A couple of years ago, I decided that I was going make full use of my ‘giftedness’ and put every gift I had to maximum use. The reason why I decided to go this route was to create an additional stream of income. So I decided to take up catering. One day as I was struggled to put finish and deliver on a job I had been contracted to do my phone rang. I took the call but the caller who incidentally was my Coach could tell that I was distracted. I was speaking to her on the phone and though she was far away in the US she could tell I wasn’t fully present.
After a few minutes on the phone she asked me; “Is this a bad time? I can call later, because you are not responding to me.” I apologized and told her that indeed I was distracted because I was in a hurry to meet up a deadline within the hour. She said she understood and hung up.
Weeks later, we were face to face; once we had the opportunity of a one on one time, she recalled that telephone conversation and asked me “So tell me, that particular contract, is it your best use?” Wow! That one got me!
Most gifted people especially those who can do more than one thing well, are usually confused as to which of their gifts should take priority over the others; because they are good at so many things it becomes almost impossible to settle on what they should really be doing. Perhaps you fall in this category; Well, thinking through the question “is that your best use?” did help me and I hope it helps you too.
First what does the question “Is this your best use?” mean? My Coach wanted to know if the particular task I was preoccupied with on that particular day was the best way I could put myself to use. Now the thing is I am very good at this task, I am really good at it! So initially I felt since I am good at this, shouldn’t I find a way to convert it to income amongst all the other things I do?
However, the more I thought about it, the more the quotation by Tim Redmond came to mind “There are many things that will catch my eye but there are only a few things that will catch my heart.”
When you chose to be the best and most impactful you in a particular field the first thing you must know is that it is not because that is the only thing you can do well. It is however because on the scale of preference, priority and impact that which you choose carries more weight, both in value and reward.
So how do you recognise your best use? By asking and answering the following questions:
1. Is this a taught or acquired skill or is it a gift bestowed?
2. How many other people within your circle or team can do this at least 80% as well as you can?
3. Honestly can you keep doing this even if you are not paid for it? What are you willing to sacrifice to continue to be used in this way?
4. Is the time you spend on this use commensurate with the reward? To answer this question, please note that it is critical to define what a reward looks like to you.
5. Do you look forward to retiring from being used like this, or is this your lifework?
6. How many other people are blessed with this use, besides you?
7. Does this blessing endure or is it temporal?
8. Whose life gets better, really better because you did this?
9. What is the worst that can happen should you not be used in this way?
By the time I got to question four, I recognized quickly that indeed that was not my best use. The question now is, am I discarding that use totally? No I am not; I chose to only deploy it for those who I love as an act of service and love rather than a tool to earn an income. I believe that if I focus on my best use, amongst which is serving you here, I will make more impact and ultimately more feel more rewarded.
Should you be wondering what your own best use is; why don’t you take time out and answer these 9 questions above. I am confident you will find the clarity you seek. No matter what happens; you will make it NeverTheLess.
Here is to your success!
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