Are you Sharing or Shadowing Your Skills, Gifts, and Talents?

“Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.)” — Marcus Tullius Cicero
 
Here are a few reasons to share not shadow. Adapted from my friend Kaye Lean Ramos.
 
1. Other People Benefit
Humans coexist with one another. In a symbiotic relationship, one of the ideal relationships is Commensalism where the two individuals benefit from each other. Our gifts or talents are purposely created not just for ourselves but to help those around us.
 
We benefit from other people’s talents. We benefit from Jobs’ Apple creations, Edison’s light bulb, Ford’s automotive ideas or our mom’s cooking, Grandma's stories. Almost everyone around us contributes to our welfare in one way or another. 
 
Now the interesting question is: How do other people benefit from YOUR gifts or talents?
 
Our gifts or talents are ours, but they are not just there for us. They are to be shared with others. Just imagine the world if nobody shared a talent. What a gloomy world it would be!
 
There’s a reason there is little sense of delight when we only serve ourselves. Sharing our talents with other people creates greater fulfillment — this a win-win situation. We get to practice our talent, and people on the other end benefit from what we share.
 
Kaye Ramos says her friend Annie "is one of the most generous people I know. Not because she gives money away all the time, but because she unselfishly shares her talents. Annie does not desire recognition. She receives joy by using her natural abilities.
 
I met her in a crocheting group. Her hands are very fast in looping yarns around. In a matter of a few hours, she can finish a prayer shawl for older people in nursing homes. Residents love these shawls because they feel like a warm hug. They love the idea that someone devoted time to creating something for them. Annie uses her talents without leaving her own house, yet, other people benefit."
 
2. Other Lives Are Changed
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” — Jon Bunyan
 
Sherry, a former-ballerina-turned-attorney, married Bob, who is likewise an attorney. They started a program in 1984 called “City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts.” They genuinely believe in the potential and gifts of children who are trapped in the cycle of delinquency and poverty. Bob and Sherry saw that using their talents is the first step to provide the appropriate avenue to transform and benefit these children.
 
They believe that: “each child should have a vision of his or her place in the world to create a ripple effect in the sea of humanity.”
Their message is to "find our path and put our talents to work."
 
City Hearts currently reaches 500 at-greatest-risk youth each week. Two passionate individuals put their gifts to use and inspire others to use their own gifts. Bob and Sherry create a tremendous impact on society.
 
We may even change someone’s life just because we share our gifts. It doesn’t need to be anything huge. Start small, and someone out there will be inspired because of it!
 
3. A More Satisfying Life
“Hide not your talents, they for use were made,
What’s a sundial in the shade?” — Benjamin Franklin
 
Our gifts or talents are also considered our strengths. Gallup researched people who use their strengths every day, how that affects their performance and overall, their quality of life.
 
Gallup found out that people who use their strengths and talents (something that comes naturally and can be enhanced through practice) every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job.
 
Key points found in the research:
a. Improved Health and Wellness.
b. Experienced Less Worry, Stress, Anger, Sadness or Physical Pain.
c. Boost Their Positive Emotions.
d. More Energy to Face the Day.
e. Higher Engagement Level on the Task.
 
They also found out that building employees’ strengths are a far more effective approach to improving performance than trying to improve weaknesses. One sad thing found in the research is that a vast majority of businesses in the U.S. don’t focus on helping employees use their strengths.
 
Gallup’s data show that by learning their strengths employees are 7.8% more productive, and teams that focus on strengths every day have 12.5% greater productivity. One could conclude that lots of people could benefit even more if they would use their talents and strengths every day.
 
4. Financial Benefit
“We can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts.” — Madeleine L’Engle
 
Money! (Yes we all need money.) We don’t need to feel guilty recognizing that money is one of the purposes why we should use our talents. But let’s be careful to remind ourselves at the same time that our gifts and talents are not just for accumulating money. Granted, our talents can help us earn money. However, with proper development and use, what we do with our talents can offer us richness beyond imagination — in all aspects of our lives.
 
It is good to find ways to use our talents even though we may be working in a different field. People are often unconscious about the kind of talent they have. If we can become aware of something we are good at, we can start small and begin to earn money from it.
 
Maybe some part-time effort will surprise us with even more learning in the process. That’s what most successful people claim. They found what they are good at and with constant use and practice, their gifts serve them well.
 
Lots of opportunities are right at our fingertips with the improvement of technology. In this article from AARP, they cited ways on how to use those talents. Whether we are great at calligraphy, tinkering and fixing things, writing a compelling review of a product or experience, drawing or anything else, there is always an opportunity waiting for us. That’s why Upwork, Etsy and Fiverr are thriving. Kaye says she "enjoys looking at those websites. I see many differently-talented people there!"
 
5. Leave a Lasting Impression
“Don’t be a pepper on the eyes of people; Rather be the salt on their tongue and make a difference that influences their sense of belonging to the earth.” — Israelmore Ayivor
 
If you want to leave a lasting imprint on people you encounter, use what you have to offer. These are your gifts and talents. Kaye "enjoyed the story shared by Arianna Huffington in her book, Thrive. It is about her sister, Agappi, who graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Despite the awards she received, she didn’t get the acting-parts hoped-for when she auditioned for a theatre play. She felt discouraged to use her talents. But a random encounter from a stranger on a bus changed how she was seeing her talent. She chanced to talk with a random stranger which opened up a conversation about the play. Agappi took courage and shared her acting ability with a woman who turned out to be familiar with that particular play.
 
Agappi did a short monologue, and the woman broke in tears, so moving was her performance. Agappi felt more encouraged than ever. And on bus-ride home, she learned a valuable lesson: 'That moment of sharing without an agenda of getting a part wasn’t about the outcome but about the joy of touching others with what was mine to give. That brought with it a tremendous sense of fulfillment.'"
 
6. Faster Growth and Development
“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.” — Helmut Schmidt
 
A research study has been made on 133 bowlers to monitor how positive self-monitoring of their skills affects their performance. They found out that positive self-monitoring is more favorable on tasks where they exhibit natural ability. Through constant use of strengths, positive self-monitoring significantly improved their bowling averages. This translates to the application of strengths and talents in different areas. When a person positively monitors her performance and look for ways to improve her strengths, she will develop faster than when focusing on weaknesses.
To improve on your talents, begin with what you are good at. You have nothing to lose because you begin with what you already possess.
 
Thanks Kaye! Find more from Kaye on Medium.
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SO WHAT?

So take a more in-depth look at your natural talents, make a list. Don't filter, evaluate, equivocate, or minimize your skills. Even the slightest thing could be of help to SOMEONE! Often-times we reduce our writing or story-telling to a mere trifle. We become Shadow Writers; we "write a bit but rarely, if ever share." Shadow-writers buy books, love to read, believe it's "too late" for them to start writing and sharing with others. I encourage you to come out of the shadows. No one can tell your story like you! There is ALWAYS someone who will benefit from what you authentically share from the heart!

"Kick off your shoes," I say to my writers. "Step out of the shadows and into the freedom of your soul. Join me in the light of the magnificence of ALL of who you are!" If you are so inclined, I ask you, too to begin to write down everything you can think of that could change the world. We need the words so we can be better dreamers. We need you!

The more you shine and share, the stronger and more robust will be our community. When we shine in our true nature, we build better communities, so we can all live in a better world. 

FLASH: Are you a Shadow Writer who wants to awaken and shine your light? Find out! BIG MAGIC is there for you, I promise!

Mahalo, Judy McNutt

PS- According to Celtic spiritual tradition, the soul shines all around the body like a luminous cloud. When we are very open ~ appreciative and trusting ~ with another person, our souls flow together. "This will be the basis of our work together, and you are invited to join me in sacred space workshops, retreats, e-courses, and in-studio at ignitingyourwriting.com, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/IgniteYourWriting/

Personal Contact: [email protected]
My "other" talent can be perused and purchased at "Visionary Arts." 

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