There are basically only two ways for life to exist – in the state of survival, or in the state of thriving. What is ordinary for most people is to be in survival. What is extraordinary is to be thriving. The state that we are in is a direct result of the paradigm, mindset or view that we have for ourselves, for we create our own reality. In order to step into creating an extraordinary life, we must first distinguish the ordinary way in which we view ourselves.

It’s not bad or wrong to have an ordinary view of oneself. It’s just inherently limited. The ordinary is given by our wants, desires, judgments, assessments, expectations, attachments, obligations, opinions, cynicism, criticism, skepticism, resignation, blame, shame and guilt. It’s what we commonly find all around us – in the news, TV, talk shows… almost everywhere.

Inside the domain of the ordinary, “love” exists as conditional, filled with obligations, expectations and attachment. It is emotionally based. It is filled with “hopes” as well as fears.

The underlying motivational force inside the domain of the ordinary is fear. Fear is what compels us to take action in order to avoid pain, or at least what we think will cause pain or discomfort. There are five major fears that drive us. The fear of rejection – for we all want to belong. The fear of failure – for we all want to succeed. The fear of success – a subtle fear that can prevent us from succeeding because it might alienate us from others. The fear of the unknown – because we want to be sure we’ll succeed and be safe. The fear of being uncomfortable – we’d rather stay in the same place, even if it doesn’t work, simply because it’s familiar and comfortable, and taking a risk is not.

Inside this domain, everything is given by our past, and the past that we have misplaced in our future. Life becomes a repetition of the same. It may get marginally better for short periods of time. However, it is fundamentally a vicious circle. Selections are based on reasons and justifications, therefore making them decisions, not choices. There is no power. Usually, there is the experience of struggle or suffering.

Now that we can see the domain of the ordinary, it is possible to examine the domain of the extraordinary.

The domain of the extraordinary is given by honoring one’s word, promises, commitments and agreements. It is grounded in the principles of gratitude, fulfillment, wholeness, inner riches, commitment, love, trust, respect, contribution, resilience, faith, compassion, partnership, generosity, responsibility, and integrity. It is the domain of champions – the winners in all areas of life! And, it is rare.

Inside the domain of the extraordinary, “love” exists as a powerful practice of accepting others exactly the way they are, and granting them being for who they are. This powerful love has no sense of obligation, attachment, or expectation. This love is kind, respectful, accepting, compassionate, generous and truly unconditional. Instead of “hope”, this powerful love operates from accepting what’s so and powerfully dealing with the present moment – not “someday, maybe…”

The underlying motivational force in the domain of the extraordinary is powerful love, which is the opposite of fear. It emanates from a deep sense of gratitude for every situation, every person, and for oneself.

Inside the domain of the extraordinary, everything is given by the present moment, and the commitment to creating a future that lives inside the extraordinary. The constraints of the past are relocated back in the past where they belong, providing a freedom to create a new reality, a new future. It is bold! Selections are made freely, after consideration, and for no reason other than it’s your choice. There is power and freedom.

Three keys to creating this extraordinary life of freedom, joy, love and happiness:

  1. Powerfully dealing with what’s so. Accepting the past as the past, living in the present, and consciously creating the future.
  2. Being a contribution. Getting outside of oneself and making a difference for others.
  3. Engaging in ongoing growth and development. We are either thriving and growing, or surviving and dying.

So, now the choice is yours. You are free to choose what type of life you want to live. You are free to choose how you view yourself and which domain you will operate in. You are always at choice. Choose wisely.

Ruben J Guzman, MPH