“What matters is not how great or numerous your talents are, but that exercising your gifts should feel terrific, provide a vehicle for personal growth, or even form a basis for a career” Ned Herrmann
Where are you now? Did you just get home from a busy day at work, running the kids around, getting groceries, running errands, or preparing for a busy weekend? Does the weekend become a series of events designed to catch you up and prepare for the Monday thru Friday race waiting for you next week?
Guess what happens a few years down the road? Something serves as a barrier. There is a disruption in activities. The disruption sheds light on the fact that you spent so many years running the race that you forgot to slow down long enough to figure out if you even wanted to run it. Where you even running the right one?
Do you know what your gifts are? We often can’t see what we naturally do. We may need to talk to friends, co-workers, family, or take an aptitude test to find out what we are good at. You might spend some time identifying what gets you excited? What do you inherently navigate towards?
Perhaps we never had time to develop an understanding of our gifts and talents. We may never have had anyone to make us aware of what we do well or encouraged us to discover the right environment that would stimulate us and bring out our gifts. It’s not too late to discover what brings you joy and provides a vehicle for your development. It’s never too late!
There are often moments in life that awaken us to the fact that we are not living the life we want and that something is being suppressed. Life transitions like losing a job, children leaving home, a loved one dying, or divorce can open our eyes and help us see our need to figure out who we are and what we want to do. They can awaken a desire to identify our talents and use them.
The first step to towards discovering your talents and using them is to make a commitment to do so. We can make decisions everyday to change. We need to place ourselves in an environment where we can stimulate creativity, thought, and that gives us the freedom to try something different. Environments like:
College continuing education classes
Trips to new locations
Groups associated with topics of interest
Volunteer at a nonprofit
Do something that takes you out of your element. I live in a rural area, but have a large university nearby that I can go to for lectures, to visit an art gallery, and immerse myself in a creative culture. The minute I hit the car after work I start listening to podcasts that teach me about topics that are completely new to me. I listen to new music and join Facebook groups. Anything to stimulate new interests and discover what I truly am inclined to do.
About a year ago I took my oldest daughter to a movie screening of an old movie that included a lecture. She was uncomfortable. She didn’t know that out in the world existed groups of people who are really interested in screen writing, movie scripts, and all the details of this craft. She didn’t know that someone might actually lecture about a movie.
After the movie was over I explained to her that I wanted to expose her to a new part of the world. There was a part of the world that really got into things like this and I wanted her to see it to find out if she wanted to be a part of it. These are the types of experiences we need to discover our gifts, talents and inclinations.
Most of life is a reaction to our environment. We rarely take action that is outside of the norm of the world that we have created for ourselves. We need the courage to change. To exercise our gifts, feel terrific doing it, and provide a vehicle for personal growth, or maybe even a career. This our life! Let’s live it.