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Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus help over 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and Netflix films. The Minimalists have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, TIME, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, BBC, and NPR.

Constructing an Extraordinary Life

An extraordinary life doesn’t just happen: it is constructed, crafted, curated.

We ought not simply “go with the flow”: it’s nice and easy for a while—riding the current to wherever it might take us—but eventually everyone ends up at the same place—the rapids. And then, unprepared, we’re in for a world of hurt.

Your authors live extraordinary lives: we’re not ashamed to admit this. It wasn’t always this way, though.

For the longest time our lives were unremarkable at best, miserable at worst: too long we went with the flow. We were fat, in debt, and unfulfilled by the lives we were leading—lives filled with every conceivable type of clutter: mental clutter, emotional clutter, physical clutter. We had reached the rapids, and we were quickly headed for the falls.

Then we decided to change.

An extraordinary life—a life to be proud of—is a decision. Not a single decision, but a myriad of little decisions each day regarding money, health, passion, and contribution. With the passing of each day these decisions add up, until one day you realize you’ve created an extraordinary life.

If this seems insurmountable initially, that’s because you’re looking too far ahead—only worry about making today extraordinary.

What tiny decisions will you make today—not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, but today—that will sculpt your extraordinary life?

Read this essay and 150 others in our new book, Essential.