Ordinary vs. Extraordinary: It’s That Little Extra

When is the last time you truly amazed yourself? Pushed beyond your perceived limits to accomplish something great, rather than settling for the status quo? For most of us, the answer is probably “not recently.” We tend to coast through each day on autopilot, expending the bare minimum effort required while our dreams gather dust.

Sure, doing the least necessary to slide by is easier in the moment. Why work harder when cruising through life ordinary gets us to the finish line? But as football icon Jimmy Johnson put it, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” His insight rings true – transcending mediocrity requires consistently exceeding expectations.

Going from average to excellence means investing “that little extra” time, effort, patience, or hustle. Those marginal gains compound over the long run to create disproportionately extraordinary outcomes. Ready to become the best version of yourself through the power of small extras? Let’s dive deeper.

Why the Difference Between Ordinary and Extraordinary is That Little Extra

Most people play it safe, sticking to worn-out routines and comfortable mediocrity zones. We’re wired to conserve energy, not expend it unnecessarily. Our brains love efficiency and resist change. But the path of least resistance rarely leads anywhere interesting.

Transformation emerges through consistently pushing past previous plateaus. If you want results that radically exceed norms, you can’t linger in your comfort cocoon.

You’ve got to find ways to regularly go the extra mile. Progress happens through an accumulation of marginal gains – small improvements applied consistently over time.

Like compound interest, each little extra effort accrues exponentially. The magic lies in the cumulative impact of all those tiny ripples. It’s truly simple yet profound math.

Most People Do the Minimum

Let’s be real – most of us have been guilty of phoning it in. We drag ourselves to jobs we’re disengaged from just to pay the bills, too tired after work to nurture our own growth and relationships.

Most people do the bare minimum.

At school, we cram the night before exams, forgetting material as soon as class ends. During exercise, we skip sessions when we’re unmotivated, never attaining peak fitness. In relationships, we give the bare minimum to get by rather than innovating and investing in each other.

Our culture celebrates success, but most live comfortably inside the ordinary.

The path of least resistance is awfully tempting. But greatness emerges through resisting complacency’s siren call and striving instead for small, daily improvements. Progress happens outside our comfort cocoons as we consistently surpass expectations.

Extraordinary Takes Extras

If you want results that are extraordinary, you’ve got to do things that are extra-ordinary. Coasting through each day on autopilot and completing the requisite minimum will only lead to mediocrity.

But change doesn’t happen overnight.

  • Focus instead on progress through marginal gains – small but meaningful improvements applied consistently.
  • Add an extra 10 minutes of practice to hone your craft.
  • Review your goals while you brush your teeth. Read for 15 minutes before bed each night.

Little extras that expend slightly more effort make a massive difference over the long run. The road to excellence is paved with small wins. But watch out; progress is addictive!

Adding That Little Extra

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. | Quote Printed on a wall
Source: Pinterest

Okay, but how can we invest those small extras in real life? Start by identifying zones where you excel and areas ripe for growth. Find ways to incrementally improve performance, relationships, or lifestyle with marginal gains.

  • Challenge yourself to give one thoughtful compliment each day.
  • Walk for 10 minutes after dinner with your partner to nourish your bond.
  • Wake up 15 minutes early to nurture a side passion outside work.
  • Mix up your commute with a new podcast.

Small acts compound.

Focus less on perfection and more on progress. You don’t have to overhaul everything overnight. Just focus on steady improvements through consistent little extras. Tiny ripples can create massive waves over time.

The Compounding Effect

Like money invested over the long run, the magic of the little extra lies in cumulative impact. Each small extra act is like a deposit that accrues compound interest.

That extra book read puts a new concept on your radar, sparking a million-dollar business idea. The relationship strengthened through shared activities provides a support system in hard times. The skill sharpened with marginal daily practice stands out from the crowd.

Alone, one little extra action is insignificant. But over time, the compounding effect leads to exponential gains. Consistency and commitment are key. Unleash the power of compounding and watch your growth skyrocket!


We only get one ride on this crazy planet – let’s make it count beyond the ordinary! Start seizing days by going the extra mile instead of the bare minimum. Identify zones to grow and build momentum with small gains consistently applied over time.

Compounding creates transformation. With vision, determination, and just a little extra daily effort, you can build an extraordinary life. Time to close the gap between current and best self. Let’s do this!

Success Minded

Writer & Motivator with a goal of Inspiring and Helping 1 Million people across the globe to reach their goals. Join the largest self-improvement community on Twitter (700K+) over at @_SuccessMinded_

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