Many of us have super powers that we can’t use, call on it when we need them, let alone control because we don’t even realize we have them. But somewhere deep inside we know they are there. Some of us sense that there’s a gap between who we are and who we were meant to be. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe says, “The person, born with a talent they are meant to use, will find their greatest happiness in using it.” So we set our sights on fortune and fame, or we seek adventures, or we practice mindfulness, or we work on our inner game, or we shape up our mindset. However we go about it, we have this wanting and we set out to fulfill our desires.
You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
I’m no different. My searching began with my first job in corporate accounting. I was the file clerk. It was an easy job, so within weeks of starting I always finish my work by noon and asked my boss Rudy for more work because I didn’t want to be bored. As it turned out the ladies in accounts payable were behind, so they showed me what to do and I began to help them. In short order they were all caught up. So I went to Rudy again and said I need something else to do. This time the accountants needed help, so they showed me what they and I began to help them out.
Then the cycle began again, so I asked Rudy to teach me something else. This time he told me he couldn’t. He said that if he taught me anything else he’d have to give me a raise and a new title. I promptly reassured him that he didn’t have to worry about that. I didn’t care about the money or the title. I just didn’t want to be bored. But he stuck to his gun and I was stuck with a part-time job with full-time hours. Not accepting that I should be bored I started looking for a new job.
During an interview HR asked me if I knew how to use spreadsheets. I had never heard of a spreadsheet, so I said no. But since I had worked on so many systems in my current job I was certain I could learn. I got the job. Once I started my new job they showed me how to use Lotus 1-2-3. To my surprise, that was the program I had been using when I helped the accountants. While I knew it as Lotus, no one had ever told me I was working on a spreadsheet.
Why am I telling you this? Because we are often driven by desires, mine was to be interested and engaged, and in the process of aligning with these desires we learn valuable skills, in this case spreadsheet. But we can’t satisfy our longing or access our skills, not because we don’t have what it takes, but because the skills lay just below our consciousness or beyond our recognition.
It’s become increasingly clear to me is that we know a lot more than we realize and what we know lead to our own unique super powers. Deepak Chopra says we each “have a unique talent and a unique way of expressing it… When these needs are matched with the creative expression of your talent, that is the spark that creates affluence.” Hearing you’re the super hero of your own story and that your superpowers are demanding to be heard is not bad news, is it?
So how do you go about connecting with that creative genius that rests within? There are many ways to reconnect. Some are actually very simple and in many cases fun. Here are some of my personal favorites.
- Slow down. This may sound counterintuitive, but we often need to slow down and take time for ourselves. There may be clues all around us that are telling you what you should be doing, but if you are too busy to notice nothing is going to change. It’s in moments of attentive presence that we’re able to see what’s been there, here, within us all along. Don’t trust me. Try it yourself.
- Be your own life detective. So you’ve started to slow down and take some time for yourself. Now what? Pay attention to everything, question everything and then validate it. Notice the things in your life that bring you the most joy and the things that bring you the most sadness too. Notice the activities that energize you when you do them. Notice moments that make you smile to yourself too. Be aware of anything and everything that creeps into your awareness. Get to know what lights you up.
- Own how you feel and get in the driver’s seat of your life. Once you start to pay attention to how activities, people, places and interests make you feel most energized or not, don’t be tempted to give you power away blaming people, places and circumstances for your happiness or unhappiness. You are now armed with powerful information. Yes sometimes it can be uncomfortable. But this is a moment of victory. Own it. Don’t get mad, get glad and respond accordingly.
- Give yourself permission to follow your passion. As you give yourself permission to go down these roads, you’ll start to refine your passions more and more, just by doing what feels good to you. Some interests will lead you to your passion while others won’t. But know that nothing you do is a mistake because your actions are informing you of where you’re meant to be. The more you free yourself to follow what inspires you the more you’ll begin to discover your passions.
- Stay open. Finally, know that when you follow your interests, they could lead you on a different path than you ever expected. Often the idea that “I’d be happy, if…” only serves to limit our possibilities. I assure you, you can be happy, even if things aren’t different. So, don’t let circumstances determine if you can be content or not. It’s important to stay open and flexible without any attachment to where you’ll end up.
Give it a try. And once you’ve found what you love? Well, then you can begin to figure out how to incorporate it into your life every single day. How nice is that?