The Gift that Keeps Giving

by Karyn L. Beach

A few Christmases ago, I decided to give a truly unique gift to my Dad. I enlarged a few of my favorite photos (ones which I had taken), found a really unique frame and created a one-of-a-kind gift.

On Christmas Day, I was so excited when my Dad opened it. Then my heart fell. He said, “Oh,” carefully put it down and proceeded to get all excited about the next gift he received: a men’s grooming kit. He was especially excited by the nose hair clippers.

While my father didn’t appreciate my gift but I didn’t let it dampen my enthusiasm for photography. His lack of appreciation didn’t lessen the love and the spirit in which I gave the gift. If he didn’t appreciate it, I would.

I thought about that incident the other night when I was thinking about gifts. Not so much presents, but the gifts that each and every one of us have. Some of us have a knack for numbers, or a passion for fashion, or an ear for music. Others are gifted teachers, counselors or engineers. We all have something to contribute.

What a shame it is when we put that gift aside. What a waste. Imagine all of the wonderful things we are missing out on because people don’t use their gifts. Imagine all of the joy we deny ourselves when we put aside that which only we can offer.

There are several reasons why we don’t go with our gifts.

Gifts aren’t effortless. They do require some effort and some dedication. A gifted dancer still has to master the basic steps. A photographer still has to learn about composition and lenses and the workings of the camera.

Gifts aren’t all-or-nothing propositions. You don’t have to quit your day job. There are other ways to let your talents shine. Volunteer. Become a mentor. Make it into a hobby. Do it part-time.

Give your gifts a chance. Experience them. Express them. Allow yourself to feel the joy that comes when you allow your special talents to shine through.

Karyn L. Beach is a success coach and corporate trainer who publishes the Lose the Excuses newsletter and blog.

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