Extraordinary is defined as going beyond the usual, regular or customary. This time of year, you make resolutions, plans, goals or changes. Diets, exercise, spending habits, changing careers or possibly starting a business may be some of your goals. Making changes are not just getting rid of bad habits or routines! Turn your habits and routines upside down do something extraordinary!
I like routine! Some look at routine as boring, predictable or monotonous. Routines are a regular way of doing things in a particular order. You cannot do everything differently every day! We all have routines such as how we get ready in the morning or exercise routines or even having lunch with your colleagues. Routines are normal, but you should shake them up sometimes. As a teacher, I developed routines that work for the students and the class.
I am outside my normal routine because I no longer have a particular assignment. Every day, I teach a different group of students and often a different subject. As a secondary teacher, I may teach any number of classes from sixth (6th) through twelfth (12th) grade. Every class is different because of the subject, grade, school and students. I may have an AP (advanced placement), Honors or special education class. Often, the composition of the class creates discipline issues. Some more than others!
If I just approach all classes as though they were the same, I would fail miserably! For the most part my students are teenagers and react differently to adults. They say and do things that defy logic! I may change my routine every time I meet a new class, but there are some similarities. My approach is always the same. I state my expectations or rules and constantly walk around the room to stop any problems. In addition, I isolate problem children immediately as a consequence of bad behavior. If there is a lesson, I add to make it more interesting or relevant. This is how I try to do something extraordinary.
In business, there are many opportunities to break routine! If you are doing things the same way each time, you miss a lot of opportunities for extraordinary work. Early in my career, I worked on budgets. Every budget, I worked on had extraordinary results! I was 99% accurate because I asked a lot of questions. I felt it was my opportunity to show what I could do. I had a lot more insight into the operations of the division which helped me analyze the operating results every month.
Extraordinary work does not stop at work! I used my willingness to go beyond the usual with my investments too. I looked for investments that were undervalued or significant growth. It started with rental property, business and currently stock investments. You have to look for opportunities or you miss them. For example, I invest in stock index and sector funds, stocks, real estate and collectibles. When I bought real estate, I looked for properties that were undervalued. I was able to build it into a business and achieve financial independence.
What you can do?
Look for opportunities – Start with the outcome! What are you trying to achieve? It helps to do a little planning or setting goals. Just getting by never works!
Start small – In education, it starts with one student! If I can get through to one student, I can through to more. You may have to alter your approach, but start small and build from it.
It starts with attitude! – How you approach your career, work and personal life will either help or hurt the outcome. Be positive and try things. Change what doesn’t work and build on what does.
Listen – I learn about more opportunities when I listen to other people. You have to open to learn from others. That is how I started to invest in rental property.
High expectations – Parents and teachers have high expectations of us, but we do not always have them for ourselves. You can do something extraordinary too!
You can easily go through life and survive! Just follow sensible rules of living on less than you earn, avoid consumer debt and save/invest in the future. For me, I want to achieve something or feel good about what I do. I want to do the extraordinary. You have to look for the opportunities and then you have to know what to do when you find it. It is not easy, but everyone can do it. Just ask yourself, if you did your best every day? If you did you probably did something extraordinary! Do something extraordinary today!
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