How To Live A Life Less Ordinary

Almost Blooming

When I first thought up the title of this blog, ‘lives’ was intended to be the plural of life.  You see, I had a grand scheme which involved me interviewing ‘ordinary’ people, in order to show that no-one is actually ‘ordinary’.  This is something that I passionately believe in; there is no such thing as an ordinary life.  Our thoughts, our actions, our personality, and our perspective, all render us completely unique.  Think of it like this – when you first meet someone new, and you start feeling comfortable in their presence, what you begin to do is share stories.  Through these stories you divulge not just previous experiences or past memories, but you also share the way that you view life, the way you see the world and your own position within it.  And, in turn, so does the person you’re busily conversing with.  Pretty soon, you both come to appreciate that the other person is quite unlike anyone you’ve ever met before.  They may have had similar experiences as yourself, but they couldn’t possibly perceive those experiences in a way identical to your own.  They are unique.

So, what happened to the interviews with these “less ordinary” people?  Well, I decided that perhaps it wasn’t actually the best way to  communicate my passionate belief, but I didn’t quite know what was.  At the time, I was writing another blog which cornered me into a very narrow niche, and I was  feeling really quite disenchanted with my writing and my general direction in life.  One day, however, I just decided that, as I had already taken the time to set up a WordPress blog with the title Lives Less Ordinary, I would just start writing in it, and my topic would be whatever entered my head.  What occurred next was something that I never could have predicted; my writing and my photographs led me to re-evaluate my life, and pretty soon I realised that the title was not a temporary makeshift solution, it was, in fact, an ongoing demonstration of my belief.  The ‘lives’ was no longer the plural form of ‘life’, but the present tense of the verb ‘to live’.  I was showing the way that I try to live consciously, in the knowledge that I, my perspective, my memories, my experience and the stories I choose to share, are original and special.

Now, I want to make it absolutely clear that accepting that you are a special, unique individual need not consign you to isolation.  If anything, I think my blog shows that I exist within a complex network of my on and offline communities, my urban, suburban and rural environments, and that my life is richer for that.  By acknowledging that you are special, that you are a one-of-a-kind, you begin to accept that your choices and your desires, your voice and your dreams have a validity and a resonance.  Consequently, through your many daily interactions, you find that you can step up the plate, and say your piece with the confidence that comes from the understanding that no-one else can speak with your voice, and that you are capable of making a valuable contribution.

With this in mind, I’d like to give some ideas for how you can consciously embrace your less ordinary life:

  • Share your thoughts, your ideas and your words with as many as you can.  If you haven’t started a blog yet, start one now.  There are many blogs about blogging which will guide you through the technicalities of setting one up.  What I’m more interested in is how blogging guides us to the realisation that what we have to say matters; it matters to others and it matters to ourselves.
  • Reawaken your curiosity and engage with your environment.  Pay attention to the details, and vary the way you look at things.  The way I do this is by carrying my camera with me at all times.  I am always on the look out for the next photo opportunity.  Get up close, look up high, investigate the places you once thought of as familiar.  Oh, and make sure you report back on your blog!
  • Actively seek out others who are secure in their own individuality.  There are plenty out there, and they’re not usually hard to find.  Being secure in their own skin means that they are the ones who speak outThey let others know about their ideas and their beliefs.  Follow their example, but make sure you retain a clear sense of your own identity.  The idea is to celebrate you as the fabulous person you are, not you as the pale imitation of someone else.
  •  Connect with your passion.  Figure out what it is that makes your nerve endings tingle with excitement, what sets your soul aflame.  Once you’ve zoned in on that special something, you’ll find it hard not to accept that your voice is important, and the narratives that you choose to share are both vital and necessary.
  • Embrace your creativity.  Start by believing that you are a creative person, and then prove it to yourself by responding to stimuli as innovatively as you can.  Pick up your pen, paintbrush, camera, musical instrument and give yourself permission to play.  Don’t allow your doubts to inhibit your creative response, and don’t judge it or compare it negatively with the creativity of others.  Just let it be what it is, and celebrate it for all that.

If there’s one thing that you can take away from this post, and from this blog in general, it’s that everyone – and that includes you! – is a special, unique individual with the potential to create, to engage and to inspire.

You are already living a life less ordinary.  Make the most of it!

March 13, 2008. Inspiration.


  1. Kari replied:

    This post was very inspirational. Sometimes I get such a creative block in general that I want to just shrug my shoulders and quit creating in general. After reading this I think I’m ready to give it another try 🙂

  2. karenswim replied:

    Amy, I don’t have the words to express the power and beauty of your post so I will simply exhale and say “thank you.” Thank you for daring to be you and sharing it with us. Thank you for igniting an internal fire and providing a source of inspiration. Thank you!


  3. Penelope Anne replied:

    What a lovely and well written post dear.

  4. Janet replied:

    What a beautiful post 🙂

    You know, I do tend to share my thoughts, ideas and words with others, but maybe I share with the wrong folks because…it seems to me some of the folks would like for me to feel bad. Bad about enjoying tattoos, bad about thinking that having fun in life should be a priority, bad about not always being serious and proper.

    Perhaps I associate with some of the wrong people 😉

  5. mrschili replied:

    I live a life less ordinary by being engaged in my environment. I try very hard to be what your dad calls a “hero.” I look around, I listen, I think and I’m willing to be wrong in my thinking. It’s no fun if we’re not willing to take chances.

    Thank you for providing a good example of how to do this! Everyone’s got to find their own way, of course, but there are plenty of places to go for inspiration, and you’re one of them.

  6. Ivanhoe replied:

    Thank you! What an inspirational post – especially for a “beginner” blogger like me…

  7. Nenette replied:

    Wow, thank you for opening your soul and sharing something so inspirational and motivational. I also believe that “everyone has a story” worth sharing, and for a long time, I didn’t believe that about myself. Then, like you, I started blogging, and it opened up a whole new way of looking at myself and what I can offer. Your wonderful post reminded me of that. Thanks again. 🙂

  8. Robyn replied:

    Amy the photo you chose to speak for inspiration truly does that! Thanks for the great challenge to live a life less ordinary!

  9. Daz Cox replied:

    🙂 nicely said Amy!

  10. kacey replied:

    What a great post! I agree about encouraging people to start their own blog. Embrace their passions. Who knew I would turn into such a photography nut when I started blogging?

  11. Despil replied:

    Well, yes. a truly epic post 🙂

    I like it, would like to add one more thing:
    practice bravery. Embracing uniqueness, spreading your ideas, finding and doing the thing you are passionate about is hard and takes courage.

    And the brain is a weird thing, whenever you find something you like and try to change to do that, it will try to pull you back.

    I know, I live it right now every day. But I won’t give in 🙂

    And yes, the flower is really fitting.

  12. Turulcsirip - Roland Hesz replied:

    […] commented. I like the post « előző | Roland Hesz — 2008. 03. 13. […]

  13. amypalko replied:

    The creative process can be like that, can’t it, Kari? Glad I could provide an impetus to keep you creating 🙂

    You are such a sweetheart, Karen. Thank you so much for your lovely words. I’m so pleased that this post resonated with you in the way that it has!

    Thank you, Penelope Anne. I do try… in fact, some say I’m very trying 😉

    Do you know, Janet, you can only be responsible for your own creative output. You cannot control how others react to it or you. Stay true to who you are, is my advice 🙂

    Dad’s blog is fabulous, is it not, Mrschili? His words constantly inspire me to live life as fully as possible.
    Oh, and yes, absolutely everyone has to find their own path. That’s what creates their own unique perspective on life 🙂

    It’s so lovely to know that it inspired you, Ivanhoe. Best of luck on your blogging adventures. Blogging can be such a fulfilling gift to give yourself!

    It really was like opening my soul, Nenette, which, if I’m honest, left me feeling a little exposed and a little vulnerable. That’s fading now that I know others such as yourself recognize my experience as being akin to their own. Thank you 🙂

    Glad you liked the photo, Robyn! I chose it as in one sense, it’s just a common daisy about to bloom, but in another it is a beautiful individual. I think it’s one of my favourite photos at the moment 🙂

    Thanks, Daz! When I read the post over after finishing it, I though that it might appeal to you 🙂

    It’s funny, isn’t it Kacey, how blogging and photography go hand in hand for so many people? It makes me feel blessed twice over to have discovered two new passions simultaneously!

    Bravery is a great addition, Despil! My touchstone word for 2008 is AUDACITY, and I remind myself of it every time I feel myself shying away from something that I know would be a positive move. Some of the things I wrote in this post meant that I had to remind myself to be audacious, and hit the publish button. I’m so glad I did 🙂

  14. Deaf Mom replied:

    I really enjoyed this post!

  15. Kelly replied:

    See, it’s posts like this that can be truly life changing. God bless you!

  16. Blog Safari 3-15-08 replied:

    […] How To Live A Life Less Ordinary « Lives Less Ordinary Amy Palko from Scotland wrote a super cool post giving tips on how to live a life less ordinary. […]

  17. amypalko replied:

    Welcome Deaf Mom 🙂 Glad you enjoyed what you found here.

    Oh, thank you, Kelly! I just wrote down what was on my mind and in my heart. It’s so lovely to know that it calls to others too.

  18. You’re Brilliant « Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    […] perhaps this is because of my conviction that everyone is special, less ordinary even, but I genuinely think that brilliance is a quality that we all can claim.  Just as in this photo […]

  19. Interview With Amy Palko: Blogger, Photographer Extraordinairre replied:

    […] Less Ordinary goodies, which was a lot of fun! As for what the blog is about – I wrote in a post recently that ‘If there’s one thing that you can take away… from Lives Less Ordinary […]

  20. The Nature of Community « Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    […] off a few thoughts about the message that I communicate through this blog.  Often when I explain the ethos of Lives Less Ordinary, I worry that the message of celebrating individuality will be misconstrued as an endorsement for […]

  21. 10 Bloggers Share Their Best Post Ever replied:

    […] How to Live a Life Less Ordinary by Amy Palko […]

  22. iHanna replied:

    Well said, well lived! I try to do the same in my blog! Great post!

  23. Ellen Wilson replied:

    Thanks for this post Amy. I was over at Skellie’s, and found you at the top of the list, and thought there must be a reason.

    I think along the same lines you do. You just have to do what makes you happy. You have to connect the dancing dots in your own way.

    It is important to find people to connect with. There must be some kind of blogging revolution going on.

  24. amypalko replied:

    How wonderful to find a kindred spirit, iHana 🙂

    Yes, I was quite surprised at being top of the list. I was obviously quick off the mark that day! Also, I’m so glad we have connected, Karen. We are clearly on the same wavelength, and that is always a wonderful discovery 🙂

  25. Evelyn replied:

    It’s what I found out too. I set up a self help blog that aided in the process of self discovery. It’s been an amazing journey so far!

    Most certainly, I’ve enjoyed your tip on exploring creativity.

    Thanks for sharing,

  26. virtualnexus replied:

    Good ideas. I’ve found through blogging that I have come into contact with a lot of other creative individuals who have been a stimulus in a number of areas. The only downside I feel is that pressure to post too often can create a lack of content.

  27. 52WoC #14: Getting to Know You | Shai Coggins replied:

    […] Amy Palko : How To Live A Life Less Ordinary […]

  28. amelia replied:

    very inspirational

  29. 30 Articles that Will Help You Simplify Your Life | Marc and Angel Hack Life replied:

    […] How To Live A Life Less Ordinary […]

  30. Be Remarkable « Ramblings of Passion replied:

    […] Amy Palko wrote a great article about living life less ordinary. […]

  31. siddhartha replied:

    Wow! a really soothing post, after a long time!
    indeed inspirational

  32. .the princess portal. » Blog Archive » Link Carousel ~ Inspire Me replied:

    […] How to live a life less ordinary by Amy Great tips and suggestions for making the most of your less-than-ordinary life and realising just how unique you are. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: