This is another post in which I’m publicly sharing my processing process – I process things through the written word. Sort of a free writing exercise with a specific topic in mind, and where I pay attention to maintaining some sort of structure or format. Feel free to skip it :-).
Reluctantly I read Steve Harvey’s “Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success.” I say reluctantly for two reasons. Number one, I’m that big a fan of Steve Harvey. Yes, I think he’s a wonderful comedian but I’m not all that impressed with his day time talk show / game show / radio show hosting skills; nor do I think he’s all that insightful as a writer. His book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” turned me off within the first few pages. Number two, I’m done with all the self-help. I’m self-helped out in that I really don’t think there’s a strategy left in that arena that I don’t already have copious notes on. For whatever reasons though, my mom thought it would be a good idea for me to read his latest book. She recommended the first one as well but fortunately didn’t press me for a promise to read it. She did on this one, so of course, I had to slog through to “The End” and prepare for our eventual discussion.
All that aside, the book was indeed what I expected it to be so no revelations on that end with one tiny exception. He differentiates between one’s GIFT and one’s talent and skills. If I’m understanding him correctly, the GIFT is the why you were created by God (his take on it), your talents and skills are the things you’re good at but may or may not be directly related to your GIFT. This single idea took root and now I’m thinking hard on what my GIFT is versus my skills and talents. I know I’m a writer – that’s a talent and or skill. What’s my GIFT?
What is the unique thing I am here to bring to the planet? I believe once I figure that out, I’ll be able to solidly move forward with the business idea that is going to push me across the finish line of the rat-race. I’ll be able to do work that is soul fulfilling and financially rewarding. I’ll be able to open that small, private practice I’ve been dreaming about, give scholarships to the often overlooked group of mid-range students. I’ll be able to establish a charity that does for the American disadvantaged what other charities do for people in other parts of the world (as I am a firm believer we need to tend to our own backyards before telling someone else how to tend theirs).
I sent the question, “What is my GIFT” out to the Universe, My Divinity, Goddess, God, and the Ancestors last night during a meditation session. What hit me in the head today was this, “No one needs another self-help book. What they need is to DO the work.” Hmmmm. I don’t know about you, but I bet you too are quite over all the “how to live your best life” advice. You know what you need to / should be doing, you’re just having a hard time getting it done. As this idea circled in my head, I pulled out the Kindle and fired up Steven Pressfield‘s The War of Art. In it he talks extensively about Resistance – that mighty foe that keeps most people from doing the things that will get them to their “best lives”. When I add his words to what my Divinity said to me earlier, I think I may be getting closer to identifying my GIFT. Wait – another thunk to the back of my head – at my core, I believe my GIFT may be related to teaching in some way. Which is funny because I definitely was not drawn to any form of teaching in a conventional sense, but I did enjoy my brief stints as a Personal Trainer (teaching fitness techniques), and as an educational counselor (teaching how to access higher education). I was a Quality Coach and a software trainer as part of my last job. I enjoy leading writing workshops with people where I teach the action of writing and self publishing (not the craft of writing or the ‘business’ of publishing – I’m still learning those aspects myself). I think that’s it. I can teach the ACTION – this is how you do that. Have a goal, got your vision board all set up? Great. Let me teach you how to do the steps to reach those goals….
No wait, I don’t think I’m explaining that very well. I’m not a motivational speaker. I wouldn’t consider myself a life-coach. I find that I don’t like whining or when people give me excuses as to why they aren’t doing what they say they want to do. Is that my GIFT? That can’t be a GIFT, can it? smh Especially when I myself whine and give excuses for not doing the things I know I want to do. And come to think of it, teaching is a talent and or skill, not necessarily a GIFT. SIGH.
In the book, to help the reader discern his or her GIFT, Steve Harvey asks something like, “what is it you get the most compliments about?” Stopped me dead in my reading. I don’t get complimented on much of anything, including my writing. The few folks who have read my books liked them and have said they think I am a good writer but that’s a talent, not a GIFT.
Good grief. Obviously this is going to take more meditation.