Extraordinary Lives….

Life in general is extraordinary. The very fact that we are all here, existing in the here and now is a miracle in itself. I don’t like it went people say they are ordinary. Ordinary implies nothing special. How often do we compare ourselves to others? And..how miserable and down do we feel after? They are not you and you are not them. For all you know, they are looking at you and thinking ‘I wish I could be more like you’.

Think you are ordinary? Think again.

It is the ordinary lives of normal people that are the most interesting and inspirational. We always look outside of ourselves for the help we need and sometimes, it is right to do so. Nobody can exist as an island. Ultimately, we hold the key to solving our own problems.

We are all here living our lives as best we can, in whatever way we can. We do our best and when we can, we do what feels right. Mistakes happen of course. We all make them and sometimes, things happen that we didn’t plan. Health problems, financial setbacks, loss of a home or a loved one etc. Life can deal you a hand that you were not expecting. You may be absolutely devastated but…it is within these moments that you can witness the extraordinary resillience of the human spirit.

The courage and strength we have in the worst of times… is extraordinary.

Never…give…up.

I was living in London trying to make a living as freelance flautist and teacher When I considered a few years back that I would eventually have to work in retail. The money just wasn’t coming in and that, more than anything else was making life in a big city almost impossible. I thought to myself -‘Is there anything more soul destroying or depressive?’ Of course, you have all the obligitory and expected negative thoughts of the mind. ‘I wan’t meant to be doing this.’ ‘I can do so much better than working in a shop, I’m wasting my potential.’ You name it, I’ve had every doubt and negative thought in the book.

For ages, I thought I had let myself down and everyone else around me. Looking back, I realised I hadn’t just quit at a moment’s notice. Things hadn’t been working out for a while before I made the decision to do something else. That’s another thing – it is better to admit to yourself that something isn’t working the way you thought it would. There is no shame in it.

Having the strength to acknowledge the truth to yourself, no matter how difficult or painful, is vital sometimes….it is not easy to do that.

To be honest, working in a shop has been a lot of fun. Yes, it is hard work and physically quite demanding but any other job has it pros and cons. I don’t think there is an ideal situation. Just one where a positive mental attitude can do wonders! My perception of what I could do was making me unhappy with what I was a actually doing. Even hobbies and passions when turned into a career can lose their sparkle. It just becomes a job after a while. The same routine, the same stressors etc. It is all about getting by, making enough money to be comfortable and being content. There is nothing more to be achieved really when you think about it….

The glass is either half full or half empty….such is the amazing power of perception.

When I consider it, I have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people from so many different walks of life by simply working in retail. Listening to other people’s stories and experiences is very interesting. I have really enjoyed it. Connecting and sharing with people in whatever small way we can, is very worthwhile. We don’t need to be a great world leader or a King or Queen to do that. Sometimes, just listening to someone else’s problems is enough to help someone feel better. Just being who you are is enough to make a positive difference in the world.

One thing customer service has taught me is this –
The most powerful legacy we could leave the world is the gift of kindness.

© Christina McDonald 2014

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