In this episode I’m going to set the tone for future posts. What I’m going to share with you is that
- Everyone has a Special GIFT
- Employing it is your purpose
- And operating in it is how you make a difference
First, a story
I live in central North Carolina near the village of Pinehurst. Our area is known for two things; golf and our proximity to Fort Bragg. Pinehurst has several well-known golf courses and people from all over North America visit here to play a round or two.
From my Livingroom window I can look onto two of those courses and critique the swings of the golfers’ tee shots—as if I have any room for criticism.
We are also known as a community near Fort Bragg. If you aren’t familiar, Fort Bragg is the home of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and Army Special Forces. So, we have paratroopers and special operations Green Berets in this part of North Carolina. Many of them fit right in with the local southern population because they enjoy the outdoors so much. Pickup trucks, fishing poles and hunting rifles are a normal part of the landscape around here.
I bring up what our area of central North Carolina is like to tell you the story of three good ole boys that were fishing on a nearby lake. Jimmy (the ring-leader), Joey (the smart one) and Bubba (the funny one) were out in their Bass-boat one summer day enjoying life while they fished.
The fish weren’t biting, and things got a little boring so Jimmy started a conversation to liven things up a bit. “Joey, what do you think the best invention of all time is,” “Well Jimmy”, said Joey, as he reached for the phone in his back pocket, “I’d have to say it is the smart phone. It’s really increased my productivity, and it has more computing power than what the engineers used to send men to the moon.” What about you Jimmy?”
“I’d have to say it was the Cadillac”, said Jimmy. After a few puzzled looks from his friends he continued. “That Cadillac leather, and the way they make their back seats—it’s perfect for making out with your best girl!” After everyone stopped laughing, Jimmy looked at Bubba. Besides being the funny one of the three, Bubba was just a few fries short of a happy meal. “Bubba, what do you think the best invention of all time is?” asked Jimmy.
Bubba thought for a few seconds and then said, “the Thermos.” Joey said, “alright, I’ll bite. Why the Thermos?” Bubba answered, “Well, it keeps cold things cold and hot things hot, right?” Both Joey and Jimmy nodded, not knowing where this was going. Bubba continued, “so, how do it know?” Bubba was serious, but the other two busted out laughing.
Keeping the conversation going, Jimmy said, “Just imagine.” “Imagine what?” asked Joey. “Just imagine if all this water was beer,” said Jimmy with a chuckle. “Well, that would change a few things, wouldn’t it?” said Joey, to which Bubba chimed in saying, “Yup, we’d have to start peeing in the boat.”
You might be wondering what my story of these three guys on a fishing boat have to do with anything. It’s to make two points:
- First, just imagine! No, not that your local lake was made of beer, but just imagine that you really had a Special GIFT. How might that change things for you?
- And second, how do you know? Unless someone tells you that you have a Special GIFT, how would you know? How would you know that your GIFT was special and how would you find it?
Everyone has a Special GIFT
Everyone has a Special GIFT, you are born with it. Your GIFT is Special because you are the only person with it. Your Special GIFT is unique to you. Your Special GIFT is the one talent you possess that stands out above all your other talents, and that can be developed into greatness. It is a natural part of who you are. But…your Special GIFT is more than talent, it is your unique way of thinking. Your Special GIFT must be discovered and developed.
Sadly, most people go through life without ever realizing that they have a GIFT. That’s because they don’t really know who they are. You won’t find your GIFT if you don’t know the real you. God made you who you are on purpose and with purpose. Nothing about you is an accident. So, no matter what you may think, or have been told, the real you is awesome.
The biggest reason that you may not know the real you is what I call a Father Fracture. As I will explain later, we all get our identities from our fathers. This can be a problem. In your formative years, your father is supposed to be your source of protection, your source of provision, and your source of trust. He is supposed to teach you how to play, how to take risks and how to empathize with others. He is supposed to love you unconditionally, providing you with confidence in who you are, and giving you real self-worth. But what if your dad didn’t provide you with those things, what if he wasn’t there for you, or what if you never knew your father? What if the whole idea of a father makes you feel abandoned, rejected, fearful or angry? Then from where do you get your confidence?
The facts are that most people have never know the unconditional love and approval from a father. They have no idea what they are missing—a real sense of identity, not based on performance, but on who you are. As Bubba said, “How do it know?” How can you know unconditional love and acceptance when you have never known it? How can you know this vital part of your identity if you don’t know it is missing? It is a crucial part of being able to discover your GIFT.
It seems that most of us are prone to drifting through life until something pushes us to the realization that there must be a better way. I call that “something” a catalyst. Most people need a catalyst to make the effort to find their GIFT. Whether your catalyst is some tragedy that makes you hit bottom, or someone who does something good for you, or you just hear the truth that you actually have a GIFT, we seem to need something to wake us up and try something different. This podcast might just be your catalyst.
Everyone should want to know their purpose. Finding out why you were born and what you are supposed to do with your life is something we’ve all thought of at some point in our lives. But to many, the whole idea of purpose is scary. It is a heavy subject, and what if your purpose isn’t what you want it to be…then what?
That’s why I created Transformers. Hopefully, you’ll find this information fun and exciting, and it will help you to be optimistic about a vision for your future.
Employing your GIFT
Once you discover your GIFT, then finding your purpose is easy. My simple, yet effective definition is that employing your GIFT is your purpose. I could have also said that using your GIFT is your purpose, which would also be true, although not as complete as employing it.
That’s because when you start to use your GIFT, you will quickly discover that your income is directly related to the time you spend using your GIFT. You will find that employing your GIFT will be much more profitable, more fun, and less stressful than doing other things you may be good at, or things you just have to do to make a living. You can become great at your GIFT, but not at those other things, so your greatest value comes from employing your GIFT.
Another interesting aspect of discovering your GIFT is that you’ll naturally want to use it. In other words, you’ll have a natural desire to use your GIFT. One of my favorite questions to ask people is, “What do you do?” They will normally tell me their occupation. Then I’ll ask them, “What do you really want to do?” That’s when the answers get interesting.
Some will reply, “You mean, whenever I grow up?” Which is code for, “I am too embarrassed to tell you I don’t know.” Most people just come right out and say, “I wish I knew.” The point is that most people can’t put a finger on what they really desire. Consequently, they end up chasing things they only thought they wanted or chasing what everyone else said they should want.
As you’ll discover as you continue to listen, the biggest reason that people don’t know their Special GIFT is that they don’t know who they really are. When you know who you really are, what everyone else says or thinks becomes much less important to you. And when you know your GIFT, knowing what you really want becomes natural. You will find you have a natural desire to give your GIFT. This is where passion begins to show up.
Passion is the ability to endure hardship in pursuing your desire. It helps you get around, over, or through obstacles that would stifle those without desire and passion. Passion is natural to those that know their GIFT.
Make a difference
It seems that the subject of Purpose can be overwhelming to some, and the idea of having a GIFT can be too “spiritual” to others, but who doesn’t want to make a difference? The real question is, “HOW do you make a difference?”
Since making a difference is such a universal desire of people, the concept has almost become a cliché. If you do even a casual search on the internet you’ll find every kind of organization imaginable claiming to make a difference. Volunteer organizations, businesses, churches and political organizations all tell you that they can help you to make a difference. Some of these are worthy causes while others are outright wacky. How can you determine which of these, if any, are outlets for you to make a difference? Without knowing your GIFT, you can’t.
The way you were born to make a difference is by applying your GIFT to your desire. For some that means starting your own cause. You might be a visionary leader that others will follow in a cause that will make a difference for multitudes. But for most people you’ll want to find the right cause to follow: a vision that needs your GIFT and that you want to become a part of.
For some, applying your GIFT will have a direct impact on others and that is how you’ll want to make a difference. Maybe you’re GIFTed in healing people physically or emotionally and you can directly impact the lives of many people. Maybe you’re a GIFTed musician that directly impacts people with your music. For others, applying your GIFT might enable you to create enough income to fund a vision or a cause. You might make an impact in the company or organization that you work for, and your income provides more than you need. You recognize that creating wealth enables you to have influence and support worthwhile causes, and this is how you can make a real difference.
Everyone is supposed to make a difference. It is not enough for us to drift through life, surviving from one paycheck to the next with a little entertainment to distract us from really living. But you already knew that. The journey to really living and making the difference for which you were born starts with waking up and realizing there is more. You have a Special GIFT, employing it is your Purpose, and operating in it is how you were designed to Make a Difference.
Just imagine the possibilities!