Image courtesy of Dave Bullock
There’s a lot of talk about being what you want to be and following your dreams, etc… Much of these ideas are based upon the assumed flexibility of our own skill-set. That we are somehow capable of gaining a God given ability even when God never gave it to us.
Let’s face it; we are all naturally good at certain things and naturally not so good at others. Whether we have always had a knack at certain physical actions or maybe our minds can’t help but understand the commonly misunderstood, we are born with gifts that are specific to our bodies and minds. But what if we desire to do or be something that doesn’t fall into our natural abilities? Is this a waste of time? Are we throwing away our gifts? Maybe we are unhappy with the hand we’ve been dealt?
I have many passions and many dreams for my future and the future of my family. Sometimes these visions of tomorrow don’t exactly match up with my natural talents and I find that the pursuit of these personal goals become much more labored and usually end with disappointment. I’m not implying that we should never move outside our comfort zones or reach beyond those things that easily come to us, but I’m wondering if we’re doing ourselves a disservice when we don’t take into account those things we do best.
Being bored with our abilities.
A common issue I find with humanity is that we tend to tire of those things we do well. This is often the result of doing nothing BUT those things that come naturally to us. Maybe we are great at our current job because it is filled with tasks that pull from our talents. By result of repetition we begin to resent the fact that we are always pulled in a particular direction, as if we have a sign on our backs that says, “I’m good at this, please force me to do it OVER and OVER!”
As a naturally techie type I find myself with my hands on someones keyboard more often than I’d prefer to admit. I can be ANYWHERE and have someone, in the middle of a relaxing conversation, bust out with, “Oh, so you work on computers? I have this problem with my blah, blah, blah…” (It all starts to sound like the grownups talking in the Peanuts cartoons.) At first you feel important and needed, but later you start to feel like an object, being used for what it can do for the other person, not what it is as an individual.
Growing appreciation for what we’ve been given.
Recently I have transitioned away from being the local computer geek to pursue other things. It’s been a great experience and I have found new talents that I never knew existed, but even online I’ve naturally fallen into the role of the local computer guy. At first I found this to be disappointing. Being at the digital dinner table, deep in conversation, only to end up helping out with a technical problem, I found that my natural role had followed me into the cloud.
This ended up not being such a bad thing. The fact is, I truly enjoy working with technology and helping people at the same time. As with any natural ability, when utilizing our talents we feel like we are doing what we were made to do because we ARE. What I found helpful, though, was to make some adjustments to my place as a geek. Not only do I excel at tech, but I have an eye for design and enjoy utilizing my creativity. Once I added this right brained activity to the mix I suddenly felt my passion for 1’s and 0’s come rushing back, but now with a fresh new flavor. Not only have I come to appreciate what I’ve been given, but I realize my place that seems to follow me no matter where I go and what I do.
What are your thoughts?
Do you ever feel pigeonholed by your talents? Do you wish you had been given different abilities? Are you currently utilizing your gifts or are you trying to swim against the tide by working in areas that don’t naturally suit you? How do feel about your talents? Are you appreciative or resentful?