You're not special. (And that's okay.)
I grew up in an environment and family where I felt like I needed to be special. That I was destined to achieve something in the world through my life.
Looking back, so much of my youth (and current perspective) centered around this implicit expectation. Every achievement, like winning an award in middle school or getting into a good college, fed into the broader narrative and only furthered the expectations to do even greater things.
This mindset certainly led to higher-achieving outcomes . And each successive high-performing environment — college, my first company, my first job — deepened this set of beliefs. Most people I was around felt the pressure to be someone and the fear of failing motivated us .
But the problem is everyone can’t be special. It’s literally in the definition of the word. There are many more people who expect to be special than those who actually will achieve special outcomes. Said differently, most of us will fail the high expectations we have for ourselves. And that sets us up for failure.
Instead, I think it’s helpful if we start with the assumption that we are not special.
And that’s okay. Being special does not equate to living a happy and full life . So much of our surroundings and culture continue to perpetuate the Big Me, but it’s certainly not serving the Real Me.
I’m not advocating for no expectations. Expectations can be a powerful motivator and are often necessary to make sure we set ourselves up to take care of our needs.
But saving the world shouldn’t be one of those. It’s hurting us. It’s making us act from fear rather than from strength.
We need to be strong enough to be kinder to ourselves and to those we love. Because if we’re not, we are going to bring in a new generation that is going to be sadder, more anxious, and more burned out than ever before.
 At least in the short term. I think most people will eventually burn out.
 So many of my life choices are still dictated by this desire.
 To be clear, I'm not saying you shouldn’t try to do meaningful things with your life. In fact, hopefully, this frees us up to really work on the things that matter to us and make a meaningful impact on the world. It’s just that the expectation of this special success doesn’t serve us.