Is anybody truly special? Short answer: Yes.
Is there anything wrong with being special? Another short answer: Yes.
Very few people are special. You are not one of them. Why? Because there is a downside to being classified as “special.”
Being special in today’s society means thinking that you are an exception to the rules that everyone else has to follow. It has very little to do with self-esteem and very much to do with self-deception.
The downside is that we can be thinking about ourselves in such a damaging way without realizing it. And our unawareness drives us to be ungrateful and even unsuccessful.
Pedestals and Privilege
So let’s be honest for a little while.
Perhaps you grew up in a family where you were the apple of your parents’ eyes. Maybe you were always seen as the good boy or good girl who never broke the rules, the model student in school, obedient in every way including being home before curfew, and so on and so on.
In short, you were given privileges and people put you on a pedestal. It was assumed that you would be successful because, well, you had such a perfect past (which required very little work from you, of course). It just happened.
Now, here comes the downside. A child who grows up thinking this well of them self will see their self as special. And because he or she has been told in so few words and treated in so few ways — as if they are special — they will begin to expect everything to come easy to them. They can begin to feel entitled to success without any effort.
But sooner or later, you find out that this is not true. You do not have any special powers. You are not too big, too beautiful, or too smart to fail. Everything you do is not guaranteed to succeed.
Children who grow into adults who have been conditioned to think they are above and beyond everything and everyone else will ultimately have to come face to face with reality. You are not special.
Privileged? Yes. Special. No.
You should never let yourself fall into the trap of assuming that you don’t have to work hard or that life is just supposed to happen perfectly for you. People who think they are special and have been conditioned to think that everything will come easy to them are at a disadvantage.
If it is all just given to you, do you really understand how success really works. Does it just happen? Do your dreams just come to pass? If everything is all there for you because you are already qualified (because you’re special, remember, everybody thinks so), you miss a very important lesson.
The Way It Is
Maybe you are one of those people who has been taught to believe that everything is just going to come to you because of how wonderful and bright you are. Well, I want to make the shock of reality a little less sharp for you.
It doesn’t work that way. Obstacles are the way of life — for everybody.
You are not entitled to a great future because you had such a great past. In fact, for many people, it is the very opposite because they deceive themselves into thinking otherwise. How many rich kids turn out to have completely tattered and torn adult lives. Special? No. Choices? Yes.
The way it is: If you want it to be a certain way, it is within your power to create it.
You have to choose.
Ego is one of your worst enemies. Thinking you are special is just an excuse to escape the painful reality of responsibility and choice. Avoiding the hard word of owning up to our mistakes and choosing to change is a deceptive tactic that strangles our progress and ruins our future.
After all, it is much easier to sit atop our high horses and look prim and proper than delve into the messiness that is life.
Still want to be special?
Special people don’t concern themselves with being special. They just don’t. Because being special is not important. They don’t try to be the exception to the rule.
Instead, special people do special things. They earn what they have. They put themselves on the line for others. They work hard at meaningful and fulfilling work — work that benefits the larger part of society.
They admit when they fail and struggle because they’re not special. They accept help where it can be found and allow others to gain strength from their stories. They learn and grow because special people actually have time to better themselves.
Special people know that the world does not owe them anything. Instead, they owe the world something. When special people leave, the world mourns their loss and remembers their legacy. Because it was never about them anyway. It was all about what they could do for someone else.
Life isn’t about you. You want to special? Start giving the world and the people around you something they always needed but never had. Make yourself useful. Make your existence meaningful. Use your perspective and abilities for good. Design a future that others want to emulate.
Because you’re special. And your “specialness” means something to us.