When I was an assistant basketball coach for the local high school, before a big game the head coach would write in all lowercase letters on the chalk board the word ordinary. After the words were on the board, he would describe what he thought ordinary teams do.
To him, ordinary teams show up a few minutes before practice, go through the motions for two hours, and leave right when practice ends. On game day, an ordinary team comes unprepared, falls behind quick, and spends the rest of the game playing catch up.
Now that each player understood that winning took a greater effort, the coach would write the words EXTRA on the board right before ordinary. So now we had the words EXTRAordinary written across the board. The coach would then describe what extraordinary teams to.
To him, extraordinary teams show up 20-30 minutes before practice to work on their weaknesses, during practice an extraordinary teams competes as hard as they can, and after practice extraordinary teams stay and work on their free throws.
On game day, extraordinary teams comes prepared. The captain calls each player the night before to make sure they are ready or to tell a player a weakness he saw while watching tape. When the game starts, extraordinary teams immediately attack the weakness of the opposing team and grabs quick lead. By the time the other team has made an adjustment, it’s to late.
Although it was meant to pump up some high school kids before a big game, the speech still sits with me today.
So What’s Ordinary?
If you look ordinary up in the dictionary, here’s what you find:
Noun: What is commonplace or standard.
Adjective: With no special or distinctive features; normal.
But what really is ordinary? What is the rest of Gen Y doing that’s “commonplace or standard.”
As far as finances go, being ordinary doesn’t sound to me like a good deal. Being ordinary means spending more every month then you earn, taking vacations you can’t afford, spending $100+ on alcohol every week because you hate your job, even paying a few hundred dollars in fees every year to your bank and credit card company.
So What’s Extraordinary Today?
Extraordinary means spending less than you earn each month and you know this because you track your income and expenses. Extraordinary means paying cash for vacations, having a job that doesn’t drive you to drink, or doing business with companies who treat you well.
This might not sound like much, but it sure sounds better than being ordinary.
We have a chance to make everyday ordinary or everyday extraordinary. Which one is it going to be?
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Photo by: Hamed Saber