As the weekend quickly approaches, I want to take 5 minutes and reflect on something – we all have gifts that were bestowed upon us, and it is our duty to discover, develop, and deploy them. I keep thinking about the word “deploy” as it relates to my gifts. I feel like I’m constantly in a perpetual state of discovery and development, with little action happening to get my gifts out there in front of everyone.
“Just a little bit more research. You’re not ready yet” is a phrase that echoes through my head. It’s the voice of the perfectionist in me that paralyzes my gifts. My inner-self, my harshest critic, is constantly telling me that I need to be better before I can start to affect others with my gifts. He’s a liar.
In fact, he couldn’t be further from the truth. Each of these phases (discover, develop, and deploy) are meant to occur over and over again throughout our lives. You and I will never get to the point where you’re in a constant state of deployment. Why not? Because we’re not perfect. We need to constantly hone our gifts. We need to evolve them to meet the situation that is here and now, and then evolve them again for the future situations that we will encounter in the next chapter of our lives.
We keep thinking that when we’re ready, the world will be ready for us. We’ll speak, and someone in the crowd of listeners will pull out a pen and paper, and furiously jot down every word as if it were Shakespearean prose so that it may live on for ages. At that very moment, the clouds will part and a single ray of sun will fall upon us. In its warmth, the voice of our inner-perfectionist will scream “THIS IS IT!” and our moment will finally be here.
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they will never sit in. – Greek Proverb
However, that’s not the way that life unfolds. Your gifts are meant to be shared daily, whether it’s in front of the mirror as you hone them, or as you talk to a lone stranger who looks like they need encouragement. For every time you use your gifts, you make an impact.
You may never know how strong of an impression you made, but at least you did it. You may never have a moment like the one I described above, but what if that’s not your purpose in life? Maybe you are meant to provide broad shoulders as a foundation upon which your children can stand, and maybe they will be the ones that have that moment. Wouldn’t that be great? The point is that you may not understand why you were given the gifts that you have, but use them, and use them often.
So, as we head off to enjoy another weekend, I leave you with two questions: