Wednesday, 18 March 2015

You have gifts & talents. How are you using them?

Each and every person on this planet has gifts and talents that are unique. You might be a naturally gifted athlete. You might have a musical talent. You might have a gift for making people feel special. You might have a smile that instantly lights up a room. You might be able to make a really good cuppa. You might be a gifted communicator. You might be a talented scientist finding the cure to cancer. You might bring joy to people through dance. You might be really good with a hoover (something I pride myself on ;)). These are just a few gifts and talents that you might have - there are millions more out there. So take out a pen and paper (or your notes app if you're more digitally inclined) and make a list of at least 5 of your own gifts and talents. Go on. Do it. And don't be shy, we all have things that we're good at and I won't make you show your lists to anyone else, so you can be honest with yourself here.

Have you got your list? Good, you can carry on reading. (If not, go on, make that list - I dare you!). Read over your list. That's a nice little list you have there. You're a pretty awesome human being. Give yourself a nice little hug for your gifts and talents. It's more than okay to be proud of yourself and we all need to acknowledge our good points from time-to-time.

Read over your list one more time with a question in mind: how am I using my gifts and talents? If you're a naturally gifted athlete and you haven't put your trainers on in over a year then think about this. If you're musically talented but your guitar is collecting dust then something is up. If you have a gift for making people feel special but have spent the whole week in your living room watching catchup TV then something is wrong. You get the picture. If you're not using your gifts and talents then my first piece of advice for you is to change that. You have been blessed with these gifts and talents for a reason and your first duty in life is to use them to bring yourself pleasure.

But don't stop there. If you are already using your gifts and talents to bring yourself pleasure, then read over your list again and ask yourself: how am I using my gifts and talents to help others? If you're a gifted athlete but you're just going on that daily run to keep yourself fit then what's the point? If you're a talented musician but you keep your music to yourself then why bother? If you have a talent for hoovering but you only hoover your own bedroom then what good is that doing? Hopefully you get my point. Run to train for a race and raise money for a good cause. Play music in a public place to bring people joy. Help your housemates out by offering to hoover the whole house. Use your talents to bring hope and joy to others.

Use your gifts & talents to spread the love! 

I want to develop this point by celebrating some of my inspirational friends who are using their gifts and talents in extraordinary ways. I am blessed to know a whole bunch of people who use their gifts and talents to really make a difference to the lives of other people, often with little or no rewards. But they do it out of love, compassion and hope, and this is what we should use our gifts and talents to express. So as you read through this little list of inspirational people I am honoured to know, I encourage you to think about how you can use your gifts and talents to serve the world, after all, what's the fun in keeping them to ourselves?

  • Vicky Ferguson who uses her gift of overwhelming love and inspirational personality to support the street children of Mombasa through her project Glad's House
  • All of the team and volunteers at Street Child United - especially Joe, Jo, Karin, Jess, Alex, John, Elisa, and Ruth - who use their amazing array of communications talents, organisational gifts, and huge hearts to work day-in-day-out to ensure that street children are provided with a global platform to be seen and heard. 

Street Child United volunteers in Rio de Janeiro, April 2014
  • Garth & Gill Hewitt who have used their talents of music and their gift of love to create support for various causes in Palestine, Nicaragua, and South Africa (to name a few) - you two are inspirational!
  • My Mum who has used her gift of looking after children to volunteer for various toddler groups and Sunday schools over the years.
  • All of the project leaders related to Street Child United who use their gifts and talents relentlessly and with unconditional love to help street children within their respective communities. You are all incredible.
  • Tom Hewitt who has used his talent for surfing to create the inspirational Surfers Not Street Children project in Durban, South Africa. 
  • Clarity Coddington who uses her creative talents to consistently inspire children in schools and on the streets from London to Rio de Janeiro. 
  • Laura Youngson who uses her gift for science to support The Lightyear Foundation and her talent for enthusing others by making them feel like they can always contribute.
  • Chloe Szakacs who is a gifted yoga teacher and is using her talent to provide free weekly yoga lessons for the homeless in her hometown in Canada. 

Chloe who is using her gift for yoga to inspire the homeless. Image source:

This list is by no means comprehensive of all the inspirational people I know, and how gifts and talents can be used to make the world a better place. But I wanted to share just a few examples with you to show how you can use your gifts and talents to not only bring happiness and hope to yourself, but also to others. Happiness and hope are not meant to be kept to ourselves, they are meant to be shared, and what better way of sharing it than using your gifts and talents to create it?

No matter how big or small your gifts and talents might seem to you, you never quite know how just by using them with love you'll be able to make a difference.

So I challenge you to look at your list one last time. Appreciate the gifts and talents that you've written down. The world needs you to use them. It is your responsibility to think about how you can use them to bring happiness, joy and hope to others. Know what you have to do? Go and do it. 

Namaste y'all!

Love Lucy x

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