The Simple Choice To Do Something Extraordinary

Is a Urinal Extraordinary?

A bike wheel on a stool. A urinal. Splatter on a canvas.

How many times have you seen these works of art and thought, What’s the big deal? I could do that.

Back in Art School we studied abstract and readymade art and gained the kind of appreciation only an art student could understand. I passionately defended these works of art to my family and friends who didn’t get it. I explained how these artists were pioneers, rebels, and revolutionaries. I explained that the appreciation goes deeper than the aesthetic value of their craft, or lack there-of.

Yes, you could splatter paint on a canvas like Jackson Pollock, or display a urinal like Marchel Duchamp. But they did it first, and they changed the meaning of art. And that’s why it matters.

They still didn’t get it, but they entertained my argument. They walked the halls of museums with me, and attended gallery openings. They sensed my excitement to see the rebels and extraordinary thinkers, even if  it wasn’t always visually appealing.


The Chosen One

Over 20 years later, with paint splatter and urinals far from my mind, I jumped around my kitchen in excitement as I received notice that I’d been selected to be a TEDx Speaker. This was a bucket list, once in a lifetime opportunity! It’s an extraordinary opportunity many people dream about, but few accomplish. It’s an opportunity that terrifies those with stage-fright. It’s an experience many would run from. 

It’s also an opportunity many talk about, but never try.


Do Something Extraordinary

After the excitement settled and I began preparing my speech, the doubt and imposter syndrome crept in. Who was I to share a message? I knew many people who were smarter, more interesting, more passionate, and more successful than I was. Would they wonder why I was selected? Would they think they could do it better? Did I think they could do it better?

Then it hit me.

They could qualify. They could write a compelling speech. They could engage an audience. But they didn’t. And I did.

So as we go into the new year, remember this:

The difference between those who do extraordinary things and those who don’t is the decision to try.

That’s it. The people doing incredible things are scared and doubting and suffering, just like you. The difference is that they did it anyway.

The only thing standing between you and your next extraordinary thing is a choice. 

Watch my full TEDx Talk here! 


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