Last week I read this post about living an unremarkable life. I really appreciated the author’s perspective. We can’t all be the founders of new multi-billion dollar companies, and I’ve long appreciated the people who quietly do everyday things that make the world seem to effortlessly flow. Crops grow, planes take off, shelves are stocked, floors are cleaned. Sometimes people just have to work and we can’t all be chasing extravagant dreams all the time.
But then I listened to a friend talk about the difference between resigning yourself to something versus choosing to design the experience and its effects. He was talking about healthcare and how we can design better treatment and experiences for patients, but the idea applies to life as a whole.
Should I resign myself to the fact that I’m a plumber and wear overalls and boots to work everyday? Should I resign myself to sacrificing my needs so I can care for aging parents? Am I resigned to never traveling the world, never being rich or famous, never winning awards or having my name in print?
Or, am I living my life by design? My dream is to have a remarkable family, and I choose to make that happen by designing a home environment where love is spoken and felt. The difference that I am making in someone’s life is to smile and hold the door for the woman behind me. Believe it or not, I decide when I am going to have a good day – you can too.
My counter to the original article is that we can all live remarkable lives. It’s just up to us to design what remarkable means. I’m never going to be famous. My parents were everyday people, we went on road trips and worked in the garden and shared clothes. But they taught us how to laugh and sing and work together and serve others. That didn’t happen by accident, it happened by design. And I think it’s pretty remarkable.