are you?