Anybody could do almost anything that you could do. But not everybody has your gift. You could TRAIN anybody to do almost anything that you could do. You can't train somebody to have a gift. A gift means something that has been given to you. You neither learned it nor earned it. A true gift is something that you had nothing to do with.
But if something was given to you "just because" and you had NOTHING to do with it, then it is a true gift.
It's like in the Bible when the apostles were given the "gift of tongues" by the Holy Spirit. After Jesus went back to heaven, the apostles went to Jerusalem waiting for the Holy Spirit. While they were praying, the Holy Spirit fell on them and gave them the ability to speak languages that they have never learned before. When a crowd came in and heard all these guys speaking their languages, some of them thought that they were drunk -- to which the apostle Peter replied, "These guys aren't drunk. It's only nine in the morning!"
Just imagine that out of nowhere, you were able to speak a second language and understand what you're saying.
In the same way, a gift is something that you are able to do without any training -- as if that ability was miraculously given to you. When I was a child, my mother learned of my artistic gift when I was given something to draw, and the picture looked like the item I was drawing. Little by little, I started having a love for drawing and I was able to copy pictures almost exactly as how I saw them. There were pictures that I drew with a pen and made NO mistakes in drawing them! No eraser needed! I went to an art middle school and an art high school -- but I didn't go to these places to learn to draw. None of the classes I've attended taught you how to draw. It was already assumed that you were gifted to draw -- all these classes did was to give some guidance so as to sharpen your gift.
For other people, art isn't a gift -- drawing stick figures is the best they could do!
A "skill," however, is something that you learn. Originally, the meaning of the word was "to separate" or "to distinguish." In other words, a skill involves working with your hands. Any work you do involves some sort of separation of items, such as sorting mail, building a house, cooking food...or brushing your teeth (separating food particles from your teeth). A skill can be taught to anybody, because anybody could learn to separate or to distinguish -- such as a cop spotting a suspicious person, or a firefighter knowing what building is on fire, or a surgeon knowing how to remove a tumor.
Gifts and skills work hand-to-hand. Many of us are gifted at one thing but don't know how to use it. Imagine that you gave your daughter a car for her birthday. She's excited and squealing like a mouse! But unless she knows how to actually drive it, her gift is just going to stay in that driveway. The car is the gift, but she can't use that gift until she learned the skill of driving.
Imagine that you have a gift that could make you money. Maybe you could easily learn how to play several types of instruments. But you lack the skills in knowing how to use that gift to make money. Maybe you lack the skill to finding a job where you could use that gift, or making a business where you could use that gift.
Maybe you've been gifted at leadership. You naturally know how to lead. You could be a great CEO or a great manager. However, you lack certain skills required for leadership such as knowing who to hire, how to market your company, and how to handle finances.
Maybe you've been gifted with the ability to gain a lot of muscles! However, you don't know how to lift weights! If you did, you'd probably be a hulk! Not everybody has the gift to get big and muscular.
Once you learn how use your gifts and skills together, that is when you could truly accomplish what you want in life. So many of us have the gifts, but not the skills. Yet many of us are skilled in everything, but we don't know what we're gifted in.
I've been going to church ever since I was 10, and I will say that I've seen gifted preachers and skilled preachers. The gifted preachers are those who could preach the Holy Ghost in you! But some of these preachers aren't skilled at studying their Bibles. Then you have the preachers who are probably boring to listen to, but they are skilled at studying their Bibles. The best preachers have been those who could both motivate you and know how to tell you what the Bible really says on the matter.
You see, if you want to maximize the person you are, you need to know what your gifts are and you need to learn the skills to use those gifts. Once you could put your gifts and skills together, you'd be going places!
One of my problems have been learning the right skills to promote my gifts. I know exactly what I'm gifted in, but I don't always have the skills to show the world what my gifts are. My wife would tell me, "You have so much talent (gifts), but you want to look for minimum wage jobs!"
But whenever I work at these low-paying jobs and learn the gifts of my co-workers, I'd be thinking the same thing about them! I knew one girl who worked at the warehouse that I worked in who knew about six languages. She's going to school to be a certified nursing assistant (CNA). Nothing against CNAs...but six languages, man! I barely speak a second language. She needs some serious guidance as to what to do with her life! With that kind of gift to pick up languages that easily, she needs to be working for the United Nations or start her own language school!
Look at the gifts that you have and find out what skills you need to promote those gifts. I dare say that the reason we have so many gifted people working at dead-end jobs is because they lack the right skills. Yes, they are skilled at many things, but they are skilled at the WRONG things. If you want to start moving in life, you need to start learning the RIGHT skills.
Don't spend your short time on earth chasing after skills that don't help your gifts. Also, don't participate in things that you aren't gifted in. Each of us has a gift that can't be taken away. Now it's time to learn how to use them.
While driving on the road in Durham, NC, the other day, I saw a pick-up truck from a roofing company. On the back of the truck was the company's motto on it that I thought was pretty deep.
"We always do good work,
For a profit if we can,
At a loss if we must,
But we always do good work."
That motto would make me want to call them up! Most companies have lame mottos that have no depth at all. But this small-business company had the best mottos that I've seen in any company, because that motto describes the integrity of that company. They would give me good work no matter what. That is to say, they take PRIDE in their work. They know that their work reflects who they are, and any sloppy work they do would tarnish their name.
I could put their motto in this manner: we always do good work, even if we get nothing for it.
You see, your work is your signature in life. How good you do something reflects the amount of integrity you have. It's easy to do good work when you're getting paid for it, but a person of high integrity would do good work even if he or she didn't get a dime from it.
I'm the type of person who prides himself on his work. No, I'm not going around boasting about how awesome I am. No, for me, I let my work do the talking for me. No matter what kind of job I do, I make sure that my work tells the world who I am. My work is my voice. If my work can't praise me, then all the words I could speak boasting about myself would be meaningless.
With my ZUMBA fitness classes, I especially make sure that I do good work. I get very little payment from it since the class is donation based. I could easily get sloppy with the class, thinking that since the class is essentially free, I don't need to work too hard on it. But no, I want to give my participants the BEST, especially to those who are financially struggling. I want those folks to feel that they could get a high quality class for nothing. At one time, one woman remarked, "I can't believe something this good is free! It's like a gem!"
Yes, I take pride in doing good work.
When I have new people come to my class, I don't tell them how great it is. I don't boast about it and I don't tell them that they would get a great work-out. I don't even tell them what the average attendance is like anymore. No, I just give them the basic cues of the class and tell them to have fun. Then, I would just let my work do the talking. Almost always, the new people would tell me, "That was great! I am definitely coming back!" And no, I don't even stop them after class to ask how they liked it. I figure that if they enjoyed it, they'll be back. If they didn't like it, I won't see them again. Plain and simple. Either way, when the music is off, my work has stopped talking. My work has told the new folks everything they need to know about the class.
When I was having sound issues at the church not too long ago, I felt embarrassed! Something went wrong with the speakers, so I had to use my portable sound system -- and man, that nearly killed me! The music was so low, the energy was low, and you could hear everybody's foot steps. I told my wife that I can't conduct a class like that again! This was a POOR reflection of my work. I would rather cancel the ZUMBA class and do an outdoor fitness activity than to conduct the ZUMBA class with poor-quality sound. If I believe that something would make my work seem poor, I won't do it if I could help it.
You see, so many of us talk too much. We put more emphasis on our words than on our work. If your work can't praise you, then you have bad work. If your work can't convince me of the greatness of your ability, then you need to do some better work.
How many of you have taken your car to the shop but never knew who worked on your car? Typically, you don't know the mechanic who would be dealing with your car. But all you care about is whether or not the mechanic would do some good work. You could care less about how awesome the mechanic thinks he (or she) is. If that mechanic could do good work, then as far as you're concerned, he (or she) could be a 16-year-old drop-out who just got off parole!
How well does your work speak for you? Do you take so much pride in your work that you will make sure to do exceptional work even if you get no credit for it? Would you do exceptional work even if you didn't get paid for it? Do you equate your work with your name? That is, do you see your work giving you either a good or bad reputation?
I love the idea of "working interviews." Instead of verbally interviewing a candidate, watch the candidate in action. In fact, if it were up to me, I wouldn't ask anything about that candidate. Let me just see this person's work, and THEN I would care to know more about this person. You might be the holiest person in the world, but if you can't do the job well, then, well, things won't work out for you on the job.
The whole idea of temping agencies is to allow employers to watch candidates in action. If you're a part of a temping agency, then you REALLY need to polish your work. Because all the employer is looking at is the quality of your work: do you always come to work on time, how do you treat others, do you get the job done on time, do you seem to be an expert at what you do?
The older I get, the more I realize that your work speaks louder than your words. Your work should be so good that you shouldn't have to say anything about it. Just do the work and let everybody stand in awe. Then once you see all the "shock and awe" in the crowd, you could just simply smile and still say nothing. What would you need to say? Your work did all the talking for you. If you're selling your work, all you need to say is, "Would that be cash or credit?"
In life, your work makes or breaks you. If you want to be respectable among your friends, co-workers, bosses, etc., then do good work. Do the work well, even if you won't get any material gains from it. Do great work even if it's at a loss. Do superior work even if you won't receive any credit for it. Make it a goal to always do good work no matter what.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.