“Everyone is unique but not everyone is special. Only our karma makes us special.”  ~ Om Swami

I can’t quite remember the source of this beautiful quote, but have you ever thought about what makes you or your life unique? In our constant pursuit of happiness or in our desire to belong somehwere, we often lose our uniqueness. As we are constantly comparing ourselves with others and striving to match them, it seems that we tend to forget who we truly are. If I were to ask you about your unique trait, or more specifically, what is it about anything that you do, say or write, or maybe just the way you are, that gives away the idea that it was you? We could even say, what is your signature, or style for that matter.

Chefs, teachers, writers, speakers or even apps and technologies, often have a certain trait about them which makes it easier for us to identify them. Apple for instance cannot be missed for its simplicity, ease of use and sleek design. In fact, even Starbucks or other specific food brands may have their own uniqueness. And you may agree that even people have a unique trait to them. What is it that makes your best friend ‘them’? What is it that makes your sibling ‘them’ (other than how annoying they are). Have you noticed that specific individuals have different ‘je-ne-sais-quoi’s’ about them; something that helps us bond with them, recognise them and remember them, uniquely.

And Om Swami, what makes Om Swami, Om Swami?
(Warning: Don’t attempt to answer this question, you will run out of ink and memory.)

I think it’s a very interesting contemplation to have and having tried it, I can say that discovering our uniqueness is a very enlightening process. Here is how I went about it:

1. Ask Friends

Start off by asking your close friends, what they love about you. If they say ‘nothing’ then disown them! There’s no time like now to. Just kidding. I hope you have nice friends. Or you could ask your loved ones too. Their answers will give you a starting point as to what your uniqueness could be. But remember, it has to be something you agree with, within, and not just something which sounds nice. I mean, I know you agree that you are smart, beautiful/handsome, kind, loving and basically the best person alive but doesn’t mean you are a great singer/dancer too! (If you are, then take it as a joke.)

2. Observe yourself and your reaction to comments

There are certain comments or events which trigger positive emotions in us. And when we hear such compliments we immediately identify with them from within. When I was working on this particular discovery, I used to feel very contented when I’d hear ‘You are so jokes!’. So when we really observe what it is that we like about ourselves, it clicks after some time. For instance, when someone tells you ‘Your work is so neat!’ or ‘You convey things simply and kindly!’ or ‘You are always so truthful’, ‘You are genuine’ etc, these could be clues towards your uniqueness. Contemplate on these and see.

3. Try to discover the uniqueness in others

If you’re struggling with the exercise, it would be of tremendous help to observe others, discover and appreciate their uniqueness. As we distance ourselves from our mind, a great insight dawns upon us and we are able to see ourselves in a different light. We start appreciating our traits and understanding what it is that makes us us.

When we discover and appreciate our signature, our special touch to things, when we have the courage to be ourselves, it somehow gives us a great sense of freedom. The freedom to annoy others unapologetically (Kidding …). But somehow it’s true, when we do the best we can and we stay true to ourselves, the ability to rise above opinions increases massively.

So, you, what is it that makes you you, you? Yes, you. Okay I stop. Enjoy the unique discovery!:) And you can share it, if you wish. But what if you find nothing? Well, then my friend, congratulations!!! You have reached the gate of Nothingness and Insignificance! Rejoice!