Parents used to warn their children when a drifter came to town. Drifters seemed to congregate down by the railroad tracks. Today, drifters seem to be everywhere. You may be a drifter yourself, moving from one thing to another without a clear purpose or overall plan. Or, perhaps, you’re a Sifter: endlessly sifting through the news, or your past failures or pains, without getting any real traction in your present life. Now is the time to shift — from drifting or sifting — to Gifting.
You have something unique to give the world.
This is your gift.
Your gift is at the core of your creative endeavors, your happiness, and your well-being. Your gift might be the book you’re writing, or your music, or your leadership.
It may be any of these things, and many more, with your unique stamp on them.
You might know that one of my favorite authors is Virginia Woolf. She wrote eight novels and many more essays and articles, diaries and commentaries. As different as each of these written pieces are, they all bear her unique stamp.
Virginia Woolf struggled her whole life with deep depression; yet she kept getting up and writing, all the way to the end of her life. This was her unique gift — her view on the world, her voice.
She kept giving her gift, even when it was difficult for her to give anything at all.
Are you caught up in the drift or the sift?
It’s easy to drift through life without actually living. You just get up and drift through the day. Days and weeks go by. This is the drift.
The same goes for sifting. If you are continually caught up in going over and over the difficulties of the world you live in or reliving the pain of the past, you can easily miss out on what’s happening right now: all the wonder and opportunity which live right there alongside the agony and the chaos.
What’s the alternative?
Get up every day and give your gift to the fullest extent possible.
The tragedy occurs when you don’t give enough attention to discovering and fostering and giving your unique gift.
Most men die, as Thoreau said,
“…with their song still in them.”
In other words, most men never actually get around to giving the world their gift.
What is your gift?
The first step to giving, as you can imagine, is to discover what your gift is.
I was walking with a client recently. We were talking about the creative process, and my client said he likes to play music; but even more, he likes to paint.
He became very animated over the next several minutes as he talked about what happens when he paints. He was like a different person; so alive!
Listen for the clues about what your gift is. For example: if you find yourself becoming excited about something, listen to that. Even if you’re not currently doing it, listen for the energy you have around a topic: (do you get more excited about playing music or painting, for example?)
Where do I start?
Plan now to make some time for yourself. Regular time, even a short a amount of time, with yourself, is the best preparation for finding and developing your gift.
When you carve out time for yourself, you get perspective about what you do and do not want in your life: perspective you can’t get anywhere else.
Do some free writing. You might be amazed at what comes across on the listening page.
And when you really stop and think about it, the biggest reason you’re not giving your best is because you haven’t made time to figure out what your gift really is, and to develop it.
Make time to find and develop your unique gift. Then, find a way to share it with others.
Want more help?
I can help you discover, develop, and share your unique gift.