“Ironically, it is those rare individuals who decide to leave the crowd and act contrary to what “everyone else” is doing who typically achieve true success, wealth, and fulfillment.” -Anthony Moore
The truth is, most people aren’t living the life they want. Most people aren’t happy with the current circumstances of their life. And most people cannot say they wake up with true joy and excitement to face the day.
Why? Because they’re not on the path they’ve chosen for themselves. Most people’s lives are lived on other people’s terms. They do not what’s best for them, but what other people expect of them.
As Derek Sivers wrote in his book, Anything You Want,
“Most people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own. They spend decades in pursuit of something that someone convinced them they should want, without realizing that it won’t make them happy.”
You cannot live an extraordinary life by doing what ordinary people do. And you do not find extreme happiness by doing what other people expect of you.
An Ordinary Life is Something We’ve Been taught to Accept, Not Something We’ve Chosen for Ourselves
“The idea that one would only have enough to be “comfortable” or “adequately satisfied” is a concept that has been sold — by the educational system, the media, and politicians — to convince an entire population of people to settle instead of strive for abundance.” -Grant Cardone
The industrialists have done a phenomenal job in teaching an entire population of people to be obedient and compliant members of society rather than to seek freedom.
We have been convinced that if we will just put our heads down, follow the instructions, and help other people achieve their dream, then we can live our dream. We can earn enough money to feed ourselves, put a roof over our heads, take a vacation once in a while and ultimately, be happy.
However, it doesn’t long to discover this is a promise without fulfillment.
The middle class is under a tight squeeze; income levels are decreasing, jobs are being shipped overseas and most people are not happy with their work.
The great news is, you can take yourself out of this industrialists equation.
Although the world will not teach, or even encourage you to become extraordinary, this life is still available to anyone who is brave enough to carve their own path in order to live the life they want.
If this is you, keep reading because here’s how you do it:
1. Never Accept the Rules by Which Other People Operate
“Never play by the agreed-upon norms within which others operate. The rules, norms, and traditions of any group or industry are usually traps that prevent new ideas, higher levels of greatness, and domination.” -Grant Cardone
Most people live by what I would coin as, “The mediocre playbook” — a list full of conventional wisdom that has been passed down from generations to ensure they live the same life as everyone that has come before them.
They go to college not because they want to but because the norm tells them to. They live not on their terms, but other people terms.
Now, what sort of fun is this? Though, but most people do not question it, and will be quick to shut down anyone who suggests an idea that is not between the pages of the book, even if it’s making them miserable and unhappy.
In his book, The One Thing, Gary Keller wrote,
“Anyone who dreams of an uncommon life eventually discovers there is no choice but to seek an uncommon approach to living it.”
And I couldn’t agree more. If you want to live an extraordinary life, you must burn the mediocre playbook — it’s served you long enough.
And instead, always think about how can do something differently. Don’t blindly follow the crowd, and never be afraid to defy the rules by which most people operate in order to create new rules to live the life you want.
2. Spend Your Time Creating, Rather Than Consuming
“Entertainment is all well and good. But only when that entertainment is an investment in your relationships or yourself. You’ll know if it was an investment if that entertainment continues to yield returns over and over in your future. That may include positive memories, transformational learning, or deepened relationships.” — Benjamin P. Hardy
If you’ve ever wondered why you don’t see ads for Tesla’s or Ferrari’s on your television set, I can give you the answer the right now:
Because anyone who’s got the money to buy a Tesla or Ferrari isn’t watching TV.
The people with that sort of money are not spending it (or their time) on consuming things made by other people, rather, they’re spending it getting where they want to be in life.
After watching hours of other people vlogging and playing video games, I discovered you can either follow the life of someone else and watch them become successful, or you can focus on yourself and watch yourself because successful.
And to do the latter is when you feel most alive. As 18 times bestselling author, Seth Godin wrote,
“Twenty people in the field and eighty thousand in the stands. The spectators are the ones who paid to watch, but it’s the players on the field who are truly alive.”
Ultimately, there is no certain formula to living an extraordinary life. But there’s one thing I know for sure: you will not live an extraordinary life by doing what ordinary people do.
We have been convinced and sold on the idea that you’ll have enough to be “comfortable” or “adequately satisfied” by following the rules of other people. However, this a bargain that never comes into fruition.
You don’t have to follow the crowd, and you have every right to create new rules to live the life you want.
Consume the things that are going to help you get where you want to be and leave the rest behind.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to stand out from the crowd; be afraid of fitting in with the crowd.
“Fitting in is a short-term strategy, standing out pays off in the long-run.” -Seth Godin