In one of my seminars I talk about the fact that everyone has talents and gifts. Everyone! I tell people it is their responsibility to use their gifts. There is simply no acceptable excuse for doing anything else.
Of course it’s easier for some people to discover and use their gifts than others. Some people encounter more obstacles than others. That’s life. But as Naomi Judd so aptly said, “You’re only a victim once. The next time you’re an accomplice. “
Now you may argue with me. You may say you’re stuck in a relationship or stuck in a job, and you have no choice. You may truly believe you are the victim of circumstances.
That’s simply not true. You almost always have choices. The problem is you may not like some of your choices, but you still have choices. And as soon as you realize you made the choice to be where you’re at, you’ll have less stress. You’ll know you’ve got some control over your life, and you can change it if you wish.
Let’s say, for example, that you and I are having a conversation. You tell me that you hate your job so I tell you to quit. You might say, “I can’t. I have to stay here. I have no choice. “
But you do have a choice. The alternative to the job you hate may be a worse job. The alternative may be going on welfare, or letting your parents pay your bills. Or the alternative may be letting your kids and family starve.
The fact is you do have choices. And you made a choice. You examined the alternatives, and the one you chose was better than the alternatives. When you understand that, you’ll realize you’re in control. You can get off your assets and do something, anytime you want.
Unfortunately, lots of people fail to see their assets. They act like some of the frustrated, ignorant creatures in the animal kingdom.
If you put a buzzard in a pen six or eight feet square, for example, with the top entirely open, the bird
will remain a prisoner despite his ability to fly. The buzzard is used to starting his flight with a ten to twelve foot run. Without the space to run, he won’t even attempt to fly. He’ll remain a prisoner for life
in a jail that has no top. He fails to get off his assets.
If you drop a bumblebee into an open tumbler it will stay there until he dies. He keeps on looking for some way out through the sides near the bottom of the glass. He never sees his means of escape out through the top. He also fails to get off his assets.
What about you? Are you fully aware of all your talents and gifts? You need to know. It’s one of the best
things you can do for your own self-esteem and peak performance.
And once you know all your talents and gifts, you need to use them. You need to get off your assets and do something.
That’s what one marathon runner did. Perhaps you remember him. By the time he was 50 years old, he had run 50 marathons. That’s amazing enough, 50 marathons, each 26 miles 365 yards in length, but this man had no feet, no legs, just stumps. A reporter asked him “How do you do it?” He simply said, “You don’t lean backwards. ” What great advice! You don’t lean backwards in life. You use your
assets, and you move forward.
One lady figured that out. She lost her husband at about the same time they had planned to retire and travel together. They had made all their plans and were looking forward to the fulfillment of their lifelong dream. But a month after he retired, her husband suddenly died.
All of life seemed to come to an end for the wife. She put a tombstone on her husband’s grave that said “The light of my life has gone out. “I’m sure you can understand.
But with the passage of time and the use of her assets, she decided to keep busy, meet people, and keep on living. Two years later she met another wonderful man and began to build a new life.
When it was time to get married, she told her pastor, “I’m going to have to change that line on the tombstone. “
Her wise pastor said, “No. I think all you have to do is add another line–‘I struck a new match!'”
Action on Professional Development:
Write down 50 talents or gifts you possess. Your talents or gifts might include certain personality characteristics you have, education you’ve acquired, skills you’ve developed, or any number of other things. If you can’t think of 50, ask your friends and coworkers to point out a few.
Then, with your list in hand, go through each of the items and ask yourself if you’re using your talents and gifts. If you are, congratulations! If you’re not, figure out a way to use at least one of your ? gifts this week.