Re-Discovering Your Natural Gifts
My four year old never met a challenge she could not overcome. The faith she exhibits in her abilities is boundless. Everyone regardless of their age, possess the natural genius to do amazing things that most would easily label genius. Unfortunately, as children grow toward adulthood and experience setbacks and failures, the inventory of their belief in their abilities decrease…at least that's what they believe. In an effort to shield their children from the pain of repeated misfortunes, protective adults encouraged them to change directions.
The demonstration of love is innocent, but it carries the risk of denying children the opportunity to strengthen their abilities. Shaped by years of interference, a child’s natural genius could dwindle to the point that his/her abilities become something that is cautious and predictable. The true secret to a productive life is to rediscover our natural gifts.
Looking back on the last 30-years, I see evidence of a three-part plan to rediscovering our natural abilities
First, forget everything that you’ve ever done wrong. Mistakes have killed more dreams than all of the wars of history combined. The graveyard is overflowing with dreams that died prematurely because people were unable to move beyond their mistakes. Consider this truth: mistakes and failures define an event …not a person. The fine print of most financial transaction reads, “past performance is not a predictor of future performance.” That same fine print should be tattooed on our foreheads backwards so every time we look in the mirror we are reminded of the same fact. The liberating truth is that you may have made a million mistakes in your past…but you have not made one yet in your future.
Secondly, forget everyone in your past that’s ever said “you can’t do that.” Every created thing is embedded with all of the strength of its source. Just as the strength of a mighty oak exists in every tiny seed that it produces, the strength of your Creator exists within you. There is an old tale of a farmer that raised an eagle among chickens. A stranger saw the bird and asked the farmer why he had an eagle living among his chickens. The farmer claimed “all of his life the mighty bird had been raised with chickens and that is all he will ever be.” How many of us fit the same bill; an eagle raised among chickens. If you want to rediscover your natural genius, forget the people that were determined to hold you back.
Lastly, after forgetting mistakes and the naysayers, go forward with a strong belief in yourself. More than anyone else, you have to believe that you can accomplish the task at hand…even if the odds are against you. Not long ago while living in Alabama, I discovered a baseball on the ground as I ran past a field. It was covered with red Alabama clay and judging on the black impact mark and the distance from home plate, it was obvious that it was a home-run ball. It occurred to me that hitting a baseball at 90 miles per hour has got to be one of the most difficult things to do in sports. It is so hard that if you can do it 3 out of 10 times, sports agents will flock to your door.
Yet, the kid that approached the plate that day believed that he could hit a home run. I placed that ball in my pocket, took it home, and wrote my favorite quotes on it. To this day, the red colored ball sits on my desk as a reminder to approach difficult tasks believing that I’ll hit a home run….regardless of the difficulty. Many people may have struck out believing they could hit a home run, but few have hit a home run believing they would strike out.
Despite what others say in your life about your abilities, always remember you can always have the last say...if you forget your mistakes, forget the naysayers, and never stop believing in yourself.