Top 10 Differences Between Ordinary And Extraordinary People

by Positive Hustle

When it comes to living a successful life and how people are able to create extraordinary results, there is one question you need to ask – what’s the difference between ordinary and extraordinary people?

From the outside, there are no differences between ordinary and extraordinary people.

God has made us all having the same “build”. We have legs and hands, we all have 2 eyes and ears, we are physically the same.

Of course, put aside the less fortunate handicapped people because I’m talking about the majority; we are all the same on the outside.

So, what makes some people able to accomplish amazing success in life while others are living in mediocrity?

Physically, we are all the same, however, on the “inside”, we are all different.

We think differently than one another.

I have different thoughts right now and you will have your own thoughts. We all possess different habits, characteristics and we have different belief systems.

Your mindset and what you believe is different than I am. This results in us doing things differently. We make different decisions and we act differently. And don’t forget about the differences in our habits and characteristics too.

These are what separate the extraordinary from the ordinary.

Therefore, if you want to be successful in life, create extraordinary results, and live a great life, you must start by changing your inner self.

You must change your thinking, your mindset, your beliefs, your characteristics, your traits, and your habits if you want to be extraordinary.

And today, I’m going to share with you my top 10 list of differences between these two groups of people.

By the way, before we continue and go on to the differences, I just want to tell you a little bit about Nick Vujicic.

Since I have mentioned the less fortunate and the handicapped earlier, I want to let you know that even those who are less fortunate are able to create extraordinary success in life, just like Nick Vujicic.

Nick is a successful author, motivational speaker and he has inspired millions of lives across the world, including me. I suggest you read his inspiring book, Life Without Limits:

Nick was born without arms and legs, but he managed to create and live the extraordinary life he wanted. Get his book from Amazon and study his inspiring story of how he created his extraordinary life.

1. Thinking Big and Small

Extraordinary people think big while ordinary people think small.

One of the main differences is that extraordinary people always think big while normal people always think small.

So, do you think small, or do you think big?

Why do you need to think big? There are many reasons, one of them is that when you think big, your thinking will excite you and that makes you want to take massive action to achieve success.

In other words, your thinking big will drive you and inspire you.

Not only that, do you know that there’s no difference between thinking big and thinking small?

Your thinking is free, so there’s no limitation on what you can think or imagine.

And since you will be thinking anyway, you might just think big. The bigger your dream, the more excited you will be.

Let me ask you this. If you are earning $3,000 a month now, do you think that earning $3,100 a month will excite you and get you out of bed each morning? Not likely.

This is why extraordinary people always seem to have the unlimited motivation to go for what they want. They have the drive to work day and night, to get to work earlier, and to stay later than most people.

One of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs is this, “I want to put a dent in the universe.” What he meant was that he wanted to do something extraordinary.

Jobs always thought big and he wanted to revolutionize the whole computer industry, and he did it.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”

Steve Jobs

So, start thinking big today. Try to think even bigger. Your thinking small is not going to serve the world.

Why do you want to think small and play small when you have the ability and potential to achieve much more?

Do you know that along the journey to achieving outstanding success, you will touch people’s lives? Hence, help, inspire, support, and create tremendous values for others.

Think as big as you can.

Read: Why It Is Important to Think Big and Aim High to Succeed

2. Being Proactive or Reactive

Extraordinary people are proactive while ordinary people are reactive.

Do you wait for things to happen, or do you go and make things happen?

Successful people are always on the move. They are the ones who go and make things happen rather than waiting for opportunities to fall on them.

Here’s a great quote from Bruce Lee:

“To hell with circumstances, I create opportunities.”

Bruce Lee

It is not easy if you want to live an extraordinary life. It is going to take a lot of effort and a lot of hard work to accomplish the great result that you desire.

Hence, you cannot afford to wait for things to happen.

Do you know how Richard Branson ended up founding Virgin Airlines? Once, he was stranded in Puerto Rico airport due to a flight cancellation.

He wanted to get to the Virgin Islands but ended up stranded in the airport. Most ordinary people will just wait for the next flight arrangement. However, Branson did something extraordinary.

He charted a plane, got a whiteboard and wrote down “Virgin Airlines – $39 One Way to BVI”, and walk around the airport. Guess what happened next?

He sold all the tickets and now his charted plane seats were full. And this inspired him the idea of starting an airline.

So, are you being proactive or being reactive in life? Do you work diligently toward your dreams and your goals? Or are living life just as it is?

Start taking action – massive action – toward the things you want in life.

  • If you want to build a successful business, go ahead and do it.
  • If you want to travel the world, find a way, make a plan and then do it.
  • If you want to be an author, then be proactive and start writing!

You have to be proactive and take actions if you want to live an extraordinary life.

Stop blaming, stop complaining and stop giving excuses. When problems arise, find ways to solve them and don’t complain about them.

If you do not love your job right now, find ways to work around it. You either change your job, or you change yourself and develop a passion for it.

Be extraordinary and be proactive.

Here’s a great book I recommend you read: The Success Principles, written by Jack Canfield.

3. Mixing with the Right Group

Extraordinary people mix with other extraordinary people while ordinary people mix with other mediocre people.

“If mix around with losers, you will end up a loser.”

Les Brown

Do you know that who you mix with will influence your life? In fact, it is one of the most powerful factors that will determine your success in life.

If you have watched The Jungle Book movie from Disney, you can see this point clearly.

The boy, Mowgli, ends up acting like wolves because he was raised by them. And until the ending part, Bagheera, his Black Panther friend, gives Mowgli a piece of wise advice while fighting Shere Khan, the tiger: “Don’t fight him like a wolf! Fight him like a MAN!”

You will understand what I mean if you watch the movie. It is a great movie anyway.

Therefore, if you are an eagle, then don’t swim with the ducks. You are meant and destined for big success in life. Stop living in mediocrity.

You can achieve what you want and live your dreams.

As long as you unleash your greatness within you, there’s nothing you cannot accomplish.

However, you must first mix with the right group of people. Network with other successful people; get to know them and learn from them.

When you see someone successful and rich, DO NOT RESENT them. If you have jealousy and hatred toward successful people, you will never be successful, why?

The answer is simple, you cannot become who you hate or resent.

So, learn to love great people and admire them. Learn their thinking, learn their habits, adopt what works for you and throw away what doesn’t.

This is how extraordinary people are able to create remarkable success in life.

Thus, choose to mix with people who have accomplished more than you.

Read: How to Surround Yourself with Positive People

4. Expectation

Extraordinary people expect great things to happen while ordinary people expect bad things to happen.

In other words, you must think positively all the time. How can you be successful if you are not thinking positive?

Imagine if you are Richard Branson, will launch an airline if you think negatively?

You will never dare to move forward if you expect bad things to happen. Negative people always have the “What ifs” thoughts in them.

They will think it this way…

  • What if things never work out?
  • What if I fail?
  • What if I succeed and I can’t handle it?
  • What if the product never performs?
  • What if people complain about my service?
  • What if I lose everything?

These are the common negative thinking most ordinary people have. You have to learn to get rid of them immediately.

If you have these negative thoughts, you will never go forward in life. They will stop you and they will limit you.

Think about it, if Steve Jobs thinks negatively, would he launch iPhone and iPad? No, he would not. Which sane person will want to pour millions of dollars into a product if he does not think that the product is going to work?

The same goes for you. If you do not believe that your goals are possible, you will never take action in the first place. If you think that it is impossible for you to live your dreams, you will never bother taking action and achieving them.

So, get rid of your negative thoughts and think positively. Expect good things to happen.

When you expect good things to happen, you will have the intention to take action. And when you take action, results will come.

Jack Ma, the person who founded Alibaba once told the audience in his talk, that the first thing he learned from other successful people like Bill Gates and Larry Ellison is that successful people always expect a positive future.

Extraordinary people are optimistic and this is why they become extraordinary.

Read: How To Stay Positive No Matter What Happens In Life

5. The Consistency

Extraordinary people are consistent with what they do while ordinary people always jump from one place/goal/project to another.

Anthony Robbins, the #1 success coach once said:

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”

Tony Robbins

Imagine if you want to lose weight, do you go to the gym to work out once and expect to lose all the weight? Or do you go to the gym consistently to achieve the result?

It is what we do consistently, day in and day out that determines our success.

Rome was not built in a day. Bill Gates did not become one of the richest men in the world overnight.

Living an extraordinary life takes time and effort over a sustained period. This is why most people are just… ordinary.

You have to do it over a sustained period to see great results.

Lionel Messi, the football star dedicated his success to this, “It took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success.” He said it in an advertisement with Adidas.

It is the same for Michael Jordan. Michael was rejected by his basketball team because of the ‘lack of talent’ when he was young.

However, this did not stop him from chasing his dream. He trained even harder after that.

And because of Michael’s consistency in training and effort for improvement, he became the best and produced extraordinary results in basketball history.

Here’s what you can do for being consistent. All you need to do is to commit to taking just 5 action steps that will move you toward your goals and your dreams each day.

I called this the Rule of 5.

If you do this, in a week, you will have accomplished 35 action steps. In a month, you will have created 150 action steps. And within a year, you will have accomplished 1825 small victories that you accumulated every day.

Can you imagine how these 1825 small victories can impact your life? You will see change, slowly, but definitely.

This is how you can transform your life from ordinary to extraordinary.

6. Perseverance

Extraordinary people never give up on their dreams while ordinary people quit easily, while some don’t even have a dream to begin with.

In order to produce great results and outstanding success, you must persevere and hold on until you succeed.

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. Whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

Martin Luther King

The moment you give up and quit, you lose.

As long as you never accept failure and continue to work on what you want, you will eventually accomplish it.

Thomas Edison failed more than 10,000 times before he finally invented the filament that worked in the light bulb. Do you know that Thomas Edison did not look at his 10,000 attempts as failures?

He said that he did not fail 10,000 times, but rather, he successfully found 10,000 ways that don’t work.

This is what made him extraordinary. He simply refused to quit.

All the successful people you have heard about, Thomas Edison, Richard Branson, Michael Jordan, Lionel Messi, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, Jack Ma, you name it… They are extraordinary because they choose to not give up.

They hold on and persevere. They refuse to give up and they continue to work on what they believe is going to work out.

This is the secret how an ordinary person can produce an extraordinary result in life.

You must learn this secret and adopt it in your life.

Do not quit and never give up. A quitter will never win and a winner will never quit.

Once you have decided on what you want to achieve in life, stick with it until you succeed.

Be like a postage stamp. Stick on the envelope until you get there.

There are no excuses and no other options for you. Once you have set your goals and targets, that’s it.

Commit that you will do whatever it takes until you accomplish what you want. And you will become extraordinary.

Read: 10 Powerful Steps How to Fully Commit to Goals That Terrify You

7. Goals and Direction

Extraordinary people have clear goals and direction in life while ordinary people are lost in life.

Every extraordinary person has a clear and specific goal in life. Successful people know what they want and they have a crystal clear direction for where they want to go.

They know what to do and they know where to go.

On the other hand, mediocre people are like lost sheep. They have no idea what they want. When you ask them what their goals are, they will tell you that they just want to be happy, or they will answer, “I don’t know.”

You cannot live a successful life and go on to produce an outstanding result if you have no idea what you want.

Study the lives of all the great people and you will understand that they all have a clear vision.

  • Do you know that Warren Buffett sets his goal to make a million-dollar at age 35 when he was just aged 11?
  • Do you know that Bruce Lee wrote down his mission statement when he was 28 that he wanted to be the highest-paid superstar in the United States?
  • Do you know why goal setting is important? Your goals will give you a clear sense of direction in life.

Your goals will tell you what you need to do to get there.

More importantly, your goals will guide you when the tough time comes.

Your goals will remind you what is important and what you should focus on right now. This is why extraordinary people set goals and they have a clear vision.

Just like the sunlight, when you put a magnifying glass under it and let it focuses on a dot, it will create small fire on paper.

If you do not know what you want to accomplish in your life right now or you do not have a clear goal, stop everything and discover the answer right now. Read: 5 Ways How to Find Out What You Want Out of Your Life

Stop wasting time and wasting your life going through each day aimlessly.

Knowing what you want and having a clear direction is the first step to becoming extraordinary.

Must-Read: Ultimate Goal Setting Guide: How to Set Goals and Crush Them

8. Being Unique or Being Similar

Extraordinary people dare to be unique and be different while ordinary people follow the crowd and be like everyone else.

One of the most important keys to living an extraordinary life is that you must dare to be different. There’s no point for you to live your life like everyone else.

Why do you want to be the same when you can be unique and be “YOU”?

You don’t have to follow what others are saying and you do not have to do what others tell you to. You have a choice to choose to be you.

You can dream your dreams and chase for the things that you want in life.

When Arnold Schwarzenegger was young, he ran away from the army camp to take part in the bodybuilding competition. He even borrowed proper underwear from his competitor just so he could compete, how crazy is that?

Do you dare to do what Arnold Schwarzenegger did?

People who are successful are those who dare to take the uncommon path. They dare to do what they think is right and follow their hearts.

What about you?

Are you doing things differently following your passion? Or do you just take the ordinary road, get a boring job and earn a mediocre living?

And then every day, you question and doubt yourself if you are doing the right thing.

I’m not saying that holding a job and working for others is bad. It is just that if you want to live an extraordinary life, there’s no way you can achieve it if you try to copy other people and follow the crowd.

You have to have your own vision and follow your dreams.

And that’s what makes extraordinary people extraordinary.

Read: Vision: Why You Need to Have a Vision in Life and How to Find It

9. Delay Gratification

Extraordinary people focus on long-term rewards and they delay instant gratification while ordinary people think short-term and grab what’s in front of them.

Do you know that everyone can become a millionaire if he wanted to? You can be a millionaire too if you want to.

All you need to do is to save long enough and let time and compound interest do its magic.

For example, if you save just $100 per month from age 25 and put it into an investment that yields you 12% annually.

By the age of 65 when you retired, you will have accumulated $979,307. And that’s almost a million dollar.

What if you can save $200 or what if you started with $1,000 in the account rather than zero? You will end up a millionaire faster than you think you can be.

However, there’s a huge problem that you must overcome if you want to follow this strategy.

The problem is in YOU. Most people can never stick to the habit of consistently saving $100 a month for 40 years. Most people will break the habit and stop the cycle after a few months.

Some people can’t even save past the first month. They will spend the money they saved. This is why most people are not successful.

They just can’t delay the instant gratification and they want to see the result right away.

People want to learn how to get rich and be successful fast, in 3 days. They are not interested to learn the guaranteed way to get rich in 40 years, that’s just too long and they won’t follow through.

However, all the remarkable results you have seen from extraordinary people are their long-term effort.

It took Messi years to become a great football player.

And do you know PSY? The Korean singer who broke records with his Oppa Gangnam Style song?

PSY started his singing career before 2001, but he only became well-known in 2012 after he launched Oppa Gangnam Style. It took him more than a decade to be famous.

Do you think Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, Warren Buffett, etc, all become successful overnight?

I don’t think so. These great people think long-term and they focus on the long-term results that they want.

They follow their dreams and they never get swayed elsewhere along their journey. They keep their eyes on their targets and never jump from one place to another.

They delayed instant gratification and they do what they think will move them forward each day.

“We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”


Read: How Delay Gratification Can Greatly Impact Your Success

10. The “Extra”

Extraordinary people do the “EXTRA” to become extraordinary.

The word suggested itself. The difference between extraordinary and ordinary is the 5 little characters, “EXTRA”.

You must be willing to do the extra work. You must be willing to go the extra mile and do more.

Wake up earlier than ordinary people and work harder than ordinary people.

Start your day earlier and stay a little later than ordinary people.

This is how you can achieve outstanding success in life.

What everyone wants will be different and what each person goes through will be different too. However, there’s no way around hard work and doing more.

Do you know that the moment you spend partying and having fun or relaxing, there are other people out there working hard to achieve their dreams? And hopefully, they are not your competitors because that will put you out of your business.

Ordinary people spend time planning for their weekends and holidays. Extraordinary people spend time planning for their future and their multi-million dollar business empire.

Ordinary people waste their time checking updates on Facebook. Extraordinary people make ordinary people check their Facebook for updates because they are so famous and have a lot of followers.

Ordinary people have big TV and extraordinary people have a big library.

You have to sacrifice and do the extra if you want to live an extraordinary life.

There’s a price to pay to be extraordinary. And are you willing to pay the price?

Read: 10 Things Successful People Do Every Day to Become Extraordinary


These are my top 10 differences between ordinary and extraordinary people.

Do you agree on these differences and are you willing to do what it takes to be extraordinary?

Remember to share this post if you like it. Who knows you may inspire or give great insights and make someone extraordinary someday.

Share with me what you think about this post in the comment section below.

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