Comparing Fingerprints

You can search the entire world for another human being with the same fingerprints as you, but you will not find one.

This means, by definition, that you are unique.

Intuitively I’m sure that you know this, but in practice, it’s far more likely that you don’t always feel this way about yourself, or think about it consciously very often.

Instead we spend much of our time comparing ourselves to other people, in all sorts of different ways.

That person has more or less of this or that; that person went to that school; she has this job; he lives in this town; her website is so much more professional; the list goes on endlessly.

In our current modern industrial culture, we were mostly raised to behave as if life is a zero-sum game; a constant competition for elevated status.

On top of that, we have also been genetically hardwired for many thousands of years to pay attention to status. If your status was too low in your tribe, that could mean death.

So there are many forces behind this zero-sum, constantly comparative kind of thinking which are way stronger than you might have realized.

Here’s the good news:

First, it’s not your fault.

It’s not your fault that you don’t wake up knowing how special you are.

Second, it’s true.

It’s true that you are unique. Not just your fingerprints either. Your voice (not the sound waves; what you have to say), your story, your experience … even if you grew up in a safe little suburb on Long Island just like most of the other people reading this post, and me, your lens on life is not the same as mine. Your specific combination of passions, talents, and abilities can never be replicated. Others might share similar interests or stories, but none will be the same.

Third, you can change.

You can change the story that everyone (including you) has been telling you about … you.

You don’t have to listen to that anymore. Not for one minute.

You don’t even have to listen to me.

In fact, don’t listen to me at all, please.

Listen to you.

You’re completely free.

Do what you were meant to do, no matter what anyone else says or thinks.

There’s a lot of talk about everything that’s wrong with the world, and I empathize with all of it. It’s all correct and true.

But the change has to start with you. Not with anyone else.

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