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JENNIFER'S GEMS
by Jennifer Brown Banks

Discover Your True Gift

I almost never buy things for my home that “requires assembly”.

Why?

Truth be told, I have the attention span of a 10 year old with A.D.D. when it comes to reading and navigating directions that consist of 4 or more steps.

Maybe it’s just me, but the accompanying directives and diagrams almost never look like the pieces in my purchased box.  And the “gibberish” that manufacturers call “instructions” come across more like a foreign language.

Though I have on occasion, been able to assemble a product or two while sitting on the floor and sipping a soothing glass of wine while listening to jazz music in the background, my  overall success rate in this area is not impressive!

I’m also terrible at reading maps, bowling, algebraic expressions, driving, resisting a good sale, and “taking the high road” with folks who don’t observe respectful boundaries.  The list goes on. But I won’t bore you with the details.

Still, there is one thing that I consider to be my most valuable asset: I know exactly what I’m good at, and I don’t allow my ego to get in the way of my excellence.

It’s the one commodity that has enabled me to be successful amidst the odds and the constant upheavals of life.

And if you’d like to move forward in 2009, you should strive for the same.

Here’s a case in point…

Have you ever watched AMERICAN IDOL?
Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’re at least basically familiar with this weekly talent program.

Anyhow…

I’m truly blown away, season after season, with the many contestants that apply to this contest, and travel great distances to compete, and have absolutely no vocal ability.
Go figure!

Not only are they without talent in this area, they’re without a clue!  Some even curse out the judges that deliver the crushing blow to their egos, and even cry and scream about what they perceive as an injustice!

I hate to say it, but as a creative writing coach, I must admit I’ve witnessed the same thing when it comes to perceived talents.

I see “self-proclaimed” writers spend thousands of dollars and endless hours chasing publishing dreams without real knowledge and a simple reality check.

The sad thing is that this lack of direction prevents folks from identifying and sharing their true “gift” or life’s purpose.  And we all have one.

According to noted author and spiritual advisor Deepak Chopra, we’re all divinely gifted at something that is unique, and not able to be expressed by any other individual in the same way.
    
My point?

If it don’t fit, don’t force it.  In other words, don’t aspire to be a writer because your 4th grade teacher complimented your essay in grade school, or because your cousin is a writer, or because you simply like to do it.  These situations “does not a writer make”!  Don’t pursue a field to follow in someone else’s footstep.

Nobody’s good at everything.  And the great thing about acknowledging your personal and professional “deficits”, is that it allows you to approach life more intelligently and strategically by playing to your strengths.  It prevents a lot of wear and tear on the mind, heart and soul.  It also provides an opportunity for growth, self-awareness, and character building.

Still clueless about your “gifts”?

Here’s how to discern your divine gift and correctly recognize it:

  • A gift is a skill or trait that does not require formal training. It’s assigned by the creator.

  • A gift is something for which you have “above-average ability.”  In others words, merely being functional at something is not enough to embrace it as a “gift”.  Truth be told, most of us are skilled at several things.

  • A gift is a passion you’ll never get tired of sharing.  In most instances, you’d do it for free if you could.

  • A gift is something that you do so well, typically there is some outside validation of this talent. (i.e. you’ve won contests, or have been paid several times, or have been hired in this capacity).

So if you want to reach your full potential in life, and experience greater peace and passion, discover your true gift then unleash it to the world! 

We’re anxiously waiting…

 


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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.


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