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Five Ingredients that Make You Special

You’ve heard these points before…being special isn’t about your looks, or how much money you have, or even how great an athlete you are. “Well, what is it about?” you ask. Let’s try to gain some real insight to the answer here.

Live in such a way that as people get to know you 
they can see God’s goodness in you. 


Many of us think of being special in the wrong way. We mistakenly believe that being special is determined by what others think of us. As a result, we place a priority on things like the clothes we wear, the kind of car we drive, or the house we live in in order to “fit in” and “be accepted” by our friends or those at work or school. 

However, in reality, these things have little to do with being special. Instead, being special depends on what’s inside of us and how well we use our heads and our hearts in the choices we make. This lesson will help you develop your understanding of what being special really is as you work to become the special person you are definitely intended to be.

Again…as you review the information presented in this lesson, keep in mind that being special is not a condition bestowed on you by others. Rather, it is an achievement that is almost totally up to you and the choices you make—choices concerning how you will conduct your life, how you will treat others, and how 

Spirit of Goodness to become an increasingly important influence in your life.

hard you will work to accomplish some important goal. In other words, being special is not “up to them” . . . it’s up to you. 

One of the keys to being or becoming a special person is to be guided by the Spirit of Goodness that resides within each of us. There’s no question that you have the potential for doing special things with your life. But in order to do so, you must be willing to pay attention to those special feelings within and to make the choices to allow them to direct your life.

Goodness is love in action.

James Hamilton

Understanding What We Mean by “Being Special”

How You Look Doesn’t Make You Special


There’s an old saying that most of us know: “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” While this is certainly true, we do exactly that many times each day. We see someone, and based on what we see—how they are dressed, the car they are driving, the color of their skin, the phone they are using—we form an opinion about them. We don’t even know them, but we process these “inputs” and form an opinion about them anyway. We have performed such judgements so many times that we have come to think that everyone is judging us in the same way.


If you’re going to learn how to properly judge yourself—as well as others—you’re going to have to develop a good understanding of what really makes a person special. I can quickly tell you this: your appearance, while important at times, has nothing to do with it. We place too great an emphasis on how we look when it’s what inside—things we can’t really see—that make people special.

Being liked for the way you look is worse than not being liked at all. 

Amanda Hocking

What Makes the World Work?


I know, this seems like an odd question to include in the middle of a lesson like this, but having some perspective of “how the world works” makes it easier to determine how you will fit into it. 

Spirit of Goodness to become an increasingly important influence in your life.

Every one of us has certain interests, abilities, and feelings that, when focused on helping others, will lead us to what we should do with our life, to fulfilling our “intended purpose” if you will. The doctor who helps us stay well and heathy, the teacher who helps us learn important things, the coach who instructs us how to play a sport, the trainer who helps us stay physically fit, the barber who helps us stay well-groomed, and even the neighbor who brings over those great cookies are all examples of individuals using their lives to help others. Bottom line: we are here for each other.

What makes the world work is the fact that we are not all alike;

we have different interests, skills, and feelings that, when followed, allow us to help each other in many different ways. In other words, in the grand scheme of things, you have a special and unique spot to fill.


Therefore, your challenge, regardless of your age, is to determine how you will use your life to help others. What are your interests, skills, and feelings saying to you?  Finding, confirming, and living out that answer is ultimately what makes someone special and makes their life worthwhile. When someone is focused on clothes, cars, and “things,” it is much more difficult for them to look inside and develop an understanding of what their life is leading them to do.

Be brave enough to live the life of your dreams 
according to your vision and purpose, 
instead of the expectations and opinions of others. 

Roy T. Bennett

While there may be others, we believe there are five basic characteristics or ingredients that determine whether someone is or is becoming a special person or not. We should also note that no one is born being special. It’s something you have to work at and develop over time. So regardless of your past or even your circumstances today, you have the opportunity to become a special person in your own way. It all depends on the choices you make from this day forward.

Ingredients in Being Special

Being honest


Definitely on the list is your ability to be honest. First and foremost, you have to be honest with yourself. Total honesty lets you know where you need to improve and what adjustments you need to make. Adding to the importance of honesty is the fact that being truthful with others is the single most important factor in establishing meaningful friendships. People who “kid themselves” about their actual qualities and performance seldom improve and, of course, have little chance of becoming who they really are.

Helping others


Another on the list is the way in which you use your life to help others. We tend to think that life is all about us, but that’s just not the case. Life, especially the enjoyment we get from living it, is all about “the other guy” and how we help other people have better and more fulfilling lives. People who live only for themselves discover at some point that it was the wrong approach. No question, looking out for others is a fundamental ingredient in a special life.

Somewhere along the way, we must learn that there is nothing greater 
than to do something for others.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Focusing on your purpose


Okay, if you accept that being honest and helping others are of basic importance, you should turn to your uniqueness and focus on what you should to do with your life. We have clues or signals to guide us in this decision—our interests, our abilities, our feelings about things. The challenge is to confirm what these are saying to us and determine what we should do with our life. Typically, this is an “investigation” that takes years, lots of careful thinking, and discussions with people whose opinions you respect.  Special people don’t leave this process to chance. They place a high priority on finding the answer and are willing to work exceptionally hard to determine how their skills and interests should be utilized in the life they want to live.

Working to improve

Special people are never satisfied with their current performance. They want to learn more, do more, help more, and be more. In other words, they are motivated to get better and to achieve more as they live their life. Some people don’t have such motivations and, as a result, become “satisfied with life” far too quickly. Becoming complacent is a characteristic that is never beneficial. Special people are more than willing to work hard to accomplish important things with their life. As the saying goes:

The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people 
is that successful people will do the things 
that unsuccessful people just won’t do.

Living with goodness


Yes, helping others and showing a sincere interest in those around you are important ingredients in being a special person. No question that this is true. However, we need to take this fact a step further and work to understand that God’s Spirit, the Spirit of Goodness, is with us at all times and wants to be a major support factor as we work to be of some benefit to those around us. Left to ourselves, we are likely to miss opportunities or the motivation to do something helpful and needed by others. But, by allowing our lives to be guided by the Spirit of Goodness we become more adept at looking out for “the other guy.”

Final Reminder: It’s All Inside


As you look back and think about the list we have just outlined, you will likely note that all five of these ingredients are dependent on what’s inside of you. None of them is dependent on outside factors such as looks, money, clothes, cars, houses, etc. Granted, many of your friends may be focused on such outside factors. However, what will make you special and set you apart from the crowd is your ability to focus on the inside…to make sure that your heart and the Spirit of Goodness are guiding most of the choices you make. You can be a very special person in your own unique way, and, equally as important, the world needs for you to be.

Spirit of Goodness to become an increasingly important influence in your life.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Questions/Discussion Points



To what extent have you judged people in the past based on 
how they look or the “things” they have?


Have you felt the presence of the Spirit of Goodness in your life?
What do you think it is signaling you to do?


Do you know someone who is well on their way to living a special life? 
What are the things about them that make you feel this way?

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