A dear friend was sharing her feedback on a draft of the first part of my forthcoming book, OPEN: How to Create A Life You absolutely Love Living. She loved the chapters I sent and is eager for more. However, in the introduction, I write “I am not special” and my friend took issue with this. “You’re not special?!”, she said. “I’ve seen the pictures of you, your wedding, your husband… You’ve got this life you love… and, you’re saying you’re not special?”
“Yes.” I said. “Unique maybe, but not special”.
Then, as is the nature of our relationship and my relationship with most people, she got real and got right to the crux of her issue. “Well, then, what does that mean for me? If you’re not special and you have all that, then what am I?”
Whoa, there it was – laid out right there on the table. And, it all made perfect sense. Nobody’s special or everybody’s special. I prefer to say nobody’s special because, fundamentally, we’re no different from one another. Circumstances, appearances, etc. may be different, but there are certain fundamental things that tie us together – certain characteristics that make us inextricably linked, that make us human and that make us the same. One of the most significant of those things is the human spirit. My happiness and success is not me being special. It simply is me demonstrating a piece of our collective humanity – the power of the human spirit. This is what we have. This is what humans, you and I are capable of and can do. The human spirit isn’t mine, it belongs to each one of us. How we use and express it in our lives makes us unique individuals.
Nevertheless, it may seem like certain people are special when you’re comparing, but that’s just it. You’re comparing. This is a common outlook block I see in people generally and my coaching clients in particular. When you’re looking through what I call corrective lenses, you’re stuck in a cycle of comparing yourself to others, measuring your life against some external ideal standard of how things “should” be and thinking that success and happiness is special. The real fact of the matter is that, true success and happiness may be uncommon, but it is not special. And, more than that, even though I love the life I’m living, you might not love living my life.
I’m not special, I’m open. I know who I am, where I’m heading, I have the support I need and am willing to create the life I want regardless of what it looks like to other people and what they think is possible for me. And, that’s what I want not only for my friend, but for you as well. You don’t have to be special to be happy and successful. You only have to be yourself – your true, best and highest potential self. Once you honestly, truly and deeply make this part of you and your being, you’ll realize that special isn’t really so special after all.