Does raising the bar help us to build an extraordinary life?

By Scott Ray (Flickr: high jump) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Scott Ray via Wikimedia Commons
When I was going to the gym everyday for 6 weeks*, I noticed that there are actually lots of people going to the gym everyday. As extraordinary as I felt that it was to be going to the gym everyday and how accomplished I felt because of it: this was clearly other people’s ordinary.

I am realizing that the more that I accomplish the higher the bar becomes for an extraordinary life. For example, if I exercise every day, this becomes ordinary. So then what becomes extraordinary? Running a marathon?  Doing a triathalon? Being an athlete in the Olympics?

I am not sure that this bar should keep going up and up and up, at least not in some directions. Will an extraordinary life be built upon raising this bar or living a life that you can be proud of and leaving a legacy behind you. Perhaps raising the bar be whatever we decide.

The Barefoot Executive, Carrie Wilkerson talks about living an extraordinary life. In her world, having breakfast with your kids and taking them to and picking them up from school. Making it to their school events. Being the parent that shows up. This is now the extraordinary in our world.

However you decide to raise your bar, I think that by doing something that you feel good about everyday for yourself, whether it’s going to the gym or eating well, you begin to feel like you can accomplish more. You feel like – hey, if I can go to the gym every day, then maybe there’s other things (like being a writer!) that I can accomplish.  Well, that seems like a a point on the side of raising the “ordinary” bar.

*You may notice that this is past tense. I have taken a little break from going to the gym now that summer is here. But, I know I will get back to it and that I have the discipline to do so when the cold days come in November (talk about raising the bar).

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