During the launch of a new class, yesterday, we did an exercise called "My Gift to the World." The gist was to try and identify what we were here to give, to share. What made our presence in the world important, and what was the one thing that we needed to keep doing, no matter what?
For some people, it was easy. Heads down, they went about the business of jotting down their words. Others looked at me with something that verged on panic. Their eyes said: "I don't think I have one of these."
A few minutes of provocative questions, and the frozen look softened and something like possibility started to move in. Slowly, they grabbed their pens and started to write. It wasn't easy, but it was important.
To know what our Gift to the World is, is a big deal. Whether it is to light up a room when we walk in it (Joy), or bring ease to someone because we know how to listen (Presence), we need to know this. For some of us, it is the love we pore into the food we cook (Nurture), and for others it is how good we are with numbers, and our ability to help people with their taxes (Ease). We all have something that we do, that has the potential to make someone's life better. I do, you do, we all do.
The trick is to honor that.
So here are a couple of prompts to help you find your GTTW:
- Think about what people may have said to you about that, since you were a kid. Note: it may not have been presented as a Gift. For instance: "Mike's thing is that he just can't sit still. He always has to be moving." Could your gift be the gift of Energy, of stirring the stale air around you? Just because it was not presented to you as a Gift, does not mean it was not. As an example, all my life people told me that I brought the sunshine with me wherever I went. I stopped hearing it, and when looking for a career, certainly didn’t think of being a Sunshine Bringer. It took me several decades to get the balls to put “Happiness Coach” on my business cards. Eventually I pushed the envelope enough to bring people to the Mexican sun with me on Retreats. If I was going to bring the sun, I might as well really do it.
- What is this-one-thing-that-you-do-so-easily-that-it-can't-possibly-be-a-big-deal? The thing that you don't need to think about it, and that you can't imagine anyone struggling with? The thing that comes to you so easily that you could not possibly get paid for it - or be praised for? Yeah, that one. That's Your GTTW.
- Finally, if you still can't figure it out, do this: ask yourself what you would like your GTTW to be. What would you like people to say about what you bring to their life? What would you like to be known for, by your friends, and by your heart? What Essence? Is it Kindness, is it Ingenuity? Is it Adventure? There's a really good chance that this, right there is your Gift to the World, just waiting for you to recognize it and go rock the heck out of it.
Thanks for sharing your GTTW with us. We really like it when you do that.
PS: if you want a little help with this process, consider joining me for my March 4 "Essentially Me" Workshop.
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Happiness & Creativity Retreat in Italy
I write because this is the way I am able to taste life more deeply.