A friend worked for a time in a major restaurant chain. Every Sunday evening they were required to take a complete inventory of everything in the restaurant. And it had to be accurate down to the last salt shaker and loaf of bread.
He and I were talking over lunch one afternoon, and began to apply the same process to human talents. Since he’s now in the counseling business, he has a different perspective of inventory.
He shared that people will immediately go to their negative side, remembering when a talent failed to bring a positive result. There’s also a feeling that listing the positive talents seems to be bragging, and again is not comfortable.
In his work, my friend gets clients to look ahead several years to what they would like to be accomplishing. It’s necessary for them to see that they already have talents that will help them get there. Failures that have dogged them to this point can be viewed as lessons learned if they will change their perspective.
Each of us has a unique set of fingerprints and a unique DNA helix. Our talents are distinctive. The unique combination of what interests and intrigues us is our alone. We begin life with open hearts and minds, receptive to new thoughts, ideas, and experiences. We discover and delight in concepts like joy, love, freedom to investigate and learn, laughter, and just plain fun.
Far too soon, we’re introduced to fear, misunderstanding, and chaos. The outside world wants our attention, and it uses whatever means are most effective. The main reason is to get us in the habit of acquiring “stuff” - stuff like jobs, houses, cars, toys, and even social status. In our rush to get all the things we think we want and need, our talents become woven into the fabric of acquisition and dust. Our genuine interests become overshadowed by thing outside ourselves, such as the expectations of family, friends, and peers who are also desperate to acquire “stuff.”