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7 Life Lessons To Make Your New Year Extraordinary

‘Ordinary Guy’

by Colaborador EMedia

A middle-aged father, husband and entrepreneur, Daniel Stuart Olmes is just an ordinary guy. Yet, as he attests, “I’m able to live an extraordinary life.” In Memoirs of an Ordinary Guy: The Everyday Experiences that Changed My Life (Post Hill Press; January 2023; Paperback; ISBN: 9781637587317), Olmes shares his awakening to the amazing world around us — and within us — through stories about the small moments and chance interactions with other ordinary people that have brought him to a fuller understanding of what it means to be alive and why he was born.

“Every day, we encounter things that can inspire us to see the world a little differently, to take pause, to learn something new, or even to recognize the Divine,” Olmes reflects. “They can be a person, a memory, a character in a book, seven miles of asphalt, or even a can of Coke. They are anything and everything, and their gifts are many: a new perspective, a sense of peace, an important lesson, or perhaps a glimpse at another level of our being. They’re a delicate reminder that there’s always something beautiful to see, always something important to learn, and always a better way to live — a better version of ourselves.”

In Memoirs of an Ordinary Guy, Olmes presents a collection of short stories — all true events from his life — to not only chart his spiritual progression but also to inspire readers to find a new road to happiness. Along the way, he offers seven simple but powerful lessons:  

1. No Complaints Necessary. “To complain, in my personal opinion,” Olmes asserts, “is to dishonor the struggles of so many. It’s a moral surrender and a foolish compromise of perspective and gratitude.”

2. Find Examples of Others’ Endurance … like Olmes did when his path crossed with a frail, hunched over, 90-something woman wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt and clutching a gym bag in her hand.

3. See Your Miracles ... like Olmes did, twice, in his 20s, while recovering from alcohol poisoning (he’s been sober for more than 15 years) — and making your own. “We’re all capable of performing miracles,” he assures. “Most of the time in very small ways.”

4. Own Your “Greatness” (which isn’t the same as wealth and fame) and learn how to seize opportunities to be a great human being. “It takes hard work and diligent study,” he acknowledges. “A great person is tireless in their well-doing.”

5. We are ALL Connected. (Yes, every one of the planet’s eight billion people.) Why small acts of kindness and simple recognition of our common humanity can truly make a world of difference in someone else’s day and maybe even life.

6. Find Your “Pearl” … the one thing you’ll cherish above everything else in life — and find God (or YOUR sense of the Divine) in other people by cultivating the patience and humility to look and pay attention.

7. Why Happiness is a Choice .. .and why, ultimately, in his conviction: “Love is the only thing that matters.”

Memoirs of an Ordinary Guy is Olmes’ open invitation to everyone to be more mindful of the extraordinary possibilities within our reach and the love all around us every day.      

About the Author

Daniel Stuart Olmes is a husband, father of twins, entrepreneur, and aerospace and defense executive residing outside of Washington, D.C., in the Northern Virginia suburbs. Currently the president and chief operating officer of a mid-sized government contractor, he is an avid reader, runner and volunteer, spending most of his time on the baseball field as a Little League coach. He has founded two companies: Middleburg Capital, a commercial real estate investment firm, and Hellen Systems, a technology company focused on a national security initiative to create a ground-based backup for the Global Positioning System (GPS). He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology at Virginia Tech in 2000.

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