“The difference between ORDINARY and EXTRAORDINARY is that little extra.”
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
“The difference between ‘try’ and ‘triumph’ is a little ‘umph'” — I can’t remember where I read this quote or who said it, but it’s stayed with me. Why? Mainly because so often I’ve found myself teetering on the edge of something I’m trying to accomplish, but without committing myself to putting in that extra “umph” — that final shot of effort and energy that might push me from try to triumph. Sound familiar?
I’m betting it does, because this seems to be one of the many unsolved mysteries of the human psyche: Our tendency to conjure up self-imposed limits and then act as if they are real. I think it’s this tendency that often stops us from making the shift from ordinary to extraordinary: For some reason, we mistakenly believe that we can give just so much and not an ounce more to whatever we’re doing.
But you know what? That’s just a story we tell ourselves. It’s just an excuse that we give for not digging a little deeper because it’s easier not to.
Here’s one thing I’ve learned from conjuring up this blog every day: The well is never dry. There’s always a little more left. There’s always another step to take, another idea to explore, another paragraph or page we can write beyond the point where stopping is easy and comfortable. Surpassing ourselves — that’s the secret sauce of success.
If we can all — I’m right there with you! — just learn to push ourselves a little more at each writing session: to give that “little extra” and risk going out on that limb, then before we know it, we’ll have made a habit of it and going a bit farther will feel as natural as stopping does now. And when we make a habit of going further, then who knows how much further we’ll go? Write on!