244: Defining the Extraordinary Life | Tanya Dalton Skip to the content
Tanya Dalton quote from her book On Purpose
November 9, 2021   |   Episode #:

244: Defining the Extraordinary Life

In This Episode:

What does it mean to be extraordinary? When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, people around the world began questioning if they were living their lives to the fullest. In today’s episode we’ll define purpose and how that looks in your everyday life, how to break the patterns of life on repeat, whether your job needs to be tied directly to your purpose and we’ll talk about how our stress affects our children and why the “good ole days” really didn’t feel that great in the moment.

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

People will call you crazy… until they call you a genius.

Questions I Answer

  • What is purpose?
  • How do I live with intention?
  • Is it selfish to do the things I want to do?
  • How can I feel better about my days?
  • Is it okay if my purpose changes?

Actions to Take

Key Moments in the Show


Resources and Links

Show Transcript

Extraordinary is a choice. Take that in, soak it up because of the hustle grind, repeat mantra that society has been touting for decades. It had it all wrong. I’m Tanya Dalton. I’m a seven figure. Entrepreneur bestselling author, speaker, mom, and rule breaker. I’m here to help you live to your fullest potential. That’s what this podcast is all about.

The intentional advantage is doing life on our own terms. Define the status quo and seeing ourselves outside of the tie-dye definitions, societies name for us. It’s intentionally choosing to step back away from the chaotic rush of your everydays and choosing, choosing to see that it’s your world. And it’s filled with opportunities. Let’s challenge the bedrock beliefs that so many have wholeheartedly trusted because we were told they were truths.

Let’s have a healthy disregard for the impossible. Let’s choose to be extraordinary. Hello? Hello, and welcome to the intentional advantage. I’m your host, Tanya Dalton. This is episode 244. This is our very first episode of our brand new season. And now I know a lot of times I like to do a whole new intro and I fancy it all up at the beginning.

And I decided to do something different this season because I felt like the introduction really still applied. We are diving into, on purpose this season and truly that introduction where we talk about extraordinary being a choice. It absolutely applies to everything we talk about in the book, everything we’re going to be talking about throughout this entire season. So I’ve left that the same.

I think it’s partially because honestly I want you to really start getting that message again and again and again, until it really sinks in. I want you to see that that extraordinary life is truly within your reach. When we live on purpose, you can have a life that feels meaningful. That feels successful. That feels amazing each and every day. So left the intro the same,

but the season is all new. And I’m excited about this because like I said, we’re focusing in, on, on purpose this season. So for the next 13 episodes, we’re going to be diving into a lot of those concepts and ideas that we talk about in the book. We’re going to dive deeper into it. We have some amazing guests coming on board.

I’ll share a little bit more about that probably in a little bit later on in the show, because we’ll talk about where the show is going, but let’s go ahead and dive in to today’s episode because I really wanted to kick off the season by defining the extraordinary life. What does that mean? What does that look like? What does it on purpose?

Even me, why am I talking about purpose? And you know, I talk about that in the introduction. I talk about the fact that the book started off very different than what I thought it was going to be. When I finished up the writing and turned in that manuscript. I truly believe we have been through a giant reset, not just as a community or society,

but as a world collective, we have been put through the ringer and it’s been tough. I’m not going to lie. These last couple of years, dealing with the pandemic have been really eye-opening and really difficult. But if there’s a silver lining to this and I truly believe there is it’s that eye-opening part that questioning that starting to happen, where we are asking ourselves,

wait a minute, why am I doing things? The way I’m doing? Is this all that there is to life? Is this really what it’s all about? And that’s how the book evolved, where it needed to be, which is how the final version reads now, because it really was about answering those questions. I think so often we hear that idea of purpose and it feels so weighted.

It feels so heavy. It feels so, oh my gosh. If I have to decide my purpose now, how you know, this is big. We feel like it’s not purpose, but purpose so big and heavy and weighted. And it defines us now and forever and always, and that’s not really true answering those questions for yourself of what am I doing?

Why am I here? Is there really something bigger that I’m designed for? Those are questions that we should be doing time and time. Again, that’s not something that we just make that decision on one time and then that’s it it’s been decided for us for, for the rest of our lives. We’re all evolving and changing and growing on a regular basis.

And that’s a really amazing thing. It really is. But this idea that who we are when we think about purpose, and we’re going to dive into that definition of purpose here in just a little bit, but feeling like we have to make a decision of who we are 20, 30, 40, 50 years from now today. And that has to stick is not true at all.

It’s not true. And I want you to just stop and accept that you have changed through the pandemic. You’ve definitely changed. I can almost guarantee that, but you might’ve changed in the last five years, last 10 years, the last five months, the last 10 days, we’re constantly evolving and changing and growing. And our idea of what the extraordinary life is that shifts and it grows and it changes.

And it evolves right along with us. So really when we get to the heart of talking about that extraordinary life, it boils down to really feeling confident, standing strong, standing tall in who you are and what you want out of life right now in the season that you’re in, in what that big, beautiful, bright future looks like to you right now.

You know, what I want to do right now is I want to read for you. I want to read for you the note to the reader. This is the kickoff to the entire book. And I feel like it sums it up. I have to be honest with you. The note to the reader is probably my very favorite part of the entire book.

So I want to read it to you because I think you’re going to understand what we’re going to talk about this season. You’re going to understand more about what the book is about when you hear this note to the reader, all right, here we go. Dear reader, before we begin, I want you to understand that this book isn’t written to help you fit in with the status quo.

It’s not designed to line up nice and neatly with houses. It already works. The shelves that your local bookstore or already buckling under the weight of all those other books that tell you what to think, how to behave and give you rules for getting things done. This book is none of that. I want to challenge you to think for yourself. I don’t want to tell you what to think.

I want to empower you to choose how you want to think. I want to shake the foundations of how you view your world, because it is your world. And it’s filled with opportunities and choices that perhaps you didn’t realize were there, or more often than not. You forgotten the choices were there at all in the chaotic rush of our days, we can easily get caught up in the doing of life.

And we sometimes don’t take time to pause step back and choose. That’s what this book is designed to do. It’s an intentional pause in your hectic schedule. A chance to take a good look at how you’ve been going through your days. And the question, how you feel. We don’t talk about our feelings much. Do we, especially when it comes to our emotions at work or our mood as a collective society,

sure we can grumble and complain about irritations or frustrations, but the unadulterated pursuit of happiness is treated as something frivolous or silly. What then is the point of our days, if not to find joy than what sit and think for a moment about any goal, any dream you’ve had in the past that it’s heart, wasn’t it steeped in happiness. You wanted a promotion at work.

Why to feel the satisfaction of climbing the ladder. You wanted to run a 5k, why to feel the joy of stepping over that finish line. You want it to get out of debt, why to feel the happiness of not worrying about paying bills. We are operating in dated obsolete models that are desperately in need of evolving because joy and happiness deserve to have a seat at the table.

It’s time to pull up a chair for them. It’s not enough to just show up and do our work anymore. We have more time on our hands than ever before in history. So why do we feel rushed and stressed and have an overall dull ache of dissatisfaction? I want to challenge the bedrock beliefs that so many in our world have wholeheartedly trusted because we were told they were truths.

I want to help you have a healthy disregard for the impossible. I want you to see yourself for what you are. A change maker. I wrote this book for women who are ready to defy the status quo and stand up and see themselves outside of the tidy definition society has made for us. It’s time to stop operating at ordinary levels and choose to be extraordinary.

That’s the note to the reader. That’s how I started this book. And I want you to think about all those things. We talked about, their joy and happiness, the outdated models. I think honestly, that idea of, I want to be happy, seems frivolous, but that is what the extraordinary life is all about. And I know you might be thinking to yourself,

yeah. Who has time for happiness? You know, I’ll be happy when I retire. I’ll be happy when I achieve, you know, six figures in my business. I’ll be happy when I, whatever it is, we’re waiting for happiness to happen. And instead it’s up to us to go and find it because when we’re happier, everyone else is happier around us.

I think one of the big things that holds us back a lot of times, especially as women, is this idea of selfishness that isn’t it selfish to go after the extraordinary life? Is it selfish to go after my purpose? Is it selfish to do the things that I truly want to do? Am I keeping all the greatness where my kids are? My,

my, my neighborhood or my community or whatever it is, we worry that selfish. But here’s the thing that I think is so fascinating. There’s a study called the white house studies where scientists in Britain studied the link between employee’s status on the corporate ladder and their stress. Now they assumed that, you know, the higher that the worker was on the corporate ladder,

they thought that the higher the stress would be when in fact they found that the worker’s stress was not caused by a higher degree of responsibility and the pressure of the rank. It was the degree of control. They felt like they had throughout their day, not the demands of the job that increased the stress. Aren’t we happier when we feel like we have choices,

aren’t we more satisfied. So right there, we have evidence that our stress level drops when we step into what it is we want when we actively know and acknowledge that we are choosing. So let me share one more study with you, because I know you’re probably thinking to yourself, I don’t know, I’m not sure about this. I get ya. I got ya.

All right. There was this great study by the graduate school of social work in Boston college. And what they discovered was a child’s sense of wellbeing. So a child’s happiness, how they felt secure at home, how they felt overall, a child’s sense of wellbeing is affected less by the long hours their parents put in at work and more by the mood their parents were in when they came home.

So when the parents came home and felt happy, the child felt more secure, felt more protected, felt more enabled to step out of their own comfort zones and do the things they wanted to do. Isn’t that what we want for our children. That’s what I find so fascinating. We as mothers want our children to be happy. If I said to you,

what do you want for your children? You might have some specific goals or dreams or aspirations for them, but honestly, you would say, I want them to be happy no matter what they do, no matter who they love, no matter what it is they’re chasing after in life. I want them to be happy. So why is it not okay to chase happy in our own lives?

I want you to stop and think about that for a little bit. Why is it not okay to look for that in our own lives? We under value happiness, and you know, I’ve experienced this in my own life. These, these times where I’m I wake up and I don’t use that term, wake up lightly where I feel like I’m just sleepwalking through my days,

but I wake up and I realize, oh, hold on a minute. I’ve woken up. I don’t know how many days in a row feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated on happy. And this has got to change. So when we experienced that, we ha we have a choice. We can either stop what we’re doing and shift and step into what we think will make us happy.

Or we can say, well, I guess this is just how life is. This is what it’s like to be a mom. You don’t get to shower. You don’t get to do the things you want. You don’t even get to go to the bathroom by yourself. Or, you know, when you’re an entrepreneur, this is just the way life is.

You work 80 a hundred hours a week. And that’s just the way it goes. Those are limiting beliefs. Those are lies that we tell ourselves. They really are. You know, when I made the decision to close up my first business, and I talk about that in the joy of missing out, and I touch on it a little bit in on purpose.

When I made that decision to close up my first company that I had grown, so it could absorb my husband’s MBA income. A story I dive into in the book, people told me I was crazy. That was paying the bills. It speeded my kids to three meals a day that they do enjoy eating. They put a roof over our head. It paid for our cars.

It paid for nice vacations. It looked successful in every way, shape and form to the outside world, but it didn’t feel successful to me. It didn’t fulfill what I desired in the world. It didn’t cause me to feel happy. So I closed that company and people told me, they literally told me I was crazy, but here’s the thing. People will call you crazy until they call you a genius,

because that’s how we step into the extraordinary life. We step against the status quo, because I’ll be honest, that river, that current is fast in the river of life. And so you’re just riding that current of this is just the way life is instead of choosing to get out of the current, which means stepping out of the status quo. That’s why I started the book with this,

with this idea of it’s for women who are ready to stop living in those tiny itty bitty boxes, we’ve been cramming ourselves into, to step out of those and step into who it is you want. When we talk about purpose in the book, there’s even a graphic at the very start. It says, living on purpose, isn’t about changing who you are.

It’s rising up and becoming the best version of you. So it’s not throwing everything away. It’s really stopping and saying, what is the best version of me? It’s looking out on the horizon and seeing a bright, beautiful tomorrow, a vision of what it is you want and desire in life. And then working every day to get closer to that vision.

Living on purpose is living bigger than your to-do list. I think so often we go through life with these blinders on of these are the things I have to do. Let me check them off one by one by one. Have you ever done that? Have you ever had that sense of dissatisfaction in your day? You’ve your day has passed in a blur you’ve chased busy.

You haven’t even really been engaged, not really paying attention to the tasks or the people around you. And you got a lot of things done. So you were productive in that old traditional sense, but you go to bed at night and your head hits the pillow and you think to yourself, oh, why didn’t I get more done? Why didn’t I get these things done?

I didn’t do those things. We focus on the things we didn’t do hustle and busy. Oh, those are huge buzzwords in our society. Aren’t they, there’s a lot of pressure to be busy. People answer that question of how are you all the time with that single word? Oh, busy, busy is not an emotion. It’s not even a conversation starter.

In fact, it’s a conversation closer. Isn’t it? The thing is if you’re busy, chasing busy and you’re not getting the meaningful work done in your life, you’re not allowing yourself to really feel that life could be extraordinary. Productivity is an amazing worthwhile pursuit. When we combine it with purpose being productive in the sense that I speak about it, productivity,

isn’t about doing more. It’s doing what’s most important. We need purpose. What are the things that matter most? We want our accomplishments to feel meaningful. In my opinion, it’s not about doing more things. It’s not about doing 50 things on your to-do list. It’s about doing three, five things, five things that get you closer to that big,

beautiful vision you have for your future. That’s what living on purpose is all about. Purpose creates this sense of wow, what I’m doing matters. And that’s when we go to bed at night. That’s when we go to bed and we go, oh, today was amazing. Today was a fabulous day. I’m amazing. And that’s the question I want you to ask yourself.

When is the last time you went to bed and said today was amazing because it has been more than a day or two that’s too long. You know, when I asked this question for a lot of women, I’ll say, when’s the last time you went to bed and you said that today was amazing. They’ll say it’s when they were on vacation. And then they think I just need to be on vacation,

but what did we do on vacation? We do less. Don’t we, we stop chasing busy and we focus in on what matters most. A lot of times it’s when we’re focusing in on our family. That’s what creates that amazing sense of, of extraordinary of incredibleness in our everyday lives. And that ultimately well, that’s part of my big, bright,

beautiful future. My vision that I have is to help women step confidently into intentional leadership, whether that leadership is in your own business, in your corporation, in your home, in your community, in your PTA, no matter where it is, you are. I want you to step confidently into intentional leadership, to lead by doing the things that matter most,

to find that joy, that extraordinary in each and every single day. So I want to dive a little bit more into this idea of purpose in just a moment. First, I want to take a quick little mid episode break. All right, today we are kicking off our season for on purpose and I wanted to do something really fun to kick off the season.

I know that we’re in the time of year where we’re all thinking about, well, we’re thinking about the holidays for getting in that mindset, or also really thinking about what do I want for this coming year? You know, the end of the year is, is right around the corner. And it’s time to really start thinking about our goals. And you’re going to hear me talk this season.

We’re going to dive into what goals look like. So we’re going to get into that in this season, but I want to give you the tools now to really start thinking about what is it I want to start dreaming about that big, bright, beautiful future. So I’m going to do a free masterclass for you called how to set and achieve your goals,

because it’s not enough to just set your goals. It’s all about how do we make it so that we can actually achieve them. I’m doing this masterclass for free. I just want to give you the tools to get you to start thinking, to really start diving into what do I think 2022 could really look like. So I’d love for you to join me.

Just go to Tanya dalton.com/set goals, set G O a L S go ahead and pause the podcast right now. This is a free masterclass. I’m not leading it into a course or a program or anything like that. This is just me wanting to connect with you. I want to do a live. So we’re going to do it over on Crowdcast, which is one of my favorite platforms to do it on because you can ask me questions.

I can have you asking me questions and we can start applying it into your own life. So go ahead, make a plan to join me November 17th. So it’s happening pretty soon. I want you to do it before Thanksgiving hit, but just go to Tanya dalton.com/set goals. I would love to see you there. All right, how to set and achieve your goals.

Let’s do this. I think we’re gonna have a lot of fun in this masterclass. All right. Let’s dive back into this idea of on-purpose what that looks like. You know, we’ve talked about that. It means defying the status quo a little bit, which can be scary. It can be a little bit daunting. We talked a little bit about the fact that it also means stepping into happiness,

choosing happiness, making happiness, a choice that you’re making that’s. If you think about what’s extraordinary, happiness is extraordinary. I think here’s the, here’s the extra little benefit we get. When we live on purpose, it helps you to understand that whatever it is you’re going through. And I know right now, especially with everything the world has been going through,

it may feel like you’ve been in a dark time or things are tough, or things are really hard. I get that. I’ve had seasons of my life as well, that it felt like that. I talk about those in the book. Of course, some of them I don’t talk about in the book. Some of them are too dark and personal to share,

but I think when we understand that we have a big, bright, beautiful future, often the horizon, it allows us to understand that whatever we’re going through right now, isn’t forever that if you’re in that deep valley of your life map right now, that it’s not always going to be that way. You know, Jack is now in college and years ago,

we had his freshman orientation for high school. And I remember sitting in the, they have a mandatory Liam. So a mini auditorium, we’re sitting in this little auditorium and Jack and I are sitting side by side. And he’s really nervous about high school. Starting Jack is by far my nervous Nelly so much more than Kay ever has been, but he’s feeling really nervous.

And the vice-principal comes in the room with this booming voice. And he says to all the kids, you know, gear up because these are the best years of your life. Oh, I looked at Jack and I leaned over and I watched him. I saw his eyes get really big and round like saucers. And then I leaned over and I whispered Jack,

that’s a lie. These are not the best years of your life. And don’t live them as though they are the best years of your life. You don’t peak in high school. The truth is you never peak. Life just continues to shift and evolve. It gets better. And we have these amazing periods of our life. And then yes, some periods are not as great as others.

Some seasons are harder, but we certainly don’t peak in high school. We don’t peak in college. We don’t peak when we’re young moms or when we, when we retire, there is no peak. We can choose to have a life that’s filled with lots of peaks. And yes, there will be some valleys, but let’s stop living in our past as those were the good old days.

It’s funny. Cause when we were in those days, they didn’t feel so good. Did they? But you look now at pictures of your kids or at least I do. I look at pictures of my kids when they were really little or I watched this video the other day and I think, oh, they were so cute. Those days were so amazing.

But if you asked me in the moment, if those days were amazing, I would say, can I just go to the bathroom by myself? Do you think it would be okay for me to have like 10 minutes alone? I was in the trenches. It felt hard. It felt tough. It’s only now years later that I can look back and say,

those days were amazing. So I want you to keep that in mind now that having an extraordinary life doesn’t mean that every day necessarily feels amazing, but we want to have more days that feel amazing than don’t and life is going to peak and it’s going to valley, but that’s all expected. You know, we think the road needs to be super smooth and it never is.

That’s the one thing you can definitely count on. You certainly heard me talking about that in episodes. Not, not that long ago when we had all those obstacles thrown in our path with the launch of the book. So I want to really shift your way that you think about what an extraordinary life looks like. I want to shift the way that you think about what living on purpose means.

It really is about stepping into who you are and what you want and purpose doesn’t have to be your job. I think that’s of the other big fallacies that I noticed people feel like, well, this is what I do. What if this isn’t tied to my purpose, there are amazing people who do incredible things and their purpose is not tied to their job.

Let me think of two people off the top of my head, Redrum one who is known as the pioneer woman who has a cooking show, right? You could say, I mean, that’s how she makes money. She has a cooking show. She has a magazine. She’s got, you know, a whole line of cookware that she sells at Walmart.

But her purpose isn’t really cooking. Cooking is a vehicle to get her to her purpose. Her purpose is really showcasing the amazing home where she lives this small town and bringing industry and creating jobs in her city, in Oklahoma, this very small town, Joanna Gaines is another great example, right? You could say, well, is her purpose to flip homes?

No. Her purpose is so much bigger than that. Yes, she’s incredibly gifted at it. But ultimately her purpose is to, to, to really remake Waco, Texas, to make that this amazing new hub, that people it’s a destination that people seek out. Listen, I lived in Dallas, Texas for a long time. Nobody was seeking out Waco,

Texas for a long time. And now look what she’s created and look what she’s done. So she uses her job, her career, her gifts as a vehicle to get her to her bigger purpose. So don’t get caught up in well, but I have a steady job and I don’t want to change my job. Your purpose doesn’t have to be tied to your job.

It doesn’t have to be tied to an income. Your purpose is tied to what makes you happy. It’s when we get into that idea of cathedral, thinking that we talk about in the book, and we’ll definitely talk about this season, this idea of cathedral thinking and wayfinding, the goals that we have in our lives. Those are the vehicles to get us to that big,

bright, beautiful future. They’re not the end all be all that we’ve been treating the mass. And that’s what I want you to keep in mind. We’re going to go through this season and we’re going to talk about lots of different things, where we are going to be talking about goals. And you heard me talk about that masterclass that I’m offering, how to set and achieve your goals.

I’m doing that. If you’re listening to this the week it goes live. I’m doing that next week on the 17th. I would love for you to join me for that. Tanya dalton.com/set goals is how you sign up. But we’re going to be talking about goal setting. And we’re going to talk about setting goals with impact that whole new framework that I invade in the book that I created.

We’re going to talk about what it means to have courage, to reset your life. We’re going to talk about why time, isn’t your enemy. We’re going to talk about regret. We’re going to have some incredible guests on the show. Some really incredible grit guests who are going to help you discover your passion, help you uncover how you can overcome some of the,

some of life’s biggest obstacles. I have some incredible people who are coming on the show this season. I’ve really, I feel like curated a season. I’m really proud of. And I’m excited about to share with you. So for today, I want you to just thinking about what does extraordinary look like to me? What could extraordinary be? I want you to untether yourself from the reality of today.

If money were no object, if you didn’t have to worry about a job, you had nothing holding you back. What is it life would look like? What would you do? What are your big dreams? Let’s take them off the shelf. I know I have dreams that I kept on the shelf long time gathered dust and don’t do us any good there.

So I want you to pull them off the shelf, dust them off, blow that dust away and start taking a good look at them. And let’s start thinking about how can we live more on purpose? How can we do more of what brings us joy and happiness? How can we do things that were living bigger than today? That’s what we’ll be talking about this season.

And that is when you know you’ve got the intentional advantage. Thanks so much for joining me today. Quick question though, before you go, do you like prizes? When you leave a rating and review of the Intentional advantage podcast, you’ll be entered to win my life changing course, multiplying your time. Simply leave the review and then send me an email@helloatTanyadalton.com with a screenshot.

I choose one winner at the end of every month. So go ahead. Do it right now. Just a quick comment with what you loved about this episode or the show in general and a rating and send it our way. Not going to lie by stars is my favorite, but I’d love to hear what you think of the show. And if that’s not enough of an incentive for you to win the multiplying your time course,

I have to tell you the reviews are the number one thing that supports this podcast. And me, it’s the best way to spread the word and get business tips and strategies to all those other women out there who need it. So there you go. Two great reasons for you to go and leave a review right now. So go ahead and do it,

send that screenshot my way, because I want to give you a free course and thanks again for listening today. I’ll be back next Tuesday and I’ll plan to see you then.


**The transcript for this productivity podcast for women is made using AI.

Tanya Dalton is a female productivity expert; she has been called one of the best woman keynote speakers on the topics of time management, healthy habits, goal setting, finding balance and purpose. She gives talks to corporate audiences at business events, women’s organizations and ERG groups.