Leaders: What Does Extraordinary Mean?

What is “Extraordinary”?

Let’s begin our journey together by examining the concept of “extraordinary”. What does the word technically mean? To understand this, we can look at traditional definitions. Webster’s Dictionary tells us that extraordinary means:

“: very unusual : very different from what is normal or ordinary… extremely good or impressive”

This is a comparative concept. It means “something very different from something else – normal or ordinary”. Comparative concepts like these can make achieving extraordinary challenging; how do you know when you have achieved extraordinary? What is the measurement? What are the milestones?

If you are an achiever in life and career, you are probably a goal-setter; you probably relish the thought of checking of milestones, tasks and other objectives. In fact, if you’re like me you probably keep lists to track your progress in various aspects of life; and you might even add a completed task on an existing list just to have the distinct thrill of checking it off—evidence of success. Admit it! You do it, don’t you?

Looking for Leaders who want to be EXTRAORDINARY in Life & Career. Join us today — “There is no perfect time for self-development except NOW.”

Free Workshop/Discussion (use the big red button while it is there for one free pass*)—>www.SmartysGuide.com<—

However, adding “Be Extraordinary” to a list such as this is fruitless, because the phrase cannot be measured or simply checked off as finished. To do this, we will have to dig deeper and define what the term means in concrete terms. What does “Being Extraordinary” mean to you, in your life?

Before we dive too deep into this personal definition of extraordinary, a closer examination of “ordinary or normal” might be in order. Webster’s dictionary has two definitions that are related to our subject matter:

  1. “of a kind to be expected in the normal order of events :  routine, usual <an ordinary day>”
  2. “a :  of common quality, rank, or ability <an ordinary teenager>  b :  deficient in quality :  poor, inferior <ordinary wine> “

Isn’t it interesting that the second definition uses the phrase, “deficient in quality”? This feels very much like a cultural assignment—a judgment on what is good enough to most on most days. This definition gives me pause to wonder how this cultural judgment impacts self-worth when internalized by a society.

On most days, in many situations, “good enough” is simply good enough. Wisdom indicates that there are times when “good enough” is the best balance of time, attention and energy in something that does not rank high on a well-prioritized list. If we were to be dissatisfied with ordinary 100% of the time, we could arguably be labeled “perfectionist”.  Perfectionism has its’ own litany of issues and negative connotations, most of which to not cultivate an extraordinary life experience.

“Wisdom indicates that there are times when “good enough” is the best balance of time, attention and energy in something that does not rank high on a well-prioritized, values-based list.”

 Perfectionism is a continual unrest, dissatisfaction, and tormenting judgment. This is not a state of being that contributes to being extraordinary. Indeed, our productivity and effectiveness in all aspects of life can be greatly diminished through a constant focus on perfect. Key relationships often suffer because the inner-turmoil and constant judgment builds impenetrable castle walls and motes around us, disconnecting us from others and our ability to succeed.

This disconnected state deteriorates our ability to influence others. In terms of leadership, perfectionism can be effective in the short-term, but is not the stuff of great leaders who others want to follow and emulate.

In families, perfectionism equals tremendous stress and dysfunction. It erodes trust and builds resentment when it is the primary focus for communication and living together. Chronic perfectionism and the continual dissatisfaction communicated can create long-term relational riffs and eat away self-respect in all involved.

So, being extraordinary is not being perfect. We will examine personality types another time as they relate to states of being, but for now let’s decide that our goal is not to become super humans, perfect in all things; and it’s certainly not to harbor judgment and/or resentment as a regular practice. These states simply do not serve us well in terms of life/career experience.

Join in on the conversation about being extraordinary:  Free Online Workshop – use the red button to get a free ticket to the first in the series of 3 workshops on Extraordinary Living & Working. Smarty’s Guide to Being Extraordinary in Life & Work: The Leaders’ Bible.

 Looking for Leaders who want to be EXTRAORDINARY in Life & Career. Join us today — “There is no perfect time for self-development except NOW.” Use the Reb Button for One Free Pass*—>www.SmartysGuide.com<—

*Limited free pass for first-time Smarty – available only if the Big Red Button is visible!

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Thank you for my MESSY HOUSE!

I am SO grateful to look at my chaotic house right now. Why? What would normally make me want to run screaming out the front door now feels like evidence of a productive and meaningful week. Yes. My HOUSE could be taped off as a disaster area… but.. Imagine this: My HEART is open and engaged!

Yes, it was a stressful week with lots of hours. Yes, I’ve had confrontations, haters, nay-sayers, and doubters… I’ve been beaten up with “You should have’s…” even worse— “I should have’s”… but sometimes you just have to push through all of that to make one very slow, and small step towards your vision. My vision is healthy and prosperous life for all girls, all women. One by one… One girl at a time… One woman at a time.

Looking for Smarties — People who want to be EXTRAORDINARY in Life & Career. Join us today — “There is no perfect time for self-development except NOW.” —>www.SmartysGuide.com<—

What is your vision? Your mission? What if it interferes with your facade–your perfection fantasy? Don’t we all have this illusion–especially as women: the fantasy that we can be passionate and engaged in life and and STILL MAINTAIN the 1950′s version of spotless, cookie-cut homes?  I hope you agree, that no longer fits reality.

When I was in the advertising business in the 80′s and 90′s, my first council to doe-eyed, eager-to-make-money clients was always this:  Do you want a) quality work, b) quantity of work, c) cheap work?  Pick two!  You cannot have all three.

Now apply that concept to life and personal extraordinary living… you can usually have 2 of these three choices. Those of us who have the perfectionist gene will want all three, which can ultimately prevent us from making progress–from moving forward boldly. Our perfectionism can be a barrier to achieving our desires. Which 2 of these are most meaningful for you? (hint: there is no right or wrong answer, just your answer)
1. Abundance of time
2. Abundance of money and cool stuff under control
3. Abundance of personal fulfillment

… more below…

Limited Time Offer! FREE Webinar… Click on the BIG RED BUTTON while it lasts! Join us today — “There is no perfect time for self-development except NOW.”

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… continued …

Which two would you choose? Or more importantly, which one are you willing to RELEASE in able to achieve the other two?

I’m not saying that you can’t have all three. I am simply pointing out that unless we can release one of these, we can become “stuck” in the muck of indecision.

So, what does a messy house mean in all of this? It means letting go of the appearance of having the stuff under control… it means letting go of the “time” I need to keep the house “perfect” and using that time to focus on things that bring personal fulfillment… it means embracing the mess that comes with consciously choosing to live in the space of personal fulfillment as a number one priority.

Why does this matter? It matters to me because I’ve found that the most chaotic weeks have opened space for the most profound connections and experiences. I could not have achieved those connections if I had been worried about keeping the house in order, or even financial gain. Those weeks when I felt embarrassed about letting people into my HOUSE, I now know I have been GRACED with people pouring into my SOUL.

We all need to survive, make money, plan for the future… these are indeed important things to do. However, what if we could release some of our beliefs around what this really means versus what we have been told–rules we have been given… What if we could make our own rules? Rules that suit our passions and genuine, true selves… this is living. This is being genuine.

So, if you have a messy house.. BLESS YOU! You must be on the right track. :)

Coach Sara

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Extraordinary Living & Working

How do you wake up in the morning? What is your mood like? What are your thoughts? Do you wake up with dread and anxiety; or is it peace and anticipation? What if every morning could be greeted with excitement and high energy?

It is my belief that everyone deserves to wake up happy and ready to get on with an extraordinary life and work experience. If this is not the case for you, take this quick quiz:

  1. How many days out of the week do I wake up energized and expecting to have a positive life/work experience?
  2. On the positive mornings, to what am I looking forward?
  3. On the other days what thoughts of dread, fear, or anxiety am I experiencing at awakening?
  4. What are all the reasons for the negative thoughts and emotions?

Once you have given this some observation and thought, try to select one item in number four and commit to do something about it. Even if you feel stuck in a situation that is causing you unhealthy emotions, you can start to diffuse the charge of the emotions surrounding the situation simply by becoming more aware of how it is impacting you, and changing how you think about it, or changing the amount of time and energy you give it.

I hope you join me for the April & May workshops in Mankato, MN designed to build your own set of tools and treasures to increase the number of days you feel like leaping out of bed and getting on with an extraordinary day!  MORE INFORMATION

We sill soon be launching an online and telephone version of these workshops for those that do not live in this area or who just want to attend from the privacy and comfort of home. Stay tuned and sign up for our Fusion newsletter to stay abreast of upcoming opportunities and more articles.

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Guided Meditation for Connection & Freedom

How do we find freedom in connection? Spend a few moments with this meditation to find your own answers.

Meditation for Connection and Freedom – Podcast – AAC

Join our meditation circle on Facebook to receive notices on new meditations Meditation Circle

The Fusion Meditation Circle is free to join at this time. Please enjoy and share. Donations for the Surge Youth Leadership Program are appreciated, but not required.

to the Surge Youth Leadership Program. 


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Intention-setting Guided Meditation

Please enjoy this guided meditation. Check back for more posts and meditations frequently.

This guided meditation is all about intention. Setting your intentions for your ideal self — your genuine you. Let’s begin…  Intention Meditation

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Thought for the day

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SURGE Program Receives Significant Funding

So happy to share that our SURGE! Youth Program has received THREE grants this year! See the list of organizations and more information on the program here.

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Fabulous Girls Enrichment Afternoon!

Fabulous afternoon with girls here at Fusion Farm… If there is enough interest we will schedule more girls camps for Friday afternoons!

Here’s a touching slideshow of the event (about 1 minute download): Girls Leadership Camp, 08-2012-Mobile

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Leadership Day Slide Show

WOW! What a great day of personal development. These women wen’t beyond their limits and built new realities for themselves – and made new friends too. Super day!

Fusion Leadership retreat

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What’s the Link? Humans & Animals…

Why are people so connected to animals? What is that bond that can sometimes feel stronger than anything we experience with other humans? Why do we go all soft and gooey when we see a picture of a baby animal or feel inspired when we see an image of an eagle in flight?

All animal-lovers probably have their own answers to these questions. I recently found research on this topic that inspired me to share the information and to share some of my own experience working with people and horses.

Here is an excerpt from the “Center for the Human-Animal Bond”. (Purdue University of Veterinary Medicine):

“The Human-Animal Bond is the dynamic relationship between people and animals in that each influences the psychological and physiological state of the other. Human-animal interaction has profound physiological consequences. People, in the contact with animals experience a decrease in blood pressure, reduced anxiety, and a general feeling of well being. By observing the behavior of animals, children learn to be more nurturing and perhaps better parents to their own children. The therapeutic value of animals for socially isolated individuals in nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, and prisons has been documented. People in the presence of animals are often perceived to be more happy and healthy…” … More at http://www.vet.purdue.edu/chab/index.html

What follows below is my paper on how horses can be extremely powerful partners in human personal development based on my studies and experience:

Equine Guided Education (EGE) or Horse-Assisted Learning is less about horsemanship and more about “human-ship”. While it certainly increases the bond between horse and rider, the focus is on what horses can teach us about the rest of our lives or certain situations that we might be experiencing such as relationship issues, grief, career transitions, etc. They teach us because they are masters at reading and reflecting our energetic state. Anyone who’s ever gotten into an argument with a horse over getting in a trailer or going away from the herd knows this–the more frustrated we get, the more frustrated and stubborn the horse gets. This is the most obvious example of energy attracting like energy between you and the horse, and it’s not even the tip of the tip of the iceberg of how horses read us. They are truly “human whisperers”.

Equine Guided Education accesses your ability to learn concepts through three channels: kinesthetic learning through physical activity; metaphorical learning through symbolism and comparative conceptual application; and metaphysical learning through core energy connections. In other words, it access your body, mind, and spirit to internalize what you learn.

So Equine Guided Corporate Training is similar to other experiential learning programs such as ropes courses or rock climbing. Teams do activities safely on the ground with the horses to learn about things like leadership and team building. We find that the learning sticks better with this style of learning because it is outside their normal business box and therefore extremely metaphorical and memorable.

Private coaching with horses is the same. We learn through the benefit of having the horse as mirror and the coach to translate and probe for deeper opening and access to that inner wisdom that we so often ignore or can’t hear anymore because of the rush of daily living. This is a powerful, transformative method and perfect for anyone who is contemplating life changes or anyone who just wants to take their experience on this planet to the next level.

The difference is the horse as your learning partner. It’s just one big bundle of information, energy and spirit, and it is the missing link in our modern every day. Humans and horses have cohabitated for most of our existence prior to the invention of the automobile. It is a piece missing in our daily learning and energetic connection to the earth, our spirit, and the rest of the species.

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