Monday, May 30, 2011

An Extraordinary Life for an Ordinary Citizen of the World

The Reality

The passionate life is not necessarily one that is consumed by a sole undertaking which makes use of  a special skill - and ultimately serves humanity.  With 6.9 billion people in the world today, chances are that millions of others can do what you do, and realistically, do it much better.  And the truth is, not everyone has that innate desire and the resources to do good to mankind  - and by doing good I mean the kind that makes you risk life, limb and liquidity to cure the ills of this world.

99.9% percent of the world's population are not born geniuses. 99.9% of us will never compose a song that will change the face of music. Never create art that will be studied for generations to come. Never be recorded in the annals of history, except for our Birth Certificates at the Census Office. Most of us will never be great.

And to that I say, so what? We may never be great by the standards of humanity's history, but that doesn't mean we cannot live extraordinary lives - by our own standards. And living an extraordinary life, a truly passionate life starts with a conscious choice.

We all have a choice. We can see life as a series of mundanities and routines - occasionally perked up by fleeting highs in the form of shiny new things, pleasure-inducing chemicals, adulations from our superiors and subordinates, and heart-racing infatuations. And then we die.

Or! We can view life as a world of wonder and joyful journeys - with places to see, things to do and people to love. We die just the same. But wouldn't we rather grow old and gray knowing that we made this life count ? Would we not rather leave this world knowing that when we had our youth, our mobility, our beauty and our eyesight - we went places, learned new things and loved with passion?

The Power of Truly Wanting Something

All well and good, you say. But we mere ordinary citizens of the world have jobs and bills and responsibilities. As much as we want to escape the cubicles of our daily existence, we cannot just book a flight to Cambodia, learn how to pole-dance or declare love to the apple of our eyes.

If you cannot, it just means you will not. The thing about desire is that when harnessed, it can move you into inspired action. And sometimes, the desire itself, when expressed and laid before the Universe, starts a process of fulfillment - as long as the desire is constant and pure-intentioned.

The Practice of Extraordinary Living  

The extraordinary life for the ordinary citizen is not something which happens on the outside - it is within. There are four things one can do to start living this kind of life. I call them the 4 Rs of Extraordinary Living.

1. Relationships

Nurture bonds with the people who matter - your family and your core group of friends. Fix broken bonds. Forgive.

2. Recreate

Pursue your interests and hobbies. Do the things that make you happy. Best if this allows you to create something with your hands or your mind. (Shopping does not count.)

3. Revel in Nature

Watching a sunset on a beach or at a mountaintop does wonders for the soul. Get out of the city.
Breathe in fresh country air.

4. Retreat and Reflect

Have some time alone. Disconnect for a whole weekend. Enlightenment comes in solitude. Connect with your inner divinity, with the Universe, with God.

How It All Ties Up

Interestingly enough, when you do the 4 Rs mentioned above, you will inevitably see places, do things and love people. 

Go forth, ordinary citizens, and live extraordinarily. :)

There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment.  - Anais Nin