But here’s the thing about things

Some people have a straight vector line, right out of the womb.

They don’t waver and wrestle with those identity doubts that plague the most of us. All they know is, there’s this thing that sticks inside of them that says, you were born for this, and so, they never even consider doing or being anything else.

Palnik, one of my favorite cartoonists, was showing his books and prints at an art fair years ago. I stopped by to thank him for his inspiring and funny comics, and his warm, smiling response was:

I have no choice, it’s who I am.

What a gift it is to know what your gift is. It must make small and large decisions so easy.

But not everyone is that lucky. Some people take years to recognize and employ their gift, some people never figure it out at all, some people don’t believe they have a gift in the first place, and some people do have their gift figured out, but don’t have the necessary support and opportunity to express it.

What about you? To what degree do you have a sense of the uniqueness of your talent? And what have you been able to do with it?

Keep in mind, this doesn’t necessarily have to be career focused. Not everyone’s talent is the nucleus of their career or business pursuits.

That’s perhaps the most wonderful thing about gifts. We can use them to make a difference in every area of our lives, paid or not. Whatever our thing is, it can contribute to our overall fulfillment.

There’s just one caveat. Here’s the thing about things.

What we think is our thing isn’t really our thing. It typically points to something bigger, deeper and more meaningful than how it’s labeled on the surface.

Something you can’t capture on a resume, portfolio or website. My friend Eli is a professional trivia writer and host. His job title is literally Chief Trivia Officer at Watercooler. Creating and playing trivia with friends, colleagues, strangers and family members creates massive amounts of joy in the world.

But even though anyone who knows him will say that trivia is his thing, it’s not. His thing is education. Connection. Community. Making memories that you never forget.

That’s the real gift. And it’s not trivial in the slightest.

Lesson learned, if you’re lucky enough to take your talents on the ride they deserve, know that your fuel might not be what it seems.

How are you using your gifts to make a difference in every area of your life?


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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