35 Things that Make YOU Special

Photo by Venkane

What do people remember about you when you walk out of the room?

In my case, I may think it’s my background and knowledge that makes me special, but it’s more likely that what’s really memorable is seeing food magically transports itself from my plate onto the floor or onto other laps when I’m excited…

What makes YOU special?

Take a look at the following list of 35 things that make you special. It’s like a life inventory. When you consider all the questions, you’ll get a sense of how your life is at the moment, and how you could change it to bring out YOUR special uniqueness.

1. Personality

What is your personality? Take a look at the following personality types according to the Enneagram. Are you

  • An idealistic Reformer,
  • a caring Helper,
  • a success-oriented Achiever,
  • an introspective Idealist,
  • an idealistic Reformer,
  • a caring Helper,
  • a success-oriented Achiever,
  • a sensitive Individualist,
  • an intense Investigator,
  • a security-oriented Loyalist,
  • a spontaneous Enthusiast,
  • a powerful Challenger,
  • or a reassuring Peacemaker?

You can take the Enneagram test here, or take another personality test here

2. Signature style

What’s your signature style? Are you engaging, entertaining, moving, intense, funny, bold, ditzy, serene, boring, or threatening?

3. Beliefs

What do you believe about life, the universe, or about yourself? Do you have religious beliefs? Do have beliefs about yourself that limit your potential? Complete this quiz to find what your limiting beliefs are.

4. Spirituality

Are you drawn to the mysteries of life? Do you use spiritual practice, i.e. meditation, prayer, or other to nurture your spirituality?

5. Aspirations

What are your aspirations? Do you strive for a cause that is greater than you?

6. Dominant sense

Each of us has a dominant sense through which we experience the world. What is your dominant sense? Is it sight or sound or touch? To find out do the test here.

7. Thoughts

What kind of thoughts are mostly in your mind? Are they daydreams, or thoughts focussed on your current project? Is your mind usually focused on the past, on the present, or on the future?

8. Goals

What are your goals? Have you recorded them? Which goals we choose, and whether we set them determines a substantial part of our uniqueness. Click here to learn how to set goals.

9. Creativity

Are you creative? Do you create at work, or write, paint, cook, or in any other way? Often people who are creative are more lively and happier than those who are not. Find out what makes us creative.

10. Happiness

How happy are you? Take the test here to see how happy you are. Find out what authentic happiness is.

11. Attitude

What is your habitual attitude? Is it negative or positive? Our attitude is shaped by influence and association, beliefs, thoughts, expectations, and self-talk. How was your attitude shaped?

12. AttractionSuni

What are you drawn to? What are your favourite colours? What’s your favourite music, climate, or food? What kind of people do you like?

13. Genes

We are shaped by both heredity, as well as environment. What traits have you inherited from your parents that make you unique?

14. Body

The size and build of our body is genetically encoded. However, how we care for our bodies determines what it looks like. Check out the following questions: Are you slim or overweight? Are you fit or out of shape? Are you flexible enough to touch your toes? Is your body able to practise sports, or dance, or do yoga, or train in martial arts? If you have a physical disability, are you stretching your capability to the limit, or not?

15. Face

The face is a mirror of the soul. If we are kindly and upbeat, our face looks animated and relaxed. If we feel down, or anxious or ill, our face looks tight and grey. What is your face like? Do you take moments to relax your face?

16. Ethnicity

What is your ethnic origin? Are you proud of your culture of origin and your ancestors, or not?

17. Culture

What is your culture? Is it followed by the majority or a minority of the people around you? In what way does your culture influence your life?

18. Voice

We are born with a particular voice and its resonance, tone and pitch. However, it can be developed – as actors and singers know. What is your unique voice like?

19. Diction

Do you speak with an accent or a dialect? The way we pronounce the language we use is a unique marker.

20. Gender

Gender is only partly determined by body formation. What masculine and feminine traits do you see in yourself?

21. Health

Good and bad health are life’s gift and burden. What really shapes our uniqueness is the attitude to health. What is your attitude? Are you pro-active or passive? Do you complain or actively seek healing?

22. Hormones

Hormonal patterns determine whether we are tired, or hungry, or irritated, or lustful.
What hormonal patterns or surges are noticeable in your life and how do they influence you?

23. Age

Age is a biological factor. But it is also influenced by the mind. Do you feel old and unfit, as well as low on energy and drive? Or do you feel vitally alive, energetic and youthful? If you want to feel youthful, you need to put effort into keeping your mind and body in good shape. How do you keep in good shape?

24. Intelligence

Being intelligent is not only having a high IQ. Intelligence is now seen to include social, emotional, and physical aptitude. Your mix of these strands of intelligence is what makes you unique. How do you maintain and develop your intelligence?

25. Life experience

Each of us has a unique experience of life. Used wisely, experience is valuable because we can recognise patterns and respond appropriately. Which life experience has shaped you most?

26. Childhood

The childhood we experienced in the past makes us unique today. What was your childhood like? How has it shaped you? If your childhood included traumatic experiences, what have you undertaken in order to heal from them?

27. Trauma

What kind of life crises have you experienced? Have you integrated them, or are they still unresolved? (My upcoming Ebook From Tragedy to Triumph: How to Win Through a Life Crisis explains how to integrate difficult experiences).

28. Opportunities

We have all encountered different opportunities in life. What kind of opportunities have you encountered or created? How have you responded to them? What we make of opportunities is part of what makes us special.

29. Relationships

Whom and what we relate to makes us who we are. Which human beings do you love or feel connected to? Whom do you feel disconnected with? What about the environment – do you love nature, or the city? What is your relationship to animals – which are your favourite animals?

30. Learning

Your stance towards learning makes you unique. Is continuous learning important to you or not? Do you like formal study or informal learning? What kind of learning environments work best for you?

31. Habits

How do you spend your time on a regular basis? How much time to you spend on passive recreation, such as TV? Do you have an unpaid activity that you enjoy? How important is this activity to you?

32. Work

Most people spend more time at work than asleep. How we spend this big chunk of our life makes us unique. What do you define as your main work? Do you work for yourself or work for others? Do you work mostly alone or with a team of others?
Are you passionate about your work or is it a chore? Do you earn enough to keep yourself going or are you struggling financially?

33. Quirks and foibles

What are your quirky habits? As I said in the introduction, these foibles can be the thing that people enjoy about us.

34. Communication style

Psychologists pinpoint four different communication styles. Are you a Relater, Socialiser, Thinker, or Director? Check it out on this site.

35. The life journey

Each of us is on a unique life path. Which path we follow defines a part of our uniqueness. What path have you chosen?


What strikes me is that we are able to change most of these variables! What makes us truly special is how we spend our energy, thoughts, and time, as well as how we respond to whom and what we encounter.

It’s in your power to evolve and bring forth the unique, special person that you are. That’s an awesome responsibility

When you read this list, what did you realise about your life? Please share you thoughts in the comments.

PS I’m just putting the finishing touches on my Ebook From Tragedy to Triumph: How to Win Through a Life Crisis. Right now I’m adding an audio version to it. A year of hard work is finally coming to fruition! I’m looking forward to sharing it with you very soon.

Photo 2 by Pshutterbug, photo 3 by Venkane

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  1. Mary,

    We are all born with so many idiosyncrasies that we are not aware of ourselves. That’s why it’s important know our own being as a first step to a better life.


  2. You’ve brought up a lot of factors that are easily overlooked into what makes us unique. Another issue I’d like to bring up — is because we are unique we all can contribute to this world in a way no other person can.

  3. @Shilpan
    I think we can only know a small part of our whole being. I’m thinking of the unconscious mind. All of what is in our unconscious must also colour our words and actions – but we are the last to know!

    At the same time it’s important to realise what we can know about ourselves,in order to grow to our full potential.

  4. @Bamboo Forest
    That’s a lovely thought: “Because we are unique we all can contribute to this world in a way no other person can.”

    I suppose a life inventory like the one in my post allows us a glimpse of how our uniqueness can serve the world in a particular way.

  5. Mary,

    Your questions remind us of what we know of ourselves, and it very neatly glues all of that together into a clearer sense of identity and purpose.

    Our perspective can become so tangential or diffused by our response to daily circumstance. This article is a concise way of re-aligning ourselves with our core strengths and desires.

    Good stuff Mary. I am looking forward to your book.

  6. @John Rocheleau
    Thank you for your kind words, John. I usually write about what I need the most. In a time when I’m juggling a lot of balls – like now as I’m trying to bring the Ebook to fruition – I needed to take stock and knit myself together again.

  7. Raising awareness about moods, energies and polarities also helps each human being to rediscover what makes them who they are. Perspectives shift at your own pace. Life is what you make it. You can view yourself as special or not. This doesn’t change who you are. Its only perception, a superficial label.

  8. @Liara Covert
    When I first wrote the article, I called it, “25 Things that make You Unique”. Later I change ‘unique’ to ‘special’. Because ‘special’ carries two meanings. On one hand it means ‘valuable’, and on the other hand is means ‘unique’.

    I think we are special and that it’s good to acknowledge that.
    I’m not advocating that we should all walk around with grandiose ideas about ourselves. For me that would be, as you say, just a superficial label.

    At the same time it’s liberating to see that all our sunny and shadow sides sum up to something totally unique, and that this uniqueness is our gift to the world.

    Then we can attempt to live up to our full potential.

    Liara, you say that ‘perspectives shift at your own pace’. I’m wondering whether doing a life inventory like I suggest in this post might trigger a shift in perspective.

    What do you all think about that?

  9. Some people consciously take steps to raise self-awareness. Such initiatives expand the reach of the senses and deepen self-understanding. Perspectives shift as a person realizes how perception itself it conditioned and self-limiting. Whether a ‘life inventory’ would trigger a shift in perspective would depend on the intention of the person taking such an inventory. You find and experience exactly what you choose, that is, what you’re ready and willing to accept about yourself. Unconditional love is never out of reach.

  10. Sara says:

    When I walk into a room, my greatest hope is that people can sense the song that I’m walking in to. I like that you included habits. Those make us who we are just as much (if not more) than anything else. We are what we do again and again and again.

  11. @Sara
    I think you’ve summed up this whole article in one sentence: “We are what we do again and again.”

    That’s what struck me when I had finished writing the article. It’s a really positive realization because we can change what we do again and again!

  12. Lance says:

    I like this list – it’s a great way to think about what it is about us that makes us special. And thinking about this, we can then conciously decide how we want to act so that we are special in a way that is meaningful to us. Thanks for putting this list together.

  13. @Lance
    I like the way you equate ‘special’ with ‘meaningful’!

  14. Hi Mary, without knowing the individual, you sure did come up with a comprehensive list. Great job!

    I’d add education and talents.

  15. @Nneka
    Ah – yes. I see that I left two very important aspects out of the list. Thank you for pointing them out.

    By the way, Nneka, I’d like to congratulate you on your lovely article on compassionate leadership:

    7 Leadership Lessons from a Board President

  16. Jane says:

    What a great list, Mary! It reminds me that my thoughts and feelings (which can so often be overwhelming and all-consuming) are just a small aspects of who I am, and that there is so much more to me, to all of us.

    The list also made me wonder: does anyone view me in the same ways that I view myself?

  17. @Jane
    That’s an interesting question about whether other people view us like we view ourselves. I think not. I reckon that our view of ourselves is nothing like how others see us.

    Luckily it’s not our business what others think of us 🙂

  18. Thank you so much for this article. It makes us take a look at the wonderfully unique things about ourselves.

    My adult kids say that I live in a musical because bits of conversation often remind me of lyrics from a song and of course I have to break into singing. I keep this under control in most settings, but at home and with my family I love to break into full song. It’s a healthy and effective way to relieve stress too.

    “The hills are alive with the sound of music. . .”

  19. @Fiona
    Your comment made me smile. I can just imagine your kids rolling their eyes@

    It reminded me of my mother. I’ll never forget the day we searched for Peep, our regal black tomcat with white paws.

    My mosther walked around our sedate German neighbourhood, banging Peep’s metal plate with fork and shouting “Peep, peep, peep!” You should have seen the neighbours’s faces!

    My brother and I walked 3 paces behind her, blushing…

    (Peep arrived home three days later)

  20. zen says:

    interesting site. I will read more before joining. Thank you for sharing

    zens last blog post..Detachment

  21. Hey Mary, what a great post that lets us quickly gain more self awareness about ourselves! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 I’ve stumbled this post!

    Celes | EmbraceLiving.Nets last blog post..Are You Emotionally Generous?

  22. We are special because of everything that makes us the unique and wonderful person that we are. The universe wouldn’t be complete without us 🙂

    I TAKE OFF THE MASKs last blog post..Fear Not My Child (poem)

  23. […] 35 Things that Make YOU Special […]

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  25. […] to make friends, we need to know who we are. You may want to check out this article and work out what is special about you. If you are not clear on what your life purpose is, these questions will help […]

  26. madhan says:

    every thing what u have told is possible to do but one thing will stop all those things.
    It is named as “searching of money or working for money”

  27. […] to make friends, we need to know who we are. You may want to check out this article and work out what is special about you. If you are not clear on what your life purpose is, these questions will help you. […]

  28. […] are the things that make you special? Identify them by asking questions of yourself, then sink into them and become them. You are not […]

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