People that are really fulfilled in their work and ministry have two ingredients that propel them into excellence, promotion, and effectiveness: they are self-aware and authentic. They understand what their own gifts and talents are as well as their weak areas. Although they work hard to develop skills through education and experience, they do not try to remake themselves into something they are not. Patton was a great general. Picasso was a great painter. Switch their roles and you get mediocrity. Patton’s and Picasso’s are totally happy and productive being themselves.
Natural Gifts – Successful people stay within their God-given gifts and talents. The rest of us are busy trying to change ourselves to meet the expectations of another person or job. The implication of feeling that I need different, God-given talents is that I am ultimately inadequate and that God messed up when He made me. Success is not about developing talent. It’s all about aligning with it. You have already been created in God’s image for something special and your talents will fit perfectly.
Heart’s desire – If you align with your gifts, temperament and talents, you will be more fulfilled and productive. However, there is still one more ingredient. God has written something into your heart’s desires and the Holy Spirit is inviting you to pursue them.
May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests. Ps 20:4-5 NIV
You have granted him the desire of his heart… Ps 21:2 NIV
Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Ps 37:4 NIV
He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; Ps 145:19 NIV
When you align with those desires, you will find an overlap with what God is doing in the Kingdom. Instead of just being aligned with your personal talents, you will be a player in a life purpose much larger than yourself. You will find your “because” and answer the “why” of your life. Even though there is more to life than just personal fulfillment, my point is that you can have both. I know of nothing more delightful than the personal fulfillment that comes with using my time and talents to make a difference in the Kingdom and bless the nations. Now that’s a party!
The Result of Alignment – When you align your talents and your own heart’s desire with an understanding of your specific Kingdom purpose something profound happens. You have heard the statistics that we use less than 10% of our brain capacity. The rest is mysteriously locked up in our subconscious. Very simply, when we use our natural talents to work on the desires of our hearts, we all tap into our subconscious or heart in a much greater way. Our capacity can go up 10-fold and make an amazing difference. We become content to be authentically ourselves. We lose the stress of trying to remake ourselves into something we are not. We are naturally more intuitive and creative. Our passion is easily distinguished from toil and it invites divine appointments with the right people. Ideas, opportunities, relationships and wealth flow toward us. Secular spiritualists call it the “law of attraction.” The rest of us call it walking with the Holy Spirit… God and us pulling in the same direction.
On the Job – Let’s come back to earth. Most of us have to get up tomorrow and go to work. Since the industrial revolution, employees have been molded to fit a job description and to work according to dehumanizing procedures. The job is holy and the worker is replaceable. The defect rate in manufacturing companies for products is often lower than the turnover rate for employees. As an engineer, I worked in and managed in that system for three decades… until I finally realized that my talents, heart’s desire and destiny were way more important than that job. Genius finds a way to 1) shape the job around our own talents and desires, or 2) find something better. Successful people find what they enjoy most and they find a way to do it. Kings find their own heart’s desires that map into God’s heart and find a way to be productive, create wealth and do ministry… all at the same time. That’s your assignment in this life, Just Do “You”. You were created for something special – find it.
I’m realizing that even though we have books, a weekly newsletter, a website, and conferences, identifying your heart’s desire and talents is worth some one-on-one time. Our goal is to develop a network of coaches, mentors and consultants with specific expertise who can be a personal resource for you. Heartplan.eu.