Just be you

I’m infatuated with America’s Got Talent. I watch it every summer. It’s my go-to show during the slow season. Not only do the performer’s talent draw me in, but their stories even more so. I’m fascinated by what they’ve been through. I’m drawn in by their circumstances, as well as their talent. Who knew such normal, everyday people could be so inspiring. And I think, what if they didn’t take the chance to take the leap and try out for the show? What if they didn’t show their talent to the world?  We would have missed out. And they would have missed out too. 

I think about such things as I create my art. Why am I doing what I’m doing? It isn’t the deep desire to chase after fame – or become an Influencer to the world. It isn’t to showcase myself. Basically it boils down to just being me. 

I’ve spent a lot of time this past year immersed in information about finding my strengths and talents. I had a vague idea about my strengths, but I really wanted to dig down and find out what was at my core being. Along the way, I sometimes sought out the information and sometimes it came to me. For instance, a volunteer coordinator handed me the book Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath. It identifies one’s leadership skills. It includes a test and helps identify 5 top skills for each participant. I always knew I was a people person, but the book identified me as a Woo – one that loves to meet new people. So after the evaluation results came in, my volunteer coordinator put me at the entrance of the event to meet and greet the guests as they arrived and to help put them at ease and get the event off to the right start. In turn, she used each volunteer’s strengths to make the event the best possible. 

Throughout the year, I dug further and borrowed books from the local library and downloaded more for my Kindle. In the matter of months, I gleaned additional information and had some ah-ha moments of discovery along the way. I took quizzes online and I encouraged friends to do the same. I met Bijoy Goswami at my art show and read his book, The Human Fabric and learned that I was a Relator – which could also be called the Connector – the one who relates well with others and brings them together. 

My research was also amplified through my church when during a sermon, we were invited to list out what we could do to serve the world around us – and I simply wrote “use my gifts and talents.” 

Those words have now become my motto. It’s how I live my life. I strive to use my gifts and talents – what I was created to be – for the benefit of those around me. This inner desire, to use my gifts, has become so intense, it has started to feel more like a calling than a invitation. 

I’m so glad this life of creativity has found me. I’m so thankful that I get to spend my time connecting people with talented creatives and helping those in need during a time of crisis. I feel it benefits us all. The artists are given the gift of sustainability to continue to do what they were gifted to do. Interior Designers obtain the benefit of finding the perfect piece of art for their client. And our neighbors enduring breast cancer treatment get a little extra help during their time of need.

Through this cycle of connecting people, my hope is to inspire others to do the same. My hope is for others to live a life of simply using their gifts and talents to serve the needs of those around them. Just by being whom you were designed to be.