"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham
Thunder Bay's 'Sleeping Giant' at sunrise...circa 1977, scanned from Kodak Kodachrome 64
Photo: D. Paul Graham
Monday 5 Things…..Extraordinary…..
Perhaps my most favored aspect of Facebook has been reconnecting with friends, some of which I have not spoken with in many years. Last week I reconnected with one such friend and I have found myself taking leisurely and deliberate strolls down the proverbial memory lane. That promenade has led to the most wonderful reminiscences. Many made me literally laugh out loud with delight. Some broke my heart again with tears of profound sadness; and some took my breath away when I realized how certain experiences and decisions made years ago have shaped my life as it is today. The word that has been running around in my head has been ‘Extraordinary’. Extraordinary friends that have deeply impacted my life in ways I can’t possibly find the words to express my love and appreciation. Extraordinary teachers that taught me how to think, how to challenge, how to see, and how to create. Extraordinary people that I have met, even if for a moment, that I will never forget along this journey. Extraordinary tastes, smells and sights from around the world. Extraordinary victories celebrated. Extraordinary and spectacular failures that have been the most insightful tutors. Extraordinary dreams of a kid in Northern Ontario that today he is most fortunate to have been able to live out in his passions. What didn’t make my Extraordinary thoughts were ‘things’. I am most thankful for all that I have had in my life but was reminded again this week that living an Extraordinary Life isn’t about assets, or position. An Extraordinary Life is a state of mind that is grateful for all that we have; that fully embraces each day, rain or shine, every situation good or bad, and truly appreciates every person in our life and those that we will meet today – even those we would rather have not had the “pleasure” of their company. This morning’s M5T considers mindsets that lead to living an Extraordinary life and asks, ‘what’s Extraordinary in your life’?
Today, act on one thing, just pick one, you have been putting off; start it and then finish it. Focus on your strengths. Do the right things for the right reasons; even if no one knows you are doing it. If you love someone, tell them, show them. Renew a relationship. Rekindle a goal, a dream. Forgive someone that has deeply hurt you. Ask for forgiveness from someone you’ve hurt. Prioritize your problems and if you need help, ask for it from someone you can trust. Practice thankfulness, extend grace and cultivate peacefulness in your life and those around you.
Fight mediocrity and push back against groupthink. Defend at all costs your friends and family. Fiercely value your time. Live with honor. Win and fail with poise, and never, ever, let go of your big vision and dreams. Be relentless in not allowing toxic people to come into your life. Take the kernel of truth from naysayers but refuse to allow them to hold you back.
Prioritize and invest first in yourself, then take time to invest in others. Everyone has a story, a point of pain, a dream. It’s amazing what people will share about themselves if you simply ask and then, not so simply, just listen. Encourage and empower others to succeed. Ask questions. Always ask ‘why?’. Never hold back on asking ‘why not?’. Shape and contribute to your community. Find a way to be radically generous to someone each day.
Learn to laugh more; especially at yourself, in tough situations, and at life. Try and see the humor in negative events. If it hurts, don’t be afraid to cry. Be aware of and savor the moment. Let life happen.
Seek out new ideas, new perspectives. Resolve and commit to learn something new every day. Think for yourself, avoid following the crowd. Be inspired and inspiring, and then imagine the possibilities. Expand your creativity. Read. Watch. Listen. Foster a sense of awe in all you see and in everyone you meet.
Here’s to you being Extraordinary this week.
© 2020 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.
D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.
You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org