“Somewhere out there … there is a unique place for you to serve; a unique life role for you to fill. Only you can make your particular contribution to humankind.” Thomas Kinkade
I’ll bet many of you recognize his name … as “The Painter of Light”.
We just zoomed by Thanksgiving …the season of gratefulness and giving. As we head into the holiday season and the new year, we generally do so with a mix of emotions – joy (probably subdued this year), gatherings, contemplation and introspection, as well as giving. I believe life is at its fullest and most rewarding when you 1st: Know your passion(s) and 2nd: Are giving your gift(s). Many churches talk about giving time, treasures (money), and talents. Here, I’m going to focus on talents.
Some of you already know your passions.
- What do you ACHE to do at 5 p.m.?
- When do you lose track of time?
- When does it not feel like “work” at all?
- Is it a Job? Career? or Calling?
Others, though, may need help in figuring that out … or in making the choice/difficult commitment to pursue that when other factors make it difficult.
HOW: Start by writing a page of bullets (on each) about your:
Make those bullets professional and personal.
Do a “self-inventory”, but also involve family and friends.
Inventories such as the Strong Interest Inventory, DiSC,
Enneagram, CliftonStrengths, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) can add real value.
PULL IT TOGETHER: Choose the top ten bullets across all the categories. In general, you’ll have some from each of the four categories. THEN … the real work starts. Do your research. Explore occupations that match YOU. Don’t settle. Be rigorous in comparing the occupation or job to your criteria list. It’s almost as important as your process for selecting a mate. Ask for help if you need it; there are plenty of resources available for all steps in the process.
BUT … WHAT ABOUT GIVING?
DURING THE HOLIDAYS: In a holiday spirit sense, the need is ALL AROUND US !! You’ll see lots of examples of the need (and also of those giving to address the need) on TV, the internet, etc. All giving is helpful.
I prefer, though, to give gifts that are not commonly provided by others. That is why one of PBI’s core values is to donate up to 10% of its work for pro-bono or deeply discounted causes. That means finding organizations, teams, or persons in need and sharing our talents with them.
WHAT’S THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PASSIONS AND GIFTS? I’m not sure. I’d very much like to hear from others on this. As above, I believe the giving is more personal when it’s something uniquely you and one of your passions. If you are giving from a passions area, it’s likely to include one of your talents.
Therefore, it may be a gift the recipient doesn’t get very often, if at all. When giving from passions, you probably aren’t “keeping score” about the time, cost, or feedback from the recipient.
But, I acknowledge that there doesn’t have to be a linkage between the two. Giving and receiving are very individual in nature. Why people give, what they give, to whom, and how that giving makes them feel is very dependent on the person. How recipients respond is also an individual event – driven by several factors.
LONGER-TERM: There will be occasions when you are not able to satisfy all your criteria with your job, occupation, or career. That’s when you can supplement the job with hobbies, volunteering, or your own entrepreneurial efforts. The same thought process applies on the volunteering or giving – Who really needs the talents (and experience) you have? Which items on your criteria list are important, but not covered by the job/career you have chosen.
REWARDS: There is JOY in giving!! We feel good that we have helped another. Our life has extra meaning. We are closer to our purpose and answering the “Why am I here?” question.
In our case, it becomes a “multiplier” because we tell the recipient that all we want from them is to “pass it on” if they can.
We sincerely hope this article has inspired you and leads to a more fulfilling life.
Please contact us if there’s any way we can help.