As we go through life there will be things we will have to do. Some of these things will be easy, some will be hard. Some of it will be easy because we’ve done what is hard. But regardless, we will have work to do.
Within this work, how we do it and with what level of proficiency will be determined by whether this task is a skill, a talent or something for which we are purposed. Allow me to explain.
Skill – When something is a skill it doesn’t come naturally. You must train and prepare. You devote time, attention and energy to learning this trait until it becomes something at which you are adept. You may never feel wholly comfortable in this thing because progression means that you must continue learning, preparing and adapting.
Think about driving, no matter how you good you get, to be a truly good driver required that when you are driving you give it your undivided attention. (Yes, that was a shameless plug for not texting and driving and using hands-free devices if talking on the phone, which is not recommended).
Talent – you were born with it. You’re naturally good at it. You can do it with your eyes closed. You don’t know why you’re good at it, you just are. You can improve with time, effort and energy but for the most part you grow just by doing it; it isn’t work. Usually, our talents are where we feel the most fulfilled because they are where we feel the most confident. More often than not we can lose ourselves in our talents because talent is an innate comfort zone. Skills can find us stagnant because they require so much work we tucker out. Talent may find us stagnant because the lack of work required can make us lazy.
Purpose – This is really what I want to talk about. Purpose is where most of us get lost. We confuse our purpose for our talents. We can even overlook our purpose in life because we presume that our purpose won’t require any work, and may not see that our purpose lies in our skills.
Your purpose is something you are born with. I believe we all come into this world knowing precisely what we are me*nt to and exactly how to do it. I also believe that it is a trick of the opposition that once we are born those around us cannot understand us. As we learn to communicate with them, we un-learn how to communicate with the Source who purposed us. As a result, we spend our lives seeking out our purpose for being here.
Unlike skills and talents, identifying, understanding and growing in our purpose has little to do with our efforts, but rather how well we connect with the Source who purposed us.
You could be one of the lucky few who was raised by parents who stayed connected and were able to help you find and develop your purpose. You may have grown up with opportunities to use your gifts and help others around you.
You could be like most of us who grew up unaware of what it meant to walk in one’s purpose – or had a clue but didn’t know how to do so. You likely didn’t know that as you grow in your purpose you would encounter opposition. You didn’t know there would be those who would want to see you fail. And you had no idea that you could get in your own way with your thoughts and beliefs about yourself and the world around you.
Perhaps you were brought up with those who had a direct connect with the Source and were able to guide and direct you along your path to purpose. Even so, you likely had to work out the kinks of your development along the way.
You could be one who thought you knew your purpose, but confused it with your talent. Take pastors, for instance. Those with an innate ability to speak, teach and lead…but they cannot shepherd. They have unruly associate pastors, ministers and elders around them. They may be on point and living intact, but their capacity to shepherd is minimal. This may be a talent, not a purpose. But how can you know?
Your purpose has a way of following you even when you run from it. For years my mother became anxious working with young children. All the transitions and activities, the rolling and playing on the ground. So whenever the opportunity arose to teach, my mother would always choose t work with the older kids – adolescents and teens.
But in the last several years, the only jobs available have been with the youngsters. And you know what, she found that she was better at it then she had been at working with the big kids! Now, she rolls on the floor, makes play-do and even silly putty. She has oogobs of materials, resources and directories for supporting parents and teaching early learners.
She has even started a company for new mothers and babies! Her life has suddenly become consumed with babies, toddlers and early childhood learners.
Though she ran from this responsibility, it followed her for years. When she finally gave in, her life flourished. Ideas come to her in mid-conversation and even in her sleep.
What’s your purpose? What are you running from but can’t escape? Look closely at your life, what seems to take the front seat? Is it your skill, your talent, or your purpose?
Good luck and Namaste.