Feeling Special

I have a confession. For most of my life, I’ve been status driven. Excel at school, find a good job, get promoted. I’m always wondering what I have to do to get ahead. Motivated by feeling special.

I read a book recently called, Captivate, by Vanessa Van Edwards. She talks about people’s driving force, which is what motivates them at a primal level. They can be different at home or at work, and range from safety to love. One of the driving forces is status. Now, being a good Lutheran, I was taught that status isn’t something to chase. We should be humble, work hard and accept what is. I totally buy into that, especially at home. But at work… I’m driven. And then I remember my upbringing. And I’m humble. Being driven and tempering it with humility is a strange combination. I want more but stop myself. I want to get ahead AND feel guilty doing so.

After reading so many books on self-help, management, business books in general, I identified a common thread.

Successful people, the really successful ones, seem to be driven by a cause. Getting a PC into every home. Converting all cars to electric. Allocating capital. Sure, success is nice and they want to win. But they’re not winning for winning’s sake. There are people who do, but that’s not who I’m talking about.

On top of that, these super successful individuals are working to discover what they’re good at and doing it. Everyone has one or a few talents and successful people do more of what they’re talented at.

My focus needs to change.

From always worrying what others are thinking, to discovering my talents. What do I do best? Do more of that. Instead of relying on others for feeling special, do what I enjoy doing.

Jesus talks about talents in Matthew 24:14-30. Servants were given money (talents) and expected to grow that money for their master.  Number one, the money was a gift. Number two it came with expectations. If we apply these ideas to our own life, God has given us talents or gifts and expects us to use those gifts to glorify Him. What is your God-given talent? What is my God-given talent? (I wish someone would tell me already!)

Combining my need to feel special with my God-given talent, it dawns on me I already am special. By virtue of my baptism, I’m a child of God. Rescued, redeemed, set apart. I hold a place of honor through no work of myself. God has given me status.

So… discover your talents, which is biblical. Then, use those gifts to glorify God.

The drive and the passion, which has confounded me for so long, are fantastic as long as the motives are God-pleasing.


Mom and baby elephant  watercolor painting
Mom and baby elephant watercolor painting

Moms are great at making kids feel special.

Find more artwork here!

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