Excellence is doing ordinary things

Last month I proposed that while we may not be able to enjoy ‘perfect’ health we might need to challenge ourselves not to get stuck in ‘satisfice’ by accepting that our condition has become our ‘ordinary’ state. “Perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well”[1].

‘Ordinary’ is an emotionally charged word and can be defined as  ‘usual, normal’, or even ‘second-rate, inferior’. Do we really want to settle that in terms of our health?


“The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest”.[2] Elements of Complementary Therapies can be ‘ordinary’ in that they need not be complex or involve complicated procedures and there are a number of self-help remedies which you can practise at home. There are a number of goods on the market, such as pre-mixed aromatherapy products and Bach Flower Remedies which can safely be administered, providing the precautions and instructions are followed. Or perhaps an holistic health assessment might highlight that you may need to drink more water regularly to keep cell tissues hydrated and able to perform their function more effectively and efficiently.


In the holistic therapy clinic, some bodywork techniques may appear to be unspectacular or ‘ordinary’, but they can have tangible effects. For example, something as simple as a focussed, still pressure on the right place of a tense muscle gradually allows the muscle fascia to relax and ‘unravel’ knotted tissues.


Complementary therapies do need to be carried out professionally by a qualified therapist (for example, see www.fht.org.uk or www.naturaltherapypages.co.uk) and with an ‘extraordinary’ level of focus, energy and engagement in order to be effective.


“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary”[3] – if you haven’t tried any complementary therapy before – ‘risk the unusual’, and be prepared to be surprised how the apparently ‘ordinary’ can yield ‘extraordinary’ benefits.


[1] Angelique Arnauld

[2] Sir Thomas More

[3] Jim Rohn

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