Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Extraordinary Is The New Normal

Napa, California, USA

February 13, 2013


To be totally and unambiguously clear, I'm not intending this essay, Extraordinary Is The New Normal, speak for or give the impression it recreates the ideas of the most  extraordinary Being Extraordinary: The Art and Practice of Living From Possibility  seminar which I've both graduated from and reviewed. Rather I'm intending it share an observation which occurred to me recently.

You know how we say things like "Forty is the new thirty", "Afghanistan is the new Vietnam", "Jazz-ercise  is the new Yoga", "Ryan Gosling is the new Cary Grant", "Java is the new COBOL"? I was hiking in a vineyard near the amazing Cowboy Cottage recently when this occurred to me: "Extraordinary  is the new normal.".

By being extraordinary I don't mean doing things right. I mean something more fundamental  than that. Neither do I mean succeeding  at whatever I'm doing. I mean something more accessible  than that. Neither am I referring to winning  at whatever I'm doing. I mean something more all inclusive  than that. By being extraordinary I'm not even referring to doing things fully  and completely  - although doing things fully and completely can and does occur as a result of being extraordinary.

For me, being extraordinary in the context of this essay and in the context of the observation which sourced it, is nothing more (and nothing less) than doing whatever you're doing with everything you got, playing full out, full tilt, while being who you really are as a platform  for everything you do in your life. Said another way, being extraordinary is living as if your life depends on it. Being extraordinary is taking your life (ie taking the opportunity your life is ie taking the possibility  your life is) seriously without being serious about it.

"Without being serious about it" is the essential Zen component in "taking your life seriously". When this essential Zen component isn't present in a possibly extraordinary life, any possibly extraordinary person is automatically downgraded, by default, to a mere workaholic.


Indeed, "... taking your life seriously without being serious about it" is good Zen. It's also a paradox.

Paradox is no stranger to Zen. In fact paradox and confusion  are the two guardians of the gates to the temple of truth (as Werner Erhard may have said).


More than this, imagine where normal used to be  (if you will). Normal was once the baseline, the foundation  (so to speak) from which to set out in Life in order to become  extraordinary. However, now that we all know this is "IT", it turns out that was all an elaborate hoax to begin with. This is "IT" - therefore there's nothing to do, there's nowhere to go, and there's nothing to get to become  extraordinary. Why? Because the baseline, the foundation is already  extraordinary. Hence my assertion "Extraordinary is the new  normal.".

Now, will you take this on, or not? Have  you taken it on yet, or not? Your very human-ness may deny it. We're absolutely convinced (which means we're heavily invested in the belief) that with all this manure, there must be a pony  in here somewhere (as James Kirkwood may have said). Yet here it is: extraordinary is the new normal, and ignorance of the law is no excuse.

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