When we look at the super successful people of the world, it’s easy to believe that they have something which we don’t. This is false. While it’s true that many successful people come from privileged backgrounds, there are others who started with nothing, yet were able to draw out their latent gifts from within themselves. They did this by relentlessly focusing on their strengths and being persistent. This article will show you how to discover your gifts.
We all have this option available to us. What separates regular, average folk from those who express their talents and skills to the fullest, is self-belief.
By believing that we have something unique to offer the world we allow ourselves to investigate what that is and how we can go about expressing it.
This article will seek to inspire you to unwrap your gifts!
Everyone Has A Set Of Unique Gifts
Yes, absolutely everyone alive has their own set of unique gifts. From the homeless person who is begging out on the street, to the physicist probing the mysteries of space and time; every person alive has a unique stack of gifts to contribute to the human endeavor.
To be clear, for the purposes of this article, a gift has the following characteristics:
- You enjoy doing it
- You’re good at it
- You can get paid to do it (it’s valuable)
- The world needs it
We each have multiple gifts. Each of us has a fingerprint of gifts, a “giftprint”, if you will. Like with actual fingerprints, our giftprints are unique to each of us. And it’s in the identification and expression of our giftprint wherein our unique success lies.
Think about it. There is only one you which has ever been and will ever be. Billions of years of universal evolution have conspired to create each of us. We have each inherited our unique genetic lineage all the way back from the moment life began it’s tenacious journey on the earth.
Our ancestors’ choices are recorded in our genetics. By relying on their knowledge, skills and wisdom, each of our foremothers and forefathers thrived in this world and left behind unique progeny to continue in the divine task of life.
We have all inherited this unique set of knowledge, skills and wisdom. They are gifts from our ancestors. By keeping our minds sharp and our bodies strong, we can tap into these gifts and carve out our own niche in this world.
There is a niche out there with your name on it; therein is your best life. Success lies in its creation.
To Succeed: Exploit Your Gifts
Have you ever read the “Dilbert” comic series? The comic chronicles the day-to-day white-collar affairs of Dilbert, an engineer at a company. The comic satirizes the mundane trivialities of the corporate life; by pointing out the absurdity of the common it presents it in a new, hilarious light (image copyright 2005 Scott Adams, Inc).
”Dilbert” was created by Scott Adams. In a piece titled “How to Get a Real Education at College” which appeared in the Wall Street Journal in 2011, Adams wrote:
“I succeeded as a cartoonist with negligible art talent, some basic writing skills, an ordinary sense of humor and a bit of experience in the business world. The “Dilbert” comic is a combination of all four skills. The world has plenty of better artists, smarter writers, funnier humorists and more experienced business people. What’s rare is that each of those modest skills is collected in one person. That’s how value is created.”
What Skills Can You Combine?
I love how honest Adams is about his skillset. He holds no illusions about his abilities. Instead, he took his modest skill in each field (art, writing, humor and business) and combined them to create something new and entertaining: Dilbert.
He relied on his giftprint to create value.
We all have the ability to do what Adams did; to identify what we’re good at, if only modestly so, and combine it in a way which is unique and valuable. That’s what creativity is!
What does it take to perform the creative operation which Adams accomplished with Dilbert? It takes about five steps. They are:
- Know your interests
- Pursue your interests
- Create something!
- Share your creation to get feedback
- Rinse and repeat
That’s all it takes. We’ll fail most of the time we do this, but each failure can be used to propel us toward the unwrapping of our gifts. What matters is how we perceive failure. Does failure make you quit?
Or does it make you ask deeper questions?
Anyone can know their interests, pursue them, create something and share it.
So how come so many of us fail to identify what our giftprint is?
Why So Few Of Us Discover Our Giftprint
In a word: standardization.
Standardization is all the rage in our civilization. We standardize our manufacturing processes, schooling systems, jobs, medical treatments, houses, crop production and even dog breeds.
During the industrial revolution our species discovered that mass-production was the key to prosperity. If you were able to invent something which could be mass-produced and sold to the masses you were guaranteed to become wealthy. Just look at Henry Ford.
But in order to mass-produce something, every element in the process, from the raw material, to the equipment and the skill of the worker doing the production had to be standardized.
What Is Standardization?
Standardization is the act of adhering to a model during the creative act.
The industrial revolution exploded our species’ productive output. With the cost of standardizing everything in order to make production as efficient as possible. The results were amazing: food went from being scarce and subject to wheather fluctuations, to being available all year round; luxuries which kings and queens of the past could scarce imagine, like refrigeration and running water, became available to the common folk.
The industrial revolution unlocked unimaginable wealth through automation and standardization. It was so successful at creating wealth that our species clamped onto it like a street dog clenching onto a bone. And like the dog, we have refused to release our hold on it, despite the mounting evidence that standardizing human life comes with dreadful costs.
One of those costs is that we forget we are unique creative beings. We accept the standardized route to success which has been laid out for us by various authority figures since infancy. We conform, rather than stand out.
So instead of doing what Adams did, investigating our unique interests and creatively expressing them, we stick to the standard we have been indoctrinated to follow. We stick to the blueprint.
We forget we have a giftprint.
But forgetting doesn’t mean losing. Even after traversing through our civilization’s standardized factory schooling, we retain our giftprint.
It remains with us, patiently waiting to be discovered.
How To Discover Your Giftprint
I have written several articles on how to discover our unique interests and talents. If you’re interested in reading them, here they are:
- From Curiosity To Success – The Journey Of Self-Discovery
- How To Experiment In Life – See The World Anew!
- Unlock Your Creative Genius – 5 Habits
- What Is Creative Fun? – The Key To Our Power
- How Can I Succeed In Life? Know Yourself
I summarize what they say with the following points:
- Follow your curiosity
- Develop the habit of creativity
- Have creative fun
- Know yourself (meditate)
I have recently discovered a new road to discovering our interests; reflecting on who our parents are.
Our parents are the second most powerful influencers of our lives, after our free will. Not only are we genetically similar to our parents, but in most cases we are raised by one or both of them.
This means that they pass on to us their habits, skills and interests. In other words, our parents giftprints are similar to ours.
Analyzing our parents giftprints can give us precious information regarding our own.
How do your parents create value?
My Parents Giftprints
My mother is a businessperson at heart. She loves searching for undiscovered potential and taking creative action to express it. She was an office worker for most of her life, which paid our bills. During her free time she ran a successful silver jewelry business in Mexico City and searched for and found good real-estate deals to invest in.
Now that she’s retired, her two interests, selling jewelry and real-estate, are the creative activities she invests her time and energy into. She enjoys her free time and does these two activities on the side.
My father is a strategist at heart. He loves taking a broad view of events, thinking out what could happen and preparing to take advantage of shifting trends. After he left a PhD program in his twenties (just like me), he went into the business world where he put his giftprint to better use. He built a successful business in Mexico City while applying his giftprint.
Now that he is close to retirement he dedicates his free time to learning world history and watching sports. He would rather not retire, but he knows that everything must come to an end. I don’t know what he’ll do with his time once he’s no longer working.
Of course, these are simplified descriptions of my parents interests. But they broadly represent how my parents created value.
What are your parents’ giftprints?
How My Giftprint Is Similar To My Parents
Like my mother, I’m a businessperson. I enjoy finding potential where it’s ignored and acting to express it, particularly when it comes to people and their abilities. I see the potential in people even when they themselves ignore it.
Like my father, I enjoy strategizing; this means observing events, predicting what the outcome will be and positioning myself to take advantage of it.
Added onto these are a love of learning, teaching and writing.
I combined all of these gifts into one creative effort and created this blog.
Want to know how much of this I learned in school? Very little.
I learned it through living. By taking chances, experimenting, creating, failing, creating some more and sharing what I made with the world.
And I learned most of this once I was already an adult. I was not a “creative type.”
I Only Recently Discovered My Giftprint
I ignored my giftprint until I was 27 years old. That was when I realized I was wasting my gifts by pursuing a standardized goal which I found utterly meaningless. I then took the risk to discover my unique stack of gifts so I could create a unique life. A life rich in service and freedom.
I’m telling you this so you can see that it’s never too late to take the risk to discover your giftprint. We can start at any time, by following the steps I wrote above.
What if you’re not sure about what you enjoy creating? Answer: create anyways! If you have a feeling you enjoy woodworking, but are not sure about it, the only way you’ll learn is by trying it!
Even if it turns out that you don’t enjoy it, you will still learn something about yourself. And that’ll allow you to make better choices in the future.
The trick is to take the risk, create something and share it. Following this process gradually unwraps our giftprint. The process never ends, there are always more gifts to be discovered.
That’s what makes life exciting!
Using Your Giftprint To Create Value
As you unwrap your giftprint you will learn how to wield it to create value. It’s a natural part of the process. But it can’t be rushed. People believe they can go from being completely ignorant of their giftprint to creating something which makes them wealthy and famous from one day to the next.
That’s not how this works. Such a thing can happen, but it’s rare. Also, when it does happen it results in flaming out early; receiving too much money/fame too quickly can destroy a person.
Real success is earned gradually and sustained over a lifetime. The process of discovering our giftprint and relying on it to create value is gradual. It takes consistent, daily effort. There are no shortcuts.
People who succeed in their youth and sustain their success discovered their giftprints in childhood. Their schools and parents encouraged them to discover and pursue their creative interests. These people grew into their gifts. By the time they’re adults they’re intimately aware of what their interests are and how they can create value for others.
I Was Not One Of Those Children
I spent my childhood getting standardized in school. While at home I played video games and watched television. My daily hobbies did not create value for others. After all, no one would pay me to watch television. And I wasn’t skilled enough, nor did I want, to play video games for money.
Still, I was lucky. Many children today are forced by their parents into doing activities they dislike, like playing a musical instrument or becoming good at a sport. Well-meaning parents don’t realize that imposing their will on their children robs them of the opportunity to unwrap their giftprint.
But just because we fail to unwrap our giftprint as a child, doesn’t mean we will never be able to. It just means we need to take the time to do it as adults. This is where most people give up. They think that they’ve missed the bus and so they surrender to living a life ignorant of their gifts.
That’s a tragedy.
You Have Gifts To Make The World Better!
The world is lessened without our gifts in them. What if Leonardo DaVinci had never unwrapped his giftprint? Or Frida Kahlo? Or Miles Davis?
Our world would be a poorer place without their creative gifts in them. The same applies to each of us!
Unwrapping our giftprint is one of the most spiritually and financially rewarding quests we can ever embark upon. The only way we can be truly successful is by doing what we like doing. Due to the fact that when we like an activity we are more likely to repeat it.
What happens to your bank account if the activity you like doing also makes you money?
Your bank account explodes!
But what matters most is that you like the activity. The money comes afterwards.
This is super important. If you are unsure of what your giftprint is don’t rely on it to give you money the moment you start unwrapping it!
If we immediately put the pressure on our giftprint to give us money we sabotage our creativity. That’s why it’s better to have a standardized job which pays the bills while we unwrap our giftprint.
Without the financial stress of being jobless we can allow ourselves to take more risks in our creativity.
Eventually you can transition from your standardized job to your unique value-creating effort (you can read this article of mine on entrepreneurship for more on that).
Do you see the logic in what I’m telling you? We need to do what we like to be truly successful! Anything less than that and we’re stealing from ourselves.
Unwrap Your Gifts, They Lead You To Success!
Unwraping our gifts allows us to express our talents to the fullest. And make the big bucks as an afterthought.
You might not succeed at the first attempt, nor at the second or thirdor fourth. But if you keep at it you will succeed. Success loves the persistent.
I practice everything I write about in this blog. Experience is my primary teacher. Books are secondary. I started this blog to share what I’ve discovered about success and wealth with my readers. I believe the world would be a much better place if more people took the time to pursue their unique dreams, rather than follow the standardized path which has been laid out for us by a civilization which doesn’t want us to be free.
So I invite you to unwrap your giftprint!
Do you know what your gifts are?
To our wealth and success.