I have never done anything that the world would consider remarkable. If you looked in on my daily life you would probably use words like “normal,” “average” and maybe even “mundane” to describe it. I’m not saving thousands of lives or obtaining world peace, but I know I can do great things with my ordinary life.
This quote by David A. Bednar has been my mantra for a long time:
“…we should find great comfort in the fact that ordinary people who faithfully, diligently, and consistently do simple things that are right before God will bring forth extraordinary results.”
The story of young David from the Bible illustrates this quote perfectly. David was an ordinary shepherd boy. He wasn’t big and strong. He wasn’t rich. He didn’t have years of experience, but David did some simple things in his life.
Before he fought Goliath he trusted God, had courage and saved a flock of sheep from a lion and a bear. He showed faith and put on the armor of God, and God used David to do the extraordinary. He slayed Goliath with just a slingshot and some stones.
You and I aren’t different from David. God can take us in our ordinary state and do great things.
Sometimes the process of doing great things happens quickly. David woke up one morning as a normal boy delivering food to his brothers and went to bed that night as a hero who killed a giant without a sword. But more often, for you and me, the process of doing extraordinary things is slow and hardly perceptible in our daily lives.
So what are the “simple things” we should do if we want our lives to produce “extraordinary” results?
Here are 6 simple ways to make your ordinary life extraordinary.
1. Trust God and Stay Close to Him
Simple things like reading scripture, praying and attending church on a regular basis will help us stay close to God. When we have a relationship with Him, he can guide us and help us know the paths we should take in our lives. Like David, trusting and following God’s path will lead us to do things we never thought possible on our own.
2. Be Happy
We don’t always have control over the trials, adversities and hard things we face in life, but we can choose to be happy anyway. Happiness is contagious and your positive outlook through difficulties could make a big difference in your own life and could greatly influence someone else.
3. Put Others Needs Before Your Own
Service is a great way to turn the ordinary into something extraordinary. This short video, called Lift, shares the story of a neighborhood who came together to help a disabled woman everyday for seven years. Some of the neighbors struggled at first to give up their time, but over a period of many years small, daily acts of service added up to something truly extraordinary for the woman as well as those who served her.
4. Use The Talents You Have Been Given
We are all sons and daughters of God, and He has given each of us special gifts and talents. Take the time to cultivate and improve upon the talents God has given you. Sometimes developing our gifts requires sacrifice or overcoming fear, but we can trust that God has a unique purpose for us. Developing our talents allows God to use us for his purposes.
5. Manage Your Time
There are a myriad of ways to use our time. It’s not wrong to spend time in recreation or to unwind, but Dallin H. Oaks taught that “just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.”
One secret to doing extraordinary things with your life is to avoid wasting time and focus on the things that will be of the most benefit now and in the future.
6. Get Back Up When You Fail
Failure is a huge part of life. I love this quote from the play Shenandoah:
“If we don’t try, then we don’t do; and if we don’t do, then why are we here?”
People who do great things have failed plenty of times. Don’t be afraid to get back up and try again. Learn from your failures and you will be blessed with results that previously seemed impossible.
What have you done in your life to produce extraordinary results?