Think back to the most inspiring people of your life; the ones who encouraged you think, and who helped you achieve incredible things. Think about the great people of history; who have made the world a better place to be, whose lives are recorded in books and monuments, who changed things. Would you describe them as “normal”?  Probably not.

The words you would use might be: extraordinary, brilliant, strong, unique, amazing.

There are some things in life where normal is wonderful. Test results are one. Weird car noises are another. But is normal a word that you want to be used to describe yourself?

Every person is thrust into certain circumstances the moment they are born. Some are born into wealth, some poverty. Some people have amazing and supportive parents, while others have parents who abuse or neglect them.

There are things in life that can’t be changed. But there are many that are under your control, things which you have the power to change.

I met Hannah about a year ago, while she was working at a local coffee shop. As I got to know her, I was shocked by her life; not by what had happened to her, but by the extraordinary way she lived. Hannah has stretched herself far beyond normal.

When Hannah was seven years old, she started shooting. She shot competitively until her shoulders were too damaged with tendonitis to continue.

When couldn’t shoot anymore, she joined an all-boys soccer team, and played hard enough that she permanently damaged her ankle. At the age of 9, she started her first business – growing flowers in her yard and selling them at farmer’s markets and at roadside stands.

Her dad died when she was 17. She worked through her grief by starting to body build, and is in competitions all over the country.  She currently works four jobs, and is looking to work a fifth. She’s 18 years old this year, and putting herself through college. Hannah refuses to live a normal life.

Many people put limits on themselves, thinking that there is something different about the people who achieve extraordinary things in their life. But there’s not.

People can come up with dozens of excuses as to why they don’t stretch beyond normal. These are people who go through life thinking I can’t. Most often, though, it’s not a matter of can’t, but the decision of won’t.

Every day, there are chances to do amazing things.

Living beyond normal means not being content with existing in a stagnant life. It’s about growing, changing, and pushing yourself.

The most extraordinary people in this world are not those who are born into great wealth, or beautiful bodies, or even amazing intellect. They’re people who are able to take what they are born with and do fantastic things with it.

Normal people do not know that everything is possible.

What extraordinary thing will you do with your life?



photo credit: shutterstock



View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 4 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.

    Last reviewed: 18 Jun 2012

APA Reference
Harmon, J. (2012). Live Beyond Normal. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 2, 2014, from



Subscribe to this Blog: Feed

Most Popular Posts
Recent Comments
  • TzuZen: Great post. Shaming has the effect noted. Self-kindness can help us cope and make changes easier because we...
  • Lily: This is a very good article. I hate that there are people who think they have the right to shame anyone, let...
  • Alex: A lot of times people will use excuses as a means of manipulation to shift the blame and reduce their...
  • Lean~in: That is a list for all to review. I also add to my appreciation/gratitude list. Today, I wrote of the sound,...
  • Something: Just today I saw something helpful. From the Art of War. “There can be no war without an...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code

Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!