A Simple Guide to Creating a More Extraordinary Life

by Donald Cooper, CSP

    It’s so easy to get into a rut in our lives and to take our loved ones for granted. The solution is to constantly be doing extraordinary things—things that fit into your price range.

    If you’re wealthy, “extraordinary” may be to buy a new BMW 7 Series sedan. If you’re not so rich, it may be buying an OXO-brand vegetable peeler. Both products are beautifully designed and a joy to use.

    The point is to search out extraordinary products, people and experiences for your life. Here are some tips to help you create a more extraordinary life for yourself and your family.


  1. First, if you don’t love what you do in business, change how you do it, or develop a plan to get out completely. There’s almost no chance that you can have an extraordinary life if you hate what you do, who you do it for and/or who you do it with.

  2. Lose all friends who are energy-sucking, negative or dumb, and spend more time with positive, intelligent people of good will.

  3. Give back: volunteer, practice random acts of kindness, help build a school in Guatemala or just open a door for someone. It all helps.
  4. Listen to more good music and less bad news.
  5. Try a different wine, cheese or ice cream every week or every month.
  6. Buy the biggest, best bath towels and bed linens you can afford, and every morning you’ll feel like you just spent the night at a Four Seasons Hotel & Resort.
  7. Buy and use any kitchen gadget by OXO (
  8. Go to a Cirque du Soleil show (, or The Lion King play ( or any live theater production at least once a quarter.
  9. Use the alphabet to guide in you in creating new experiences.
      a) For example, every week, try a different restaurant, starting with the
          letter A, then B, then C, etc. Work your way through the alphabet. Some
          will be great, some not so great, but it’s all an experience.
      b) Every month, do something starting with a letter of the alphabet; for
          example, starting with “picking Apples” and ending with “going to the
      c) Once a month, or once or twice a year, depending on your budget, visit
          a different town, state/province or country—again starting with A and
          going sequentially through the alphabet. Get the book 1,000 Things To
          Do Before You Die (, and use it as a reference
          for the most special things to see and do wherever you go.
    The point is to build a simple system into your life that encourages new experiences, joy, discovery and growth.

  10. Schedule time for yourself and your family—just as you would for an important client.

  11. Create family traditions. They’re the glue that holds families together.

  12. Hug more.


    There you have it. Some simple, doable things to create a more extraordinary life, whatever your budget might be.

    What will you do, staring this week to bring more joy, more adventure and more new experiences to your life?

Donald Cooper, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), is an internationally known business coach and speaker who works with businesses on marketing, service and business excellence. He has helped thousands of companies throughout the world redefine and reinvent their businesses. For information on how Mr. Cooper can help your business create, deliver and communicate value, visit, e-mail or call (416) 252-3704.

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