Knowing Our Gifts
I had the pleasure of speaking at a UB Alumni Association Board meeting this morning and sharing my work around Experiential Learning at UB. One of the board members emphasized the importance of helping students to clarify their passions and interests, so that they can seek out opportunities during their undergraduate studies and beyond. I agreed that this is not easy and that we can all use help clarifying our passions and mission in life.
When I started doing coaching and my MOVE mapping informally, I was astonished at how difficult this was for people, especially the women with whom I was interacting. Despite being educated, talented, and wonderful individuals they seemed out of touch with what they had to contribute to the world. I think it’s much easier with children, and I think of their gifts and talents as gems, sparkling and shining for all to see. Although they need some polishing and refining, they are usually easy to spot if you take the time to get to know the child and appreciate all that they have to offer. With adults, however, I’m afraid many of our gems have been burried in layers of sediment and debris. So identifying and cultivating our gifts calls for some excavation work at the beginning, digging around the edges and finding the right frames and labels to bring our talents and passions into focus.
When I use my research skills to help individuals engage in this self-discovery it can be far more complex than the work I once did in the laboratory. But the results can be transformative, as once we clarify our passions and interests, new opportunities seem to effortlessly emerge. It truly is exciting work!