Don’t wait for extraordinary situations, make them

I had the privilege to take part in a leadership and development program at SDSU last weekend called LeadState. The biggest thing I took away from the program: it doesn’t take an extraordinary situation to become successful or to speak for what we believe.

As part of an assignment for the program, we read an excerpt from the book “Soul of a Citizen” by Paul Loeb. One of the key concepts was that extraordinary or successful people are usually just people who take extraordinary measures in an ordinary situation.

Now, I know we’ve probably all heard a similar concept before. But I always heard that it took an extraordinary situation to produce extraordinary results. This was not the case, according to Loeb.

When thinking about extraordinary results coming from ordinary situations, Rosa Parks comes to mind. Think about the situation that Parks was in. At the time, that incident was considered normal. It was her action that created the extraordinary result. Her refusal to move sparked courage in others. 

We all need to take a step back from our lives and make the decision to stop seeking out extraordinary situations and, instead, act extraordinarily in our everyday lives.

Next time someone is being belittled for something, speak up for them.

Next time you’re in class and you’re given a tough assignment, go beyond the professor’s expectations.

Simply think about how you can act extraordinarily in an ordinary situation.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that we shouldn’t try to put ourselves in amazing situations, but instead it means we need to treat our ordinary life like it’s one huge extraordinary situation because, quite frankly, it is. 


Rachel Astleford is a nutrition & dietetics major and can be reached at [email protected]