25 Jul So Special?
”You are unique. Just like everyone else”.
We all like to believe that we are so special. But are we really?
We all want to be seen, recognised for who we are, acknowledged, appreciated, loved, celebrated. We love to be chosen, whether it is getting picked out of the group to play sports in a team or your crush choosing you over all the other boys or girls in school.
We all want to be liked, making for popular hashtags such as #like #like4like #follow4follow, as we also want to be followed, because we want to show as many people as possible how special (and awesome) we are and our life is.
But at the same time…in today’s day and age…Swipe right, Swipe left…For you, there are 10 others. With over 700 million active monthly users on Instagram, chances are it’s even more than 10 ;-). Aren’t we all replaceable? What makes you so special really?
I know what you’re thinking…life isn’t Tinder (or Grinder or any of the other mating app’s out there)…and of course, not everyone is exactly like you, but there are enough with the same interests, ideals; similar talents, ways and even looks. The same sense of humor, way of talking, walking, fears, dreams, taste in music, fashion, art etc, etc. Is there anything exceptionally unique these days anyway?
Also, did you know you’re actually programmed to think you’re special? It’s called Pseudo-exceptionalism—the unearned conviction that we are exceptional, superior to others because we were born…us.
Consider this, and a simple (maybe a little too simple, but I can see logic behind it), formula by Tim Urban: Happiness = Reality – Expectations.
Most millennials have been raised by constantly being told they are ”special”. I mean, even the losing kids in contests get prizes and trophies these days, right? We receive rewards even without having to actually do something exceptionally better than others, simply because we are our special us and we showed up. Yet we are programmed to constantly compete from a young age, in sports, in beauty competitions, in business and so on…
Given the world we live in, and the fact that life in general isn’t really that easy…I think the harsh reality of life is catching up to many of us…With the automatic conviction that we are entitled to a great life, we end up very unhappy, because we expect things to come a lot easier in life.
A successful life, whether it’s a career or marriage , requires hard work, blood, sweat, tears and not just ”being special” or being entitled to, simply because we believe we are. ”If he/she can have it, so can I”… which could be true, but honestly, you will have to do something for it. Whatever it is you seek, won’t fall from the sky.
We look at the ”perfect”(ly staged) lives of others on Facebook and think the grass is greener, but tend forget that nobody posts about the struggles, the pain, the frustrations. We are programmed to always want (and aim for) the nicer car or the bigger house, without even thinking through whether it would really make us happy or give us actual meaning in life. Thus leading to unhappiness.
All of this made me think….maybe we should (try to) let go of the notion that we are so special? What’s so bad about accepting that we are all replaceable? No matter how talented, skilled, smart, beautiful…there will always be someone, somewhere…just as good (or maybe even better/more beautiful, talented etc.).
But really what’s so bad about that?
No one will ever be you in the completeness of you as a human being. But that will not bring you anything in life on it’s own.
Life is too short to worry about being special. It’s already complicated enough. Just ride the hell out of the rollercoaster, work hard for what you want, make the best of it, enjoy it, and maybe try to leave the world a little bit better than it was before. To me there is enough special in that :-).
”A flower doesn’t think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms”.
P.S. I’m sure you’re really special in the eyes of at least one person in this world. Maybe that’s a bit of a consolation :-).