Your natural talents are gifts for three reasons. First, you didn’t have to earn them — they came with your birth. Second, they are gifts because you get something for yourself when you give them. And third, they are gifts to others because they get something from you that is theirs to keep.
~Richard J. Leider, The Power of Purpose
Each of us yearns to make a difference with our lives. We can do that by sharing the things we’re good at, our gifts, strengths and talents.
We want to find that place where, as Frederick Buechner said, our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.
Jan is a pet-sitter and dog walker in my community who owns four cats and a dog. All are rescues. She has made choices and taken actions in her personal life that make life better for our nonhuman animal companions.
I was first introduced to writer and online marketing and branding consultant and coach Téa Silvestre Godfrey via one of her clients. She recently chose to make a shift in her professional goal, and is in the process of becoming a lawyer. She wants to use her gifts in a position that allows her to advocate within our judicial system for civil and human rights.
Maria, a client who participated in my Purpose Clarity coaching program, is dedicating her gifts of thinking analytically and systemically to strengthening entrepreneurship in her community. She is using her gifts and talents, and applying what she learned in her MBA program to help local small business owners to succeed.
Amy is another coaching client. She realized as we worked together that she wants to use her drive to help create a sustainable world, She is using her IT skills within a company whose mission and values match her own.
Each of these women looked inward, discovering what makes them feel most alive, and what they feel called to share with the world. Each discovered ways to take intentionally and purposefully share their gifts with others.
Friend and colleague Kerra Bolton and I have been talking about the connection between personal growth and personal activism in our recent conversations. Kerra defines activism as “…as a sustained commitment to bringing your highest self in service of the challenges and opportunities in the beloved community.” She unpacks this definition in her article for Sweatpants and Coffee.
When I hear the word “activist” my thoughts first turn to politics and social justice, but as Kerra points out, activism is much broader than that. We can be activists within our families and communities. We can also be activists within organizations and in the larger political and social arena. When we speak our own truths, share our gifts and talents, and take compassionate action, we are exercising our “activist muscle” [my phrase, I’m not sure Kerra would say it that way!].
Kerra and I have realized that we can bring together and share our two unique sets of gifts and talents , and we’re excited about doing that. We’re collaborating on creating an interactive online workshop to engage you in discovery of your own gifts and talents, and of options for sharing them within your own beloved communities.
Our workshop, WOKE: Changing the World by Awakening to Yourself happens on October 13th, 1-3 PM Eastern time. Contact me to be notified when registration opens.
Photo credit: unsplash.com