Polar opposites

While I was on the treadmill this morning, something hit me. Not literally – though that has happened before thanks to someone’s water bottle flying out of his hand. No, what hit me was the advice I’d heard from two different podcasters.

Let me set the stage: I am in the car a lot – 3 to 6 hours a day – driving kiddos to and from school, sports, and various lessons. While I complain about my daily car time, I make the most of it and listen to podcasts. I’ve included a list below of some of my favorite podcasts in case you are interested. Any and all the shows listed are entertaining, informative and a good way to spend an hour stuck in traffic. 

But this morning, statements from two different podcasts struck me. The podcasts are How to Be Amazing with Michael Ian Black and the RISE podcast with Rachel Hollis. I recommend giving both a listen. Take a couple of minutes to look at their backlist and pick out a few episodes that interest you. 

The statements in question come from minute 2:30 of the How to Be Amazing “News for 2019” episode and from 1:14:28 on the RISE podcast number 79 with Lewis Howes. I’m taking things a bit out of context for a minute, but bear with me. First, the statements: 

From How to Be Amazing: All of us in all of our endeavors are amazing in our own way.

From RISE: I am not special. 

I’m going to sit here for a minute and let you, Awesome Reader, digest that. (Insert whatever background music you prefer here. No judgments on my part.)

Okay, I’m back.

The difference between the statements stunned me. Yes, I intentionally placed these statements side by side to emphasize the disparity. Still, I had a hard time wrapping my head around things. How could two podcasts, both of which I enjoy and appreciate, have such different takes on what appears to be the same thing? I want to be both amazing and special. Don’t we all? What’s wrong with that? It bummed me out that the statements negated each other. I wondered if I needed to change my listening selections when it dawned on me. 

Both statements are correct.

Taken out of context like I was doing made them seem odd. One is being said to the audience in general and the other is being said by the speaker about herself. I want to be clear about that when I say, I internalized both of those statements as if they were directed to me. Not gonna say that is the right thing to do, but sometimes, that is what happens. 

What happened next also happens a lot. I continued to run on the treadmill, turning the statements over in my mind. It took another half mile before my brain clicked in, and I got it. 

There is something amazing in each of us. We have our own abilities we don’t even recognize because they are innate to us. We have to use those gifts to get to where we want to go. 

At the same time, we are not special if you go strictly by definition. Google says special is “better, greater or otherwise different from what is usual”. Humans are humans. We don’t get an “easy” button for the things we want. It takes using those unique gifts to achieve your goals and stand out.

None of us deserve something because we are special. But we are all amazing because if we work hard enough, smart enough and long enough, we can achieve our goals. Remember that, Awesome Reader. Let me know what you think about being amazing vs. being special. Drop me a note at carolewolfeauthor@gmail.com. I love hearing from you!

Here is a list of podcasts I enjoy. It looks like a lot, but I listen to them on 1 1/2 speed. It is amazing how many I go through each week.

Writing Podcasts:

General Podcasts: 


Photo by Marl Clevenger on Unsplash