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It is Hard to Become Extraordinary if You cannot be Ordinary
Ordinary means common and normal; that one does not have any special abilities and talents; extraordinary means not common, but outstanding; that one has extremely special or good quality. Most people are ordinary, and great people are extraordinary. The behaviour of an ordinary person does not show any special qualities everything they do is very common and usual, but one who is extraordinary demonstrates uniqueness and distinction, and one’s behaviour is beyond imagination. Everything about the ordinary is foreseeable, however, that of the extraordinary is often hard to understood or describe. The ordinary is like the flower on the meadow while the extraordinary is like a blooming exotic flower on the cliffs.
In ordinary there is extraordinary; extraordinary comes from ordinary. Without ordinary, there is no extraordinary. Ordinary is the foundation; extraordinary is the building on it. Ordinary is the solid vast land, and extraordinary is the vegetation and flowers growing on the land. Ordinary is being down-to-earth, and extraordinary is flying above the clouds.
One who is extraordinary must first be ordinary, if they cannot be ordinary, it is difficult for them to become extraordinary. Without materials like oil, salt, sauce, vinegar, cabbage, carrot, and other ordinary substances, we cannot cook a delicious dish with combinations of excellent flavor, aroma and colour. If we are not familiar with the original state of something, we will be unable to have distinguished foresight with unique way of thinking and a brilliant solution.
Jobs like sweeping, washing clothes, fetching water, applying fertilizer, growing grass, planting flower, growing vegetables, carrying bricks, cooking, and the like are very ordinary, however one who has no experience in the ordinary jobs or does not strive to deliver first-class quality is far from reaching the state of extraordinary. One who has too many weeds in their soul garden, such as jealousy, selfishness, laziness, greed, or is quick to complain, compare and get angry, will never experience the joy and delicacy of life.
“An amazing article does not use special words and a great man with excellent quality only show his natures”. If an article uses flowery language and has many ambiguous new words and concepts, it will be very superficial and lack the necessary connotative meaning. If one tries to show their uniqueness by their way of dressing, talking and behaving, but is not willing to do the smallest and the most menial job, then they are superficial and do not have precious qualities inside.
One who wants to become extraordinary must work hard on things that seem ordinary. If one wants to write a good article, they must work hard on plain words. If they want to cook a wonderful dish, then they must do a lot with oil, salt, sauce, vinegar, other spices, and the proper amount of heat. One who wants to win a Nobel Prize needs to work hard on the basic research and tests. One who wants to be a great man of the time must work hard on the daily ordinary jobs.
If one cannot deliver excellence on the ordinary and only wants to pursue special behaviours and performance, they will never each extraordinary. Taking off the business suit and sweeping the floors, carrying manure, moving bricks, digging soil, growing grass, and washing dishes will help one advance toward the extraordinary.
When one is able to deliver excellence while they are still a human, they will become a celestial; but if not, they will never realize that dream.
Please spend the precious time on ordinary and basic things. Do not try to avoid them or strive to be outstanding. Do not attempt to surprise the public and amaze the world, but rather be happy just do ordinary jobs and be an ordinary person. Please learn more common knowledge and do not look for special methods and read special books. Behave normally: eating, drinking, working, and sleeping. Do not attempt to violate the laws of nature. Only then we gradually move away from the ordinary and toward the extraordinary.
Written by Xuefeng on Mar 18, 2012.