New clients universally don't recognize their unique, often powerful gifts. Their perception is that 'gifts' or talents are something they must work very hard to develop over the years, not merely something that comes naturally from within them.
Stuart is a great example. He is articulate, impeccably dressed, and brilliant. Like many of my clients, Stuart hired me to help him fine tune skills that he already possessed.
Highly-positioned and well-regarded in his organization, we soon discovered that he was simply no longer engaged in his work. He was not happy.
With this emotional state, it didn't matter how much fine tuning we did; Stuart could not execute at the level he desired. He had entered a slow-moving, downward spiral.
Our work took on a new focus. Our new charge: for Stuart to either discover a way to find meaning in the work he was doing, or to find something brand new for him to master.
Immediately upon meeting Stuart and visiting his office, I could sense his richness of style. His associates' offices were stacked high with papers, open books, and empty coffee cups.
Stuart's office displayed works of art from his world travel, placed thoughtfully in a manner to expose their significance, not detracting from one another. Stuart's eyes lit up when talking about each expertly-displayed piece. It was as if each one touched a part of his soul.
To no surprise, a visit to Stuart's home told the same story. Stuart had a true gift for recognizing quality, color and design and for blending them together luminously. His home felt like an inviting, nonthreatening art gallery. It was warm, stunning and each room drew you in.
We began exploring this 'gift' of style and design that Stuart took for granted. In time, he realized how unique this gift was and how it was in no way reflected in the profession he'd selected.
Stuart now owns a highly successful interior design firm who specializes in putting unique pieces from around the world together in a manner no one else would consider.
In recognizing his 'gift' of style and design (along with love of adventure and travel) he is living a truly meaningful life.
So now it's your turn. What 'gift' comes naturally to you that you are taking for granted? What do others compliment you on that you shrug off as being too easy?
Other talents I see in clients that they don't see in themselves are gifts of: intuition, seeing the bigger picture, artful communication, skilled negotiation, compassion, writing, seeing through the rubish to the real problem, simplifying solutions, and helping others recognize their worth.
Could it be that the gift or gifts are you take for granted are true calling? What rich experience will you create for yourself by taking time this week to reflect on your unique, powerful and natural gifts?