Red High Heels, Feather Boas and Old-Lady Mumus…An Uncommon Lesson in Greatness

Red High Heels

Center, Missouri is an ordinary town, but what transpired there one summer night more than ten years ago was extraordinary.

Center is the type of country town with a small post office, a park (with veteran’s memorial), a small convenience-shop gas station, and one blinking stop light on the main intersection of the highway that bisects the town.

As a city boy, my friends were eager to introduce me to nightlife in the country.

“Watch out for Tom’s cows out on the County Route.” It sounded like ‘root,’ but we barely heard their mom’s warning as we sprinted out the door.

Seems the cattle were escape artists who found the grass greener in the pasture on the other side of the road.

We TP’d* their aunt’s house with toilet paper from her own linen closet (because no one locks their door in the country) and “forked” her yard before we headed over to Hannibal, Missouri (you know the one…land of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer) for a late night adventure.

Thank God Dairy Queen closes late in the summer and Wal-Mart is open 24 hours!

With a large circular rack of “old-lady” mumu’s next to an end cap of brightly colored feather boas, and racks and racks of shoes for dress up, why would you not stage a late night “fashion” show (which may or may not have been featured on

Well, as they say…”it’s all fun and games”…until security boots you out the door!

All that’s left then is a midnight drive through the cemetery of a country church. (But that is another story altogether).

*TP – v. “A form of vandalism where the vandals put toilet paper all over the victim’s house.” – Urban Dictionary

Creating an Extraordinary Life

Being extraordinary is not necessarily about what you do,
but rather about how you do it.

Tweet This Quote

Greatness is uncommon.

You don’t have to get yourself kicked out of Wal-mart in the middle of the night. (Though I would consider a life in which you’ve never seen your picture on at least once to be strangely incomplete)

You don’t need to go to the moon.

You may only ever visit exotic countries in  your dreams.

You can still craft an extraordinary life.

An Extraordinary Life is an Uncommon Life

Conventional wisdom says that to live an extraordinary life all you need to do is what other people aren’t.  But that’s only part of the equation.

To truly craft an uncommonly great life, you must consciously do what other people are not doing (or will not do).

Intention is strategic. It’s directing the focus of your relationships, business and life in a purposeful way. It’s looking ahead and making decisions to place yourself  squarely in the center of the extraordinary.

It’s Not Always the “Big” Stuff

“Not all of us can do great things.
But we can do small things with great love.”
– Mother Teresa

Don’t strive to do the great things; do the small things, greatly.  Tweet This Quote

An uncommon life will be yours if you look for the smallest thing you can do greatly today and do it repeatedly. Then look for another thing you can do great and add it to the first.  Soon your life will be filled with greatness because excellence has become a habit.

How did you learn your best “greatness” lesson?  Who taught you excellence and in what area of your life?  Let me hear your thoughts below!

 Photo Credit: Markusram

About Steve

Hi, I'm Steve Rice and my goal is to transform simple philosophical truths into practical fuel to revolutionize your life. It's not about self-help, it's about self-reliance. I show you how. Connect with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and let me know how I can help you.

  • choklatechild

    LOL You guys TP’d somebody’s house with their OWN toilet paper…big cojones you guys have!!!

    So my biggest “greatness” lesson? It’s gonna sound cliche’ish but I found it while simply being me. What I mean is I find that when I’m being my best happy, caring, laughing, open self, I get the most compliments and people say they love that about me as they learn how to be the same way through my BEing. 🙂

    I too think it’s not always about the Big stuff…I tweeted the Mother Teresa quote a while back and think it’s a good one for people to remember.

    In addition, I do find ways to do what normal people won’t which often leads to extraordinary results (at least in my book)! 🙂


    • Yeah…we actually took all the TP we could find and wrapped it around her porch out to the tree in the yard, then we took the sheets from the spare room and hung them on the porch rails and clothes lines, then we forked her yard (we took plastic forks and knives and put them down into the grass so when she mowed, there would be splintered plastic all over the lawn. It was pretty mean!

      I know what you mean, though about being you. I remember a speech my public speaking mentor gave once in which she presented the idea of the Be, Do, Have triad. Basically she said you must be in order to do and do in order to have. But most people start at the “have” corner (or from the perspective of want–lack).

      I heard a quote from Rumi on Super Soul Sunday this a.m. “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” I love that.

      Thanks for sharing this.

  • Contumely30
  • Dawn Barclay

    Really like this Steve (even though you’re a vandal!:-)) — I’m with you, the tweetable says it all really…do small things, greatly. Dawn

    • Thanks so much, Dawn! We were little vandals, but i figured it was semi-okay because it was my friend’s aunt’s house…but in hindsight…probably not the most mature behavior.

      I’m blaming it on my 20’s! 😛