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wundayatta's avatar

Do you feel a need to do something special?

Asked by wundayatta (58357 points ) June 7th, 2012

If so, what would fill that bill, and why do you think you feel this need?

For the longest time, I thought I needed to write a great novel, or do something political that would go a long way towards bringing about world peace, or my life would be a failure. I think I felt this way because my parents never seemed to find anything that I did satisfactory. It was the only thing I could imagine that might get their attention.

But I have been freed from this, for the moment. I no longer feel like I have to do anything in order to deserve to be alive. I no longer feel that deserving is an issue that warrants any attention. It’s much nicer this way. I don’t know how long it will last.

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13 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

Not really, I guess that’s the apathetic pessimist in me. I just want to live and work comfortably. I don’t expect to reach for the stars because I feel like it’s just not possible. I don’t have that kind of desire.

flutherother's avatar

I find the writings of Chuang Tzu are a perfect antidote to such feelings. For example…..

“Hence it is said, The Truth of the Way lies in looking out for oneself; its fringes and leftovers consist in managing the state and its great families; its offal and weeds consist in governing the empire. The accomplishments of emperors and kings are superfluous affairs as far as the sage is concerned, not the means by which to keep the body whole and to care for life. Yet how many gentlemen of the vulgar world today endanger themselves and throw away their lives in the pursuit of mere things! How can you help pitying them? Whenever the sage makes a move, you may be certain that he has looked carefully to see where he is going and what he is about. Now suppose there were a man here who took the priceless pearl of the Marquis of Sui and used it as a pellet to shoot at a sparrow a thousand yards up in the air – the world would certainly laugh at him. Why? Because that which he is using is of such great value, and that which he is trying to acquire is so trifling. And life – surely it is of greater value than the pearl of the Marquis of Sui.”

nonexpert's avatar

Yes. I want to contribute something to society that the average person doesn’t. I don’t think anyone wants to be the same as someone else. The will to be different; maybe it’s ego, I don’t know.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Not anymore but as far as into my early 30’s, I was convinced there was something more than “normal” I supposed to do and it caused me horrible anxiety and frustration. I can honestly say about a good decade went by where I didn’t appreciate the moment, many experiences went underappreciated.

Sunny2's avatar

Nope, never did. I just looked for what came next and went with it. Oops, I just realized (did you know the Fluther process was therapeutic?) that I never thought of doing anything special because my physician father pretty much precluded that idea. He had all the answers for everything, and nothing we did mattered much. When my middle brother was in college, we went out to dinner and my brother had enough to drink to ask him, “If a doctor is the best thing to be, why isn’t everybody a doctor?” My dad was speechless.

Symbeline's avatar

I’ve been working on putting up a horror movie website for the last year, which, for now, concentrates on reviews. There’s other plans though. Except I’m not good at web designing, and writing proper reviews is a lot of work. It’s really slow going, but it is a plan. I don’t know if it’s all that special, but it’s definitely something I want to get done. No big deal if I die before I get it done, but it would be cool if I did manage.
I don’t even got a name for it yet.

So it’s not really this utter need I feel, but it is a definite want.

Mariah's avatar

Ohhh yeah. For a long time I thought I would never be satisfied unless I got to work for NASA one day. I don’t know why I was so wrapped up in that for so long. I was completely content to throw away all sorts of facets of life outside of school and work just for the sake of trying to reach that goal. Took a long time for me to realize how destructive the resulting perfectionism was to my health and general enjoyment of life.

These days I still highly value my education, but I no longer feel like I need to devote 100% of my energy towards my career goals, which is nice, because I’ve always had hobbies I love, and had non-work related things I wanted to pursue, but I always assumed I wouldn’t have the time. Honestly, I think this life will be a lot more meaningful than the one I used to envision.

bewailknot's avatar

No, I prefer to be under the wire.

Sunny2's avatar

@Mariah You GO girl!

WestRiverrat's avatar

Yep, just last weekend. I helped build shooting stations for the Wounded Warriors Varmint Shoot this summer. I may not be able to change the world, but I do what I can to change my little corner of it.

Coloma's avatar

No. I embrace my talents, do good where and when I can, but my ego does not feel a need to be “special.” We are all special and not special at the same time. The great dichotomy of existence.
Is the Oak tree any more or less special than the Pine? Is the Rose any more or less special than the Daisy? The Robin to the Bluebird? A little zen goes a long way. ;-)

fluthernutter's avatar

I never felt a need to do something great. But I used to feel an obligation to do something great.

When I was younger, I felt there was an obligation to greatness if you had some kind of talent or potential. As I’ve gotten older, I think this kind of thinking is silly.

What other people may see as talent or potential is just a part of who you are. You can’t squander it if you’re living your life well.

yankeetooter's avatar

I don’t get that feeling on a “global” level…I get it on an individual level. There are certain people that have come into my life that I feel a real desire/need/urge (?) to do something special for…something that will touch them in some way. It’s kind of hard to explain…

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