Why am I here?

by Sam on April 13, 2010

One-Minute Answer:  Your array of talents, skills, and values shape a unique person. Out of that once-in-history amalgam juts a personality without peer. You have been created to bring value to this world in a way that no one else can.


People count on your uniqueness. They are at home, at work, and in other parts of your world. The gifts that you bring are just what they need to leverage their talents, skills, and values and free them to make their own special contribution.


Once you recognize your gifts, you’re on your way to answering the question at the top of this page. That’s because ultimately you are here to exercise your gifts in a way that brings fulfillment to you and joy to those who experience those gifts. So let’s unwrap them.



Five-Minute Answer:  You may ask, “How do I know my gifts? I’m not sure what I’m good at or if I’m good at much of anything.”


A gift may be what you do well, but more likely it is something else. Gifts are first and foremost those talents you draw on as you do what you enjoy. So, if you like to meet new people, you may have the gift of hospitality. Another quality of a gift is that your action benefits others. When people credit you for ideas they couldn’t generate on their own, the evidence is there for creativity as a purpose.


Consider the gift descriptions below. Focus on those that ring at least partially true for you. After cutting and pasting the table into your word processor, use the rating scale to enter a score in the second column for the enjoyment you get from the ones you choose. In the third column enter the number that reflects the affirmation you’ve received from exercising them. Finally, multiply your enjoyment score and others’ appreciation scores to reveal your greatest gifts.



An Incredible Amount


A Great Amount


A Good Amount


A Fair Amount


A Slight Amount


Not At All


23 Possible Gifts




Action:  A high sense of urgency and follow through that compels you to move on decisions and take initiative




Athleticism:  A natural ability to excel at sports and at hobbies that rely on speed, strength, or agility




Authenticity:  Genuine and without guile; not pretentious or affected; down-to-earth




Candor:  The courage to speak into situations with what you believe to be the truth; frankness and honesty




Collaboration:  Works with others amicably to achieve common goals; is a source of unity and cohesion




Courage:  A control of fear that keeps you from looking over your shoulder; makes decisions that others dread




Creativity:  Sees possibilities; recognizes connections between ideas; innovates in ways that others don’t




Detail:  Attends to the little things that others miss, whether inferiority or quality, flaws or perfection




Encouragement:  Exhorts, reassures, cheers and uplifts others who may be struggling with challenges or adversity




Followership:  Shows respect and loyalty to authority and fulfills expectations for job performance




Hospitality:  Shows kindness in welcoming guests or strangers; hosts and entertains others in social settings




Know-How:  Proficient at communication, carpentry, sewing, gardening, singing, painting, design, crafts, mechanics, or ?




Insight:  Recognizes the root causes of outcomes in complex situations; sees beyond the obvious




Influence:  Wins others over to a new way of thinking; presents ideas persuasively; convinces others to change




Leadership:  Inspires and equips others to achieve outcomes they would not otherwise attain




Mentorship:  Gains the trust and confidence of others while coming along side them with valuable life-changing counsel




Organization:  Brings order to chaos; arranges things so that other can better access, apply, or enjoy them




Patience:  Has a good-natured tolerance of delay, incompetence, or hardship; emotional endurance




Serenity:  Calmness; remains unruffled when others are upset, panicked, or rattled




Servanthood:  Helps others succeed; unselfishly and willingly plays a role in their goal achievement




Strategic Thinking:  Sees cause and effect between today and tomorrow; has vision for the future; takes long term view




Teaching:  Arms people with greater knowledge and with new understanding to enhance their effectiveness




Thoughtfulness:  Remembers people and things about them; credits and praises them; considers their feelings before acting





Is one of your gifts missing?  If so, add it to the list before you rate the others.


What are your top three gifts?  Celebrate how God has thus gifted you! Do you see greater opportunity for sharing them with the people that you live, work, play, and worship with? Can you mentor others to take them on?


It’s useful to remember that in succeeding stages of life new gifts may come to the fore and past ones may slip into the background. Be ready for such change and remain open to it. Also, keep your gifts in perspective without over-exercising them. Someone once said that an unguarded strength can be a double weakness. For example, the gift of serenity may look to others as uncaring in times of trouble. This might explain a disappointingly low “other’s appreciation score” for a gift that you love to share.


Next Week:  We begin a series of concise counsel on time. The question to answer is, “What are the best ways to use time?” (Part I)

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