Find Your Gift. Then Give It Away.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” Pablo Picasso
We are all on a road trip, feeling our way through our careers, searching for ultimate fulfillment and purpose in what is an increasingly manic (and seemingly short) life. This article is not for those who have Sat Nav and a full tank of petrol. They are fortunate enough to know their vocation. This article is for the majority of us who have taken the wrong turn a few times, maybe who have started to slow down in fear of having another accident, or those who are just parked by the side of the road scared to get back into the car. You need to live on purpose again. You will get there. Believe.
In this article, I wish to explore four super simple questions to help in the search for your “gift” (in Picasso’s words). For many readers here, this could be taken in a work context – a role where your talents are fully utilized. For others, this could be in a more general context – a loving father, a supportive friend or a religious calling to name but a few.
Know where you want to go…..
“I want to write children’s books for a living.”
Everything that is in line with your purpose will make you feel good and will be enjoyable – as long as the final destination is realistic. Maybe doing some publishing on LinkedIn could be a first step? Maybe you could write some stories for your kids to see if they like them? When decisions align with your desired direction, you are one step closer to your goal.
Know why you want to get there…..
“The corporate life isn’t for me. I find inner peace when I am being creative.”
For mere mortals, much of this is about trial and error. The key is to listen to your inner voice, know when something isn’t quite right and then have the courage to do something about it. This last bit is the hard one. In my experience, a heart to heart with a partner, friend or relative is always the tipping point for change.
Find out how to get there…..
“I’m going to get in touch with some authors and publishers.”
Just one action in the right direction has the potential to set off a whole chain reaction of events. Nothing happens if you sit on your sofa and think about it. Get out into the world and proactively understand the steps that you need to take to make things happen. If you have truly worked out where you want to go and why you want to get there, taking the first step won't be so hard.
When you are there, why should you give it away?.....
We don’t live abundant and happy lives in isolation or by being takers. Picasso meant that the biggest joy is giving joy to others, and it is human nature that they will reciprocate. Finding a calling that facilitates this will allow you to be truly at one with your chosen career.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions” Dalai Lama.