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Nobody Is Special, and That’s Great

Nobody Is Special, and That’s Great

It is common to see certain people as wholly unique, that there is something special about them. We look at great innovators like Elon Musk, and think he is special because not many people think they have what it takes to revolutionize travel on land an in space. Even figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger we regard as special, after all, we think, it must take a special person to become the strongest man in the world, a movie star, and a state governor.

Most people imagine them as black swans, who stick out from the others and their individuality is worthy of praise. But very few swans are black, yet does this mean that ordinary swans (or ordinary people) are without value? Clearly not. Each are unique.

But this raises an interesting point. If each of us are unique and special, then that must mean that none of us are. If the norm is special, then being special is meaningless.

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    If this is the case, then where does our obsession about being special come from?

    By Default, Everyone Thinks They’re Special

    We are hard wired to feel special, or otherwise want to feel special. On top of this, our parents tend to see us as special from birth (after all we are their children and are special in that sense). This makes us either want to be special to justify their views, or grow up thinking we are naturally unique and special.

      From childhood we see those who are seen as smarter, more attractive, or charming succeed where most of us don’t. Deep down we all want recognition, its simple human nature. So when we see others getting it, we either get jealous, or think them uniquely special.

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      When we get recognition, our confidence and self esteem grows, this can be extremely good for you, but can also have the affect of having an overly inflated sense of worth and pride, and thus think ourselves special to everyone else.

        Feeling “Special” Is Dangerous

        No matter how much we want ourselves to be the special ones, most of us are just ordinary. Some people are simply better than others at things.

        This might seem as an insult for some, but think about it, it is impossible to be great at everything. Though some people might be better than you at one thing, you might be better than them at something else.

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        Sure, we can look at people like Schwarzenegger or Elon Musk as if they are special. But there are things that you can do that they would struggle with. The issue is, we only see the things that they are great at. I might, for example, cook better than Elon Musk, or write better than Arnold Schwarzenegger.

        This view of only seeing the positives and great attributes can apply to our view of ourselves too. Someone who is extremely prideful and sees themselves as incredibly special, will naturally have a limited view of themselves. They will be blind to their problems and flaws and negative sides.

          This is a major problem in itself, without knowledge of your flaws, after all, it is impossible to improve yourself. The person who sees themselves as special would in fact be in a worse place than most people in the world, people who want to improve themselves.

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            Redefining “Special”

            There are roughly 7.442 billion people in the world right now, and that number is increasing rapidly. Therefore the possibility than any one of us is more gifted than anyone else is borderline statistically impossible. Things I’ve experienced have been experienced by many thousands before me, and many thousands will experience the same after me, it is inevitable.

              So with this, perhaps the only way to be special is to feel good about ourselves. If nobody is truly special, then why need to focus on those seen as greater?
              If nobody is born special then there is nothing stopping you achieving as they have.

              This idea may be disheartening at first, but I think there is something liberating about it. There is no longer any pressure to feel like you have to be special and great at everything.

              Everyone is unique in the sense that there is nobody in world who is them. There never has been before, and never will be ever again. So instead of trying to be better than everyone else and unique, what’s left is to be great in your own way. You might love to draw and are great at it (I’m certainly not!) so why not just celebrate your drawing skills. Maybe you won’t end up being the next Michaelangelo, but why should that stop you?

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              Anna Chui

              Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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              Published on January 27, 2020

              30 Essential Core Values for Living the Life You Want

              30 Essential Core Values for Living the Life You Want

              The weather will always change. Technology will always change. Trends will always change. We will always change.

              In a world that is constantly evolving and taking new forms, it can be somewhat overwhelming trying to make sense of this thing called life.

              One of the things that rarely changes in this world though and what can provide a guiding light for you throughout your life is your core values. This article will provide you with a core values list of 30 incredible values to adopt and use when all else seems to be changing.

              What Are Core Values?

              Core values are principles or beliefs that you hold most dear and that are of central importance in your life. When everything around you is changing, when the world is difficult to understand, and when you are riding up and down the emotion rollercoaster, your core values will always be there for you.

              Why Are Core Values Important?

              Core values are important because they act like a compass to help you lead the amazing life that you want, no matter where you find yourself in this world.

              Not only that, having the right core values can improve your decision-making, your productivity, your achievements and perhaps most importantly, your ability to love and be loved. They’re kind of a big deal. And it isn’t just us saying this, studies[1] have shown core values to have a whole host of other benefits.

              30 Best Core Values to Live by

              You might already have a few core values in mind or in your heart which is great. If you need some more ideas or haven’t really thought about your core values until now, here are our 30 favourite core values that you can adopt right now.

              1. Acceptance

              The ability to accept what you can control and what you can’t control. Being able to understand that on some days you are the hammer, and other days you are the nail. With acceptance as a core value, you can build either way and be happy while doing it.

              2. Adaptability

              Life is going to throw you curve ball after curve ball and if you aren’t ready for them, you are going to strikeout. Your life and the life of those you surround yourself with are far too complex to confine yourself to one mould.

              Be adaptable and ready and willing to change when you need to.

              3. Awareness

              Awareness is one of the best core values that you can adopt. Period. Awareness means paying attention to yourself, to others, to the world around you, to emotions, to situations. It means being able to see everyone and everything clearly – most importantly yourself.

              4. Balance

              There are going to be times when you need to sprint in life, and other times when you are going to need to slow down. The yin and the yang.

              Balance is one of the most important core values in many ancient cultures because it reflects nature for what it truly is: perfectly balanced and able to bend, rather than break.

              5. Calmness

              As well as being a sublime state of mind, many people forget that calm is a simple decision to make.

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              You can be calm in any situation should you allow yourself to be. No amount of angry drivers, long queues or frustrating technology can penetrate you when you adopt calmness as a core value.

              6. Community

              Every one of us is a social creature, whether we believe it or not, and community has been a key core value for us as a species for thousands of years.

              We are hard-wired to socialize; to eat, drink, gossip, laugh, tell stories, share ideas, give and receive amongst ourselves. Community also enhances the effect of other core values on this list, such as creativity.[2]

              7. Compassion

              Compassion is taking the time to understand the suffering of others and hopefully, being able to do something about it. There is a lot of struggle and suffering that can be alleviated in the world; with a core value like compassion you might be able to do help your fellow humans in some meaningful way.

              8. Creativity

              With technology taking most of the administrative jobs, creative people are going to be leading us into the future.

              Someone who cherishes creativity is able to think up new and big ideas, see things that other people can’t and see the world around them through their own lens, not somebody else’s.

              9. Discipline

              Discipline will lead you to the life that you want, should you adopt it as a core value.

              “Discipline Equals Freedom” is a term popularised by ex-Navy Seal Jocko Willink, and what it means is that if you can be disciplined in the right things, you will be free in the right things too.

              Discipline to workout means more freedom in your body as you age. Discipline to save means more freedom with your time and money in the long-term. And so it goes…

              10. Empathy

              There is perhaps no greater value on this list that will connect you deeper to not just the closest people in your life but to complete strangers too.

              Practising empathy requires the understanding that other people have a nagging voice in their own head, just like you do. That they have a worldview different to yours based on their experiences. And that’s ok. It’s not easy to adopt empathy as a core value, but it is certainly worth it.

              11. Freedom

              Freedom comes in many forms and that is why it is one of the ultimate core values to have. The freedom to choose, freedom to speak, freedom to live on your own terms, freedom to love and be loved.

              If freedom becomes a core value of yours, watch how your life changes for the better.

              12. Gratitude

              Gratitude provides a powerful perspective shift whenever you feel yourself get into a rut.

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              You can become grateful for the big things like having shelter, food and great people in your life. You can also become grateful for the small things like the cup of coffee that you just drank or the soft sheets on your bed.

              13. Happiness

              Happiness is a powerful core value and is not just restricted to your own happiness but also friends and family.

              When happiness guides your decision-making rather than superficial things like money and status, you will find yourself in a much more satisfying position than if you chase other people’s idea of happiness.

              14. Health

              They say that a healthy man has a lot of dreams and wishes whereas a sick man only has one – to be able to get out of bed.

              Health is the precursor to every other core value on this list; if you don’t have your health, you can’t do much else until you do. Because of this, health has to be a core value in your life.

              15. Humility

              Humility

              is the antidote to arrogance and selfishness and is a value to adopt if you want to keep your feet firmly on the ground. It is said that you are never as good or as bad as people say you are.

              Humility recognizes this and keeps you moving towards your goal, no matter what anyone else says.

              16. Innovation

              The act of innovation involves taking one existing thing and making it better. Although images of whacky car designs and complicated technology can spring to mind when thinking about innovation, it doesn’t have to be that grandiose.

              Simply seeing something small and making it better in your own life is enough to make a world of difference.

              17. Knowledge

              Knowledge is power. Not power in the 14th-century medieval banker-sense but in the power to change your own life-sense.

              Knowledge about yourself, others and the world allows you to understand everything that you see a bit better. When you see things for what they are, you can act accordingly and get to where you want to be.

              18. Leadership

              It take guts, determination, confidence and humility to lead. All of these qualities are both rare and admirable and are the reason why leadership is such an excellent core value.

              The future is dark and unknown but also full of hidden treasures. We need someone to lead us, will it be you?

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              19. Love

              It can be argued that all of the core values on this list can be tied together by the one, all-encompassing value of Love.

              When you value love deeply and try to show it in everything that you do, you make your world and the world of others a much better place.

              20. Moderation

              Forget this diet, that diet, eating there, eating then, working out before coffee or always in the afternoon. It’s all noise that works for some people some of the time – moderation is the key.

              Not acting in moderation can also have some damaging consequences, especially for your health.[3] What works well for all people is everything in moderation.

              Of course, life should be fun too so even ‘everything in moderation’, should be in moderation.

              21. Peace

              Peace is another core value that takes years of practice to perfect. However, its rewards are boundless with both the journey and destination full of rewards.

              Peace enables clear decision-making, freedom in thoughts and actions as well as providing a deep understanding of the special life that you live.

              22. Purpose

              Purpose can be doubled up with ‘meaning’ as these are two values that provide the drive in any endeavour that you might pursue.

              Purpose is what gets you out of bed every morning, it is why you sacrifice what you sacrifice and often entails something bigger than yourself. If you don’t have a purpose, it is unlikely that you will find much meaning in your life.

              23. Responsibility

              Nobody likes having to take the dog on a walk, having to clean the dishes or do things that they are reluctantly responsible for. However, responsibility can actually be an awesome way to add meaning and value to your life.

              When other people depend on you and you fulfil your role as provider, not only are they better off but you get the satisfaction that comes along with it too.

              24. Service

              Similar to the responsibility point above, when you adopt service as a core value, you will have very little time to wallow in any self-pity, anxiety or existential angst because you will be busy making the world a better place.

              Funnily enough, by serving others, many people find that they themselves are internally served with feelings of satisfaction and contentment.

              25. Spirituality

              Of course, there is the importance of physical health, mental health and emotional health, but spiritual health is just as important.

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              Spirituality has nothing to do with religion, it simply means taking the time to listen to your body, to watch your thoughts, to connect with and appreciate the world and the universe that you find yourself in.

              26. Trust

              Trust is a core value on this list because it requires many other difficult skills that also help to develop you as a person.

              To be able to trust and be trusted, you need strong relationships, an ounce of risk, a healthy dose of vulnerability and a smidge of humility. All of this creates a recipe for a very positive life with trust at the centre.

              27. Understanding

              Understanding comes from a place of acceptance of what is, not what should be or could be. It is the ability to recognise someone else’s viewpoint without trying to change it. It is learning that it is useless to fight against the way the world is and other people are, and to learn to dance with them instead.

              28. Wealth

              Not in the monetary sense but in the ‘having everything that you need sense’. Someone who is truly wealthy possesses great relationships, plenty of freedom, a life filled with joy as well as many of the other values on this list.

              Adopt wealth as a core value and it will act as a magnet to other incredible things.

              29. Wisdom

              Contrary to popular belief, wisdom does not come with age but rather, experience. There are many young people with more wisdom than the oldest people that you know. What makes someone wise is their ability to see broadly and clearly, to use good judgement and to be decisive when necessary.

              Wisdom is something that we all should seek.

              30. Wonder

              The final value on this list is wonder and it is the ideal place to finish.

              Wonder is thinking about the possibility of what comes next, dreaming about how you and things could be better, pushing your own boundaries and what you think you are capable of each day.

              Wonder is practical dreaming, and you should start right away.

              Final Thoughts

              Now you have a good idea of some of the core values that you can adopt, it’s time to not only decide which ones you like the best but also integrate and use them in your daily life.

              Core values are designed to guide your decisions in your most difficult moments. Now you have everything you need to go and live the life that you want to live!

              More About Self-Discovery

              Featured photo credit: AndriyKo Podilnyk via unsplash.com

              Reference

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