This picture is one of my favorite Christmas shirts. I bought it because I thought it was a perfect shirt for a school counselor to wear and it gives me a chuckle every time I look at it. But doesn't it have good message? As you look forward to the new year ahead, are you embracing your "inner elf"? Are you sharing and maximizing your gifts and talents? Are you working in your strengths?
There's a lot of talk in the Christmas season about gifts. Making a wish list of gifts, shopping for gifts, giving gifts, opening gifts... Last year I was given a gift wrapped in gorgeous paper tied up with an extravagant bow full of feathers and sparkly things. I shook the present and carefully felt the weight of it, all the while trying to figure out what treasure it might hold inside. I thanked the person who gave it to me and assured them it was certainly a lovely gift and I would open it soon. Not that day, because I didn't really have time, but some day soon, I promised the giver that I would open the gift. I put the gift away, fully intending to open it but after a while, I forgot about the gift and only recently just about a year later, I found it hidden away on a shelf. I almost opened it when I discovered it, but decided it was probably too late and how would I ever thank the person for the gift now? So reluctantly and sadly, I put it back on the shelf. Maybe next year, when I have time to unwrap it and send a belated thank you card explaining the oversight, I'll do something about it but right now... well I'm busy with a lot of other urgent things. Sound familiar? Of course not! Who neglects to open a gift for a whole year, never mind decides to wait even longer to see what is inside? Yet this is exactly how we often treat our own gifts and talents.
In a recent article in the January 2013 Success magazine, Jason Dorsey, one of my favorite columnists and authors, suggests that to kickstart your year and get yourself out of a rut, you challenge yourself with a breakthrough project. What does he mean by this? He means doing something that you have always dreamed of doing. He means developing a project that forces you way out of your comfort zone. He means taking the risk of failing but pressing ahead anyway. His promise? The experience will change your life forever.
For Jason Dorsey, the breakthrough project was writing the book he always wanted to write. For you it could be starting a business, changing careers, running a marathon or overcoming a fear of public speaking. A breakthrough project requires becoming intentional about your goals. It means becoming focused and action oriented. It means commitment. It is risky but ultimately rewarding and it could change your life forever.
In this vein, I've decided to launch my own breakthrough project. Coaching others in discovering their passion and developing their gifts has always been a dream of mine. This year, I've decided to become intentional and action oriented about his dream. I'm launching my own breakthrough project of coaching. You can read about it here: My Coaching Breakthrough Project
There is a story of a miser who had a valuable bag of gold coins and in order to keep them safe, he kept them buried in the backyard. Every once in a while he would dig up the coins, marvel at his great treasure, then carefully bury them again. One day a thief, followed him to the secret hiding place and after the owner left, he quickly dug up the treasure and stole away with it. The owner was despondent over his loss. A friend to console him told him, "Just bury a bag of fake gold. You can easily dig it up periodically and marvel over it just as you did the real gold. For all the good the bag of gold did you, a bag of fake gold will do just as well." Seems like a heartless comment doesn't it? But doesn't it ring true?"
Amid the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, take time to reflect on your inner self, your true gifts. Are you being true to your gifts, your strengths, your talents? Are your using them or hoarding them? Have you developed them and put them to use for yourself, for your community, for the world?
Want to develop your gifts and work in your strengths? Want to develop your own breakthrough project? Join us for A Called Woman Conference and lets get started!
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