Today I share with you three more keys to finding your Unique Brilliance, those gifts that are your signposts to a life that is fulfilling, joyful, passionate and inspiring.
The first two keys you may remember from my post on “The Trouble with Finding Your Life Purpose.” These are vital distinctions that will help you see what your Brilliance is and not get lost looking for it. The third key may surprise and challenge you, but it illuminates your own Hero’s Journey in this life.
- Your Unique Brilliance is not a job description.
I wrote about this aspect of Unique Brilliance quite a bit in my post on “The Trouble with Finding Your Life Purpose,” so I’ll be brief here. But this is a key point about Unique Brilliance.
For instance, your unique brilliance is not being a “veterinarian” per se, but rather perhaps you are a lover of animals, good with animals, fascinated by science/biology/the inner workings of the body, gifted at healing.
Stop looking for a job or career that your Unique Brilliance adds up to and you’ll be much more likely to see it. Later, you can discover what kinds of work use this Brilliance in satisfying ways.
Your Unique Brilliance is not singular.
You came with a number of important gifts to share, gifts that you express in a unique way that are needed and wanted at this time. If one or more of your gifts doesn’t match with a job description or isn’t valued highly by our society, it may be harder to see it, but it doesn’t make that gift any less important or essential to who you are. And it is the unique way your gifts combine that adds up to your unique brilliance.
I like to give the example of my friend Molly. Molly has many gifts I could name, but I’ll focus on three for now. She’s a gifted poet and writer.
She’s also a truth-teller. She tells the truth even when it’s uncomfortable. She speaks what others are afraid to talk about, what’s difficult or considered shameful, awkward, but also of beautiful and funny things. This is a real gift and service to humanity, and it comes through her writing, her speaking, her way of being in the world. Her truth-telling sets others free, encourages them to be brave and truthful and to be kinder to themselves and others.
She also has a gift, and proclivity, for matching people up who need each other. I don’t mean romantically. If someone needs their garden tended, she knows a gardener looking for work. If someone needs jars for canning, she knows someone who is de-cluttering and is getting rid of jars. I include this gift of hers for two reasons. It’s not part of her career, it doesn’t make her any money, yet it’s wildly helpful and important for the community. So, don’t overlook these gifts in yourself.
My father had a brilliant, incisive mind, a rapacious intellectual curiosity, a willingness to contradict and revise earlier points of view he had held, a love of philosophy and the life of the mind, but he also had great personal warmth and charm, was a devoted teacher, and a really good cook who loved to entertain guests. All of these added up together to complete the unique brilliance that he possessed.
- Your challenges, weaknesses and wounds also are a part of it. Your biggest challenge and your biggest gift are bound up together in some way.
This can be a tough one to accept, but I have seen over and over that our biggest wounds, challenges and weaknesses in life are intimately tied up in our biggest gifts, in what we are here to give. For example, I just watched the movie Race about the Olympic gold medal runner Jesse Owens.
As his wife points out to him at a pivotal moment in the film, Jesse Owens was born to run. He had an incredible gift as a runner. He was considered the fastest man on earth in his time, and he loved to run. Note that he still had to train hard and sacrifice to develop that gift.
But he had another important gift that was tied to his biggest challenge. He was a black man living in a time of intense racism and segregation in America and also during the time of the Olympics being held in Nazi Germany. His gift was to win gold medals in those Olympics and show the world that color and race do not determine ability, that there isn’t one race that is better than others, and that the pervasive racism he suffered couldn’t keep him down.
What have been the most painful, difficult, challenging experiences of your life? What have you struggled with? What has felt like a weakness or burden? How might these have shaped the gifts you have come to share? What capacities have you developed because of these challenges?
In my next post, I’ll share the final key to help you discover your Unique Brilliance. It is such a crucial one that I have saved it for last.
I would love to hear your comments and questions. What opened up for you in reading this post? Any ahas? If you write in, I’ll respond.
To your shining,
If you would like help uncovering and making the most of your Unique Brilliance to create a passionate, fulfilling life centered around what you most love, check out my one-on-one Mentoring Program. It could be life-changing for you.