You Are Not Special & Your Mom Lied to You if She Told You So
You are not special.
It doesn’t matter how many times your mom or your grandma told you that. It is not true.
There is a possibility for you to BECOME special. But you have to earn it, it is not given.
Not even being the child of someone truly special grants you the status of being special. In fact, as Malcolm Gladwell proves in his book David & Goliath, sometimes having too many advantages can be a disadvantage.
Just think about the kids of someone like Michael Jordan. What are the odds of them becoming special?
Google has effectively democratized information or most of it.
This has positive and negative consequences. All of us now have access to tools and resources to become special, but now everyone thinks just because they can be special that they already are special.
Most likely, you will never be special.
Maybe your dog thinks you are but that’s about it.
Many years ago the “special ones” were those who had access to information and knowledge.
Not so long ago some people couldn’t read. In fact, in some cases, women and minorities were not even allowed to learn how to read. The goal was to keep people from learning, from understanding, and from challenging the status quo.
This is because most people don’t like to deal with change. As humans, we have been wired to preserve energy, which is why we dislike uncertainty and changes.
Today there are many ways to have access to information and learn how to use tools and resources to challenge the status quo. The amount of online classes, webinars, and certifications in different areas of knowledge can be overwhelming.
This situation makes everyone think that they can be an entrepreneur or a millionaire. Everyone can be what they desire to be, but not everyone is willing to do what it takes to makes it happen.
Not everyone has a clear understanding of the journey they will have to endure to make it to the other side of the tunnel.
If you want to make it big, the tunnel you have to go through is long and dark. You might not be able to even take two steps into that tunnel before you start crying. In fact, everyone will cry at some point during that journey. The difference is that some people keep going through the darkness and others decide to step out of the tunnel.
Some people are just not made for it… and that is OK.
Everyone plays a critical role in the universe. We can’t all be superstars and we don’t need to be.
There are around 40,000 high schools in the United States. That means 40,000 Valedictorians... every year.
If you are 1 in a million, there will be at least 7,500 just like you. Even if you are 1 in a billion you might not make the podium among that group.
Let's face it. If we were all special then nobody would be special.
To tell you that you have failed if you are not famous, rich, or special in some way, is as wrong as telling you that an “average” life is a failure.
You have the power to define and achieve success in your own terms. Whatever that might look like.
Do You Really Want to Be Special?
Can you deal with millions of people hating you? Can you not be affected when other people start judging you or your family constantly?
Imagine waking up every day and not being able to escape constant judgment.
You turn the TV and you find people criticizing you. You go to social media and there are hundreds and thousands of hate comments directed at you.
Yes, being famous or having millions seems like a situation that will solve most of your problems. But it will also bring others that you weren’t expecting. Having no money or too much money are both challenging situations.
Just imagine the criticism and challenges that people like LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, or Justin Bieber face daily. Yes, they get paid an incredible amount of money to do what they do, but money doesn’t buy happiness.
If you make at least $75,000 a year, any extra dollar you earn will not increase your happiness by much.
Now think about the guy that is hired as a dancer for some of Justin Bieber’s shows. Or the bench players who rarely see playing time in any professional sport. Are they not successful?
They might even be happier than some of the “special people”. They sure make more than enough money, yet they don’t have to deal with much of the negative stuff that celebrities have to deal with.
Being a bench player in a professional team is OK. If you made it to the NBA, or any other professional sports league, it means you are a winner. You just play a different role in your team, and you might be even happier than some of the starters.
Then you start paying attention to the noise… you start thinking that if you are not the best you are a failure… you start thinking that you have to be special among the special ones.
Being the king of the hill means having a target on your back. There will always be someone coming for after you. Are you willing to live your life that way?
If you are not, then don’t even try to be special. And there is nothing wrong with not being special… most people aren’t and will never be.
Dyslexics Are Special... Do You Want to Be One?
Let's say I offer you two options: A) Being dyslexic or B) Not being dyslexic.
If you chose "A" you might be A.1) Special in a positive way or A.2) Special in a negative way. If you chose "B" you will be "average". What would you pick?
In his book, David & Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell explores a similar situation as the one described.
It turns out that there is a high percentage of successful entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, that are dyslexic. The disadvantage of being dyslexic forced them to build up other skills and become strong in areas that most people aren't because they faced obstacles that most people don't face.
The struggle can make you stronger.
Yet, there is a high percentage of people that go to prison that is dyslexic too. In this case, the struggle broke them.
Will you embrace the struggle or avoid the struggle?
Not All Professional Athletes Are Special
This is a great moment to summarize what we’ve been through so far:
I thought I was special and that I would go and play in the NBA.
For a couple of summers, I even trained in courts next to where some NBA players like Chauncey Billups, Al Harrington, and Tyrone Lue were training. We were doing the same type of drills and exercises.
When I started playing basketball I was the benchwarmer who had 0 minutes of playing time. I was that guy who you would never pass it to because it will mean losing the ball to the other team.
I then got obsessed with the game of basketball, and I became one of the few players in my high school to play state competitions. By 9th grade, no one could beat me in my high school and its surroundings. At this point, I was completely sure that I was special. I had become special by embracing the struggle.
Then in college, I wasn’t the leading scorer and I wasn’t always a starter. Back to not being special.
Yet, I learned to adapt and add value to the team in any way possible. Some games it would be by being the scoring leader and other would be by playing defense on the best guy on the other team and scoring 0 points. Other games I wouldn't even be on the court during the last minutes of a tough game.
Deciding to become special means hustling every… single… day!
Deciding to become special means accepting that you are not special, it means having so much ego that you don’t care anymore if others think you are special or not.
If you have no ego you won’t even think that you can become special. A bit of ego and you will stop to complain when things get tough and blame others for your failures. You must have so much ego that you don’t care anymore.
You have to keep going no matter what, climbing up like a goat climbs a mountain.
You must have so much ego that it becomes conscience… and at that point, you care so much about creating value and helping others that you stop caring about what they think.
You have to care too much about others to not care about what they think or feel about you.
Don't Blame Your Mom For Not Making You Special
If you are reading this and you are mad or angry it’s because too many people have been telling you that you are special when you are really not.
You should be angry at them, not at me! I’m just telling you the truth while they were the ones lying to you.
If you think that I’m wrong… If you are completely sure that you can become special… then we are in the same boat. I might be wrong about you and certainly some people can become special.
We can become special but we have to earn it, we have to make it happen and be willing to do whatever it takes. We are looking for people like you to be part of our community.
Our goal is to stand together while traveling through that dark tunnel of uncertainty and challenges.
Challenging the status quo is not an easy task. Yet, if we support each other we will be able to do so.
At BizLatte, our goal is to give you the tools to define and achieve success in your own terms.
Do you want to be an all-star? Great, let’s make it happen.
Do you want to be a role-player and support others? Great, let’s make it happen too.
There are many ways to become special or to help accomplish special results. We need a team to do so and there are different roles that have to be filled.
Which role will you play?