Triumph Of The Extraordinary

This post is in response to the One Word (dangerous) that I posted yesterday. It took me a long time to decide how to approach today’s contribution. I really wanted to create an image like I have for the previous posts, but thought that might be cheating :). So I initially settled on ‘critical thinking skills’ to explore apathy, groupthink and the courage to ask questions. But then I got stuck – too many thoughts and no coherency. If I had only 3 hours to write this (as if I was taking the exam), I’ve already spent two hours wearing the carpet thin going backwards and forwards. So I took a step back and decided to speak from the heart. Then it flowed.

I am an addict.

There have been times when I have been completely consumed and the tell-tale signs have surfaced for all to see – the pent-up energy, the bloodshot eyes, and the inability to stop.

But mostly for the last 15 years, I have managed to hide it.

I am addicted to finding heroes and unleashing them. Pretty weird huh?

I can’t stand the way that society and business treat people. As if we must all fit into a certain mould. That one size fits all. That we should strive to be normal. Get married, have kids. In that order. Buy a house, not rent. Struggle for the BMW, boat and bach.

It’s ordinary and mediocre. Mediocre is worse than failure. Mediocre products and services do what they’re supposed to do, but are so bland that they’re forgettable. Mediocrity comes from the middle. From the desire to blend in, not rock the boat. It’s where consensus lives.

It is easy to whinge about what’s broken in our libraries and why things can’t be done. This mindset rejoices in failure. Yet we often overlook instances where we set the bar so low that mediocre library services are celebrated as success stories.

I am on a quest to right the wrongs in a sea of sameness. To restore the balance, and create opportunities for individual rejuvenation. Because I believe we can and we should.

Everyone has a bit of hero within them. We each inherently want to succeed and be valued. To be admired for our courage or achievements. And I’m addicted to finding the heroes within each of us and unleashing them.

So what can you do to become a hero-in-the-making? Well, it’s easy. Heroes are known for their action, not engaging conversations!

All you have to do is ‘Do Something’. Don’t just talk about it.

It’s so easy to sit back and wait for someone else to make the first move. To seek the approval of others before taking action. To pass judgment in casual conversations with colleagues but stay silent when asked to participate. We don’t want to look foolish. We often believe that others know more than we do and therefore our opinion doesn’t matter, or that it’s someone else’s responsibility.

Aiming for extraordinary is difficult and not guaranteed. And it’s also inspiring, exciting and challenging. It’s the edge. Few people relish being on the edge, but this is where you’ll find the superstars and the rogues.

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About Sally

Connecting curiosities for library staff through online professional development and gentle nudging. You can find Sally on Twitter and Linkedin.

6 responses to “Triumph Of The Extraordinary

  1. Freya

    I swear, you’re like NZ’s less commercial answer to Oprah! I feel so inspired after reading that, and I completely agree with you. Be the change!

  2. Sally

    It would be quite nice to be as wealthy as Oprah. 🙂
    I’m really am so glad you felt inspired to go out and do something. Good on you Freya!

  3. Alison

    I agree with Freya, and with you Sally. The handful of people who inspire me are those who act, who do something out of the box, who stand out because stretching themselves and the profession is their normal.

  4. Hey Sally
    I’ve been so busy the last few days that I’m only just catching up on your last few posts. Can I just say how much I’m enjoying reading them. I just wish I had time to digest and mentally wrestle with some of your “big picture” thinking, however I’m a little overloaded on “big pictures” at present! LOL.
    I am a conversational brainstormer. As I stated in my own blog post about Reality Librarianship, some of my best ideas flow from seeing where the conversation may take us. But then you have to do something with it! You’re right. It can’t just stop with the conversation, even if the only thing you can do at that moment is park it, but not forget about it.
    Too many balls in the air at once is dangerous (your word for the day!!) unless of course you happen to be an expert juggler (sadly, I’m not, but I continue to practice). I think aiming for the extraordinary is not all that difficult if you stop putting barriers in front of your brain, it’s the direction and fruition of the aim that is the most difficult thing. I’d just like to add my humble postscript to your inspiring post – once you’ve begun “to do something”, don’t become discouraged if it doesn’t go to plan or peters out or becomes bigger than Ben Hur. Whatever if was that lit your fire is worth pushing on. And if it was easy, we wouldn’t value it as much anyway!

    • Sally

      Senga, you’re so right! Sometimes (or maybe most times!) things don’t go according to plan and that’s part of the process. Btw, your comment has partly inspired the tomorrow’s post (overcoming barriers). Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

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