That little bit ‘extra’

What’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary?

Anyone who has lived in multiple countries will appreciate that packing up all your worldly possessions and upping sticks to move thousands of miles across the globe can be a roller coaster of emotions. Excitement tinged with sadness as you board the plane and wave goodbye to life as you know it. Landing at the other end with no clue about what to do or where to put down your roots. Usually knowing very few people in this new foreign land but knowing in your gut that you’ve made the right decision and that everything is going to be awesome from now on. Well, that was me five years ago. I arrived in Sydney with no job, no friends and a truckload of anxiety to boot. Weirdly though, I knew deep down that everything would work out somehow.

Fast forward to the end of my first year in Australia and something very interesting had happened. All my hopes and dreams of a new exciting life had been realised…or so I thought. When I rewind to how I felt at the end of that first year, I was convinced I’d made it. I was living in a truly beautiful city. I had an ok job with decent pay. I had made some great friends who really helped me through that first scary year. Life was, in my mind, pretty damn great. It was only the other day, almost 4 years later, that it dawned on me how delusional I had been.

Last Thursday we were sitting in a bar at Manly Wharf with a cold beer in hand at around 5.30pm in the afternoon. We’d been sitting there for a good portion of the afternoon but it was around this time that the commuters started to pour off the ferry. Now as anyone who has ever caught a ferry in Sydney will know, this is a pretty special part of the world in which to commute. There is no better way to see one of the most iconic harbour cities in the world and it never gets boring. As the droves of commuters started to head towards us something hit me like a ten tonne truck. They all looked so miserable. Like the life had been sucked out of them. Then the true realisation hit me even harder. That used to be me.

I remembered vividly those days when I would take the ferry to and from work and for that time on the water as I was commuting I would think to myself…I’ve made it! I’ve bloody made it! Who else gets to travel by ferry to and from work everyday?! I am so fricking lucky. The photo at the top of this post was taken on one of those evenings on my way home from work. Never mind the fact that I was still a cog in the machine, I hated my job and I was in a truly crappy relationship. I was firmly stuck in denial and loving it. Little did I know, there was so much more to life than my ferry ride to and from work every day.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is not meant to offend anyone who commutes or has a job. That’s really not the point I’m trying to make here. My journey has lead me to a place where I know the direction I’m going and I wouldn’t change a thing. My moment of realisation the other day was simply about how far I’ve come and how different my life is now. To give you an idea, I just spent the last 2 months in the USA with the love of my life. I didn’t have to ask my boss to approve my annual leave, I just booked a flight and off we went. Four years ago that would have been so far from the realms of possibility for me. I’m now doing something with my life that I’m passionate about, I believe in and I know will take me where I want to go.

The point is, if you are in a place right now where everything looks awesome on the surface but deep down you know there is ‘something more’ then I can tell you right now, there probably is. My advice to you is that if you don’t want to settle for anything less than extraordinary, then change something.

I’ll leave you with this. The average person spends 86,400 hours at work. The average person will spend more time with their work colleagues than with their families and friends. The average person will get a set number of days ‘holiday’ per year to do with as they please. The average person will live five days of the week in order to enjoy just two. If you don’t want to live an average life, then don’t.

So I’ll ask again, what’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary? Just that little bit ‘extra’. We can all choose to live an extraordinary life. Fact.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” Steve Jobs

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