From Career to Calling P2: The Natural
How finding natural giftedness can change the trajectory of your life
“You were given your gift for the joy you may give in return.”
― Cornelius Elmore Addison
This is part 2 of the Career to Calling series of posts. If you haven’t read the first one, where I lay out a framework I use to find Calling, you may want to start there.
Why should we explore our natural gifts? These are the hardwired passions, interests, and abilities that serve as a guiding light. We can ignore them, but they do not ignore us. These deeply rooted, almost primal motivators, are the whispers in our souls, audible when we are left alone with our thoughts. They don’t always lend themselves to monetization but point us in the right direction.
There’s a treasure at the end of this rainbow if we are able to follow it all the way to its source.
I believe you are gifted by design to serve others. Discovering, nurturing, understanding, and using these gifts is one of the great adventures in life.
I loved singing since I can remember. Naturally introverted, I would stand on a stool at age four and sing for my parent’s house guests. Not until I was in my early twenties did I realize this may be a calling. Within a couple of years, I had a successful music career and ended up entertaining millions, even helping elect a president. On the surface, I was living the dream, but the quest was far from over. It became increasingly clear to me that there were aspects of my music career that left me deeply dissatisfied, I wanted more and did not fully understand what that more was. In pursuit of the gift and its purpose I slowly realized that singing was not the core gift, but one expression of it.
The core gift was creativity itself. The ability to imagine something out of nothing and tell a convincing story of why that something is a beautiful thing worth creating. Internalizing this realization led to a deeper calling alignment - I still love singing but am also fortunate to be an evangelist, entrepreneur and creator who can now mentor other entrepreneurs, evangelists, and creators.
It took decades, much guidance from mentors, prayer, and painful searching to get a degree of clarity on this. The treasure at the end of this rainbow is a humbling realization of unearned abilities that I am merely a steward of, and should carefully and responsibly invest for the benefit of others.
You have unearned gifts. They may be hidden, suppressed, or underdeveloped, but they are there.
I want to give you just a few reasons why you should go through the adventure of discovering and nurturing natural giftedness:
Developing your natural gifts is much more productive than forcing or settling for the things that are clearly not yours to master.
If you are fortunate enough to live in the developed world, there are more opportunities now than ever before in history to turn gifts into careers.
It is a beautiful thing to know you are not a mistake but are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Mining your natural giftedness unlocks joy and helps reach a state of flow more often, amplifying your efforts.
Working from a place of giftedness helps us persevere through hard times, as no good thing comes without resistance.
The journey to unleash your natural giftedness is not only an opportunity, it is a responsibility. This may sound like an over-the-top cliche, but it is true.
You are God’s gift to people around you. They need your life to illuminate theirs.
Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities! - Luke 12:48 (MSG)
Good reads: Sir Ken Robinson - The Element. An inspiring exploration in the discovery of natural giftedness. If this post moves you, The Element will illuminate your path.
If the pursuit of calling is something that moves you, forward this to a friend who needs to reads this as well!
Update on the Ukraine Relief Network:
In just over a month we have raised over $150,000 for war refugees in Ukraine! Thank you!
We have now entered phase two of our work in Ukraine.
Phase One - still ongoing, is evacuating people from harm’s way and providing them with the essentials. Food, clothing, shelter, etc.
Phase Two - opening a center in Lviv and later Kyiv where refugees can come and receive all of the above plus emotional, and spiritual support and connect with partner organizations for relocation, rebuilding education, and any other essential help we can find.
Please pray for Ukraine as the war and extreme human suffering are far from over.
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