Saturday, 18. February 2012 12:44
What’s the best thing about you? Do you know? Are you a yarn spinner, a good listener, an idea person, perhaps good with your hands?
Knowing what you are good at and putting your talent to good use is one of the most important secrets to success and fulfillment. This assumes that whatever your natural gifts are, you feel good when you use them. Although that is not always the case, it usually is.
In short, the more you can find a way to match your abilities to the way you spend your time (both in and out of work); the more your joy quotient will rise. It may not be easy – sometimes you may be in a job or a relationship that is just not a good fit for you. For example, if you love people and work all day alone at a computer, you may need to reconsider your career choice or your job. Or, perhaps you can find a way to add dimension to your work situation, by serving on a committee or acting as a liaison. If you can’t employ your talents at work, can you find a sufficient outlet that fulfills you in your free time? With some creative thinking, you can often find ways to interject the things that you love into your life. And when you do this successfully, you’ll know. You will feel more alive.
However, there are ways to get derailed. Sometimes our assumptions about roles, should-do’s, and ought-to-do’s get in our way. Until you can identify those negative thought patterns in yourself and work through them, you may limit your joy and your effectiveness. If you feel stuck, try questioning your assumptions and your perspective. If you spend all your time wondering, ‘How should I be acting,’ in any given situation, rather than enjoying how you are, it’s going to be hard to relax and flow. Most of us are at our best, when we can be who we are –so how can you get there?
Here are some questions to help you get started thinking about this:
1) What is it that I am good at, and enjoy doing?
2) Do I currently employ those skills in my life, if so, where, when and with whom?
3) If not, why not? What thoughts prevent me from doing so? (Some examples: “I have to act like a boss,” “I make more money doing this job than I would working at what I love,” “My boyfriend doesn’t like it when I spend time doing my art,” “I better crack a joke to launch this speech even though I am the worst joke teller ever,” and on and on.)
4) Then pick one small thing you are willing to change that will allow you to be more of yourself in any given situation. (e.g., “I will try collaborating rather than giving direct orders at the next staff meeting,” or maybe, “I’ll use a touching quote to launch my talk rather than a joke.” Maybe you need to take a class in something you love and start migrating toward a different career.)
5) Once you try your one small action, assess and experiment. How did it go? Do you need to correct for something and try it again? Can you add-on or repeat your last action? Keep building and see where it takes you.
6) Repeat as needed.
In short, get creative and ask yourself how you can use your talents as the cement that holds the bricks of your life together in a pleasing pattern that serves you.
Most of the time, no matter what your circumstances, you can find a way to bring your talents to bear, and you, and others will be glad you did.
With that, I leave you with inspiration from a popular Lady Gaga song, “Born This Way.” Also at http://youtu.be/xG0wi1m-89o