n the year 1884, Russel Conwell was already iteratingly talking about his popular sermon: Acres of Diamond. Before you know it, a book was made out of that powerful sermon. Nobody though could have imagined the potential that that sermon had. To date, if you check out Temple University’s history, it is credited to non other than Russel Conwell as the founder. What an incredible way to celebrate potential.
The message was simple. It was delivered in form of a parable. A man sold all his land and went out in the world in search of diamonds. He spent all his money on this search but was not successful. Meanwhile, the new owner of the estate while minding his business doing other things discovered that there were diamonds in that land that he had just purchased. In an instant, this man became a very wealthy man. When the original owner of the estate was informed of what happened, he fell off of his horse or donkey, broke his neck and died. This man had no idea that right within and around him, there was great potential for him to be wealthy.
In one of the previous articles on this subject, I have postulated that very many people think that they do not have gifts and talents. And that is why when any new money making fad comes to town, hordes of people run for it and most of then burn their fingers. I am not being self righteous with this talk. I have been there before. I have spent months upon months searching for a job at one point in my life. During that time, I walked on earth like I didn’t matter…and yet all along, there was this gift and talent. I cannot begin to tell you how many talented people are out there in the world that have neglected to cultivate their gifts and talents…but are actively looking for “diamonds” elsewhere. Could it be that what you are looking for is within you in terms of potential and around you in terms of opportunities?
Perhaps the most neglected thing in life is potential. That is why some people do not believe that they have it. The paradox is simple. It is a cost/benefit game. On one hand, a job of a money making scheme promises or even provides immediate gains. These gains can be quantified and planned around. Unfortunately, you cannot say the same about your potential. There is no knowing what your potential will bring. There is no knowing that you will earn from it…and how much you will earn from it in the first place. The thing with potential is that you work at it now, and trust that later on, much later on, it will give you the acres of diamonds that you are looking for. So you can either go for what gives you immediate benefits, or that which gives you “investment” benefits. Patience is they key.
By now, you might be aware of my story: How I knew that I was gifted working with words years ago. How I neglected that gift and pursued other things in life for over 16 years. How I was disillusioned and unfulfilled after those pursuits. How I started honing my gift just about 7 years ago and how I have started reaping the benefits. That is why I can stand on any platform and ask the whole wide wold to bet on their potential more than any other thing in their lives. The following are ways in which you can develop your gifts and talents.
I invite you to be a searcher of truth and a seeker of purpose. This is especially if you believe that you do not have gifts and talents. The most immediate thing that connects you to your potential is your gifts and talents. You are gifted in one thing or another, and that is why you were sent here on earth. Find out what it is. Go further than doing profile tests and really discover what you are good at. I will recommend the following resources:
It’s that simple. You must have a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly plan to develop your gifts and talents. This is what I tell my clients to ask themselves daily: “Now that I am aware what I want to do and what my gifts are, what Am I going to do this week in order to get closer to my vision or to refine my gift? There can be no better answer to that question if you are not planning. Plans. Schedules. Timetables. Once they are there, track them and review them. Consistently.
If you are gifted in voice, you need to invest in a studio. Seriously. What I am saying is that you cannot develop your gift if you do not invest in it. What you have at the moment is a seed. Plant it and water it. Purchase all materials you can to read and research about it. Attend seminars. Follow people who are gifted in the same thing. Let them mentor you and show you the ropes. Invest your time, energy and resources. Sounds like it is a full time thing. Yes it is. If you are employed in doing other things, how about you get to work one hour earlier and leave work one hour later than others?
There comes a time that you ought to test your gift and talent by coming up with a program or a service. That’s what I did when I started coaching. I asked for a few people and tested my idea with them. They loved it and recommended others and the cycle continued. I tested myself with writing when I wrote my very first article back in 2010. I was scared. Look at where I am now. When you test it, you get feedback and now you know where to improve.
The problem with people in life is that they dabble a lot. Today they are doing one thing, tomorrow another. It is like a potted plant that is moved from place to place. It never really get to grow roots down and establish itself. You have to be patient with your gifts and talents. There will be laughter. There will be discouragement. There will be scoffing. There will be uncomfortable moments. There will be that time that you will want to walk away altogether. Stay. Be consistent. For years. No. For decades. That’s the only rule about developing your gifts and talents.
OK, so Lawrence can write and speak. Great. Towards what end does he do that anyway? What problem is he trying to solve in the world today? These questions prompt me to identify what niche I should operate in. Once I have identified the niche, then I will clarify the problems in that niche. Then I will go to my gifts and talents and provide the value. To parents, I teach them how to mentor their children from home. How do I do that? I do it through my book and coaching sessions. I will be adding other things such as seminars and so on.
The best way to learn is to teach someone else. The best way to leave a legacy is to teach someone else to succeed you. If you keep refining your gift, you will get to that level where now others are looking up to you. Mentoring them gets the best out of you. Now you are operating as an authority. Your greatest joy will be to see your proteges going further than you went.
All in all, deploying your gifts and talents is one of they most basic ways of unearthing your potential. It’s time to get started.