During my recent road trip across America speaking to different Toastmasters clubs along the way, I had the privilege to meet a lot of good people. In addition to meeting them, I also got to hear their stories and become part of their life experience for but a short moment. One of the remarkable people I met was Mary Ann.

  • Mary Ann’s Husband

Premature Death

Mary Ann told me to story of her husband who died a premature death because he had a gift that he resented. His gift was the ability to read people’s energy and he was very sensitive to it. Having worked in retail for a long time, and considering that in America most people shop in a state of depression (or similar), it is not difficult to imagine him going crazing picking up all those negative energies. I see it like Spider-Man having his spider-sense go crazy when in the midst of Sodom and Gomorrah citizens. Ok, maybe not that bad, but close.

  • Reflections

After she told me that story and I was in my car driving, I reflected on that and realized most people are just like Mary Ann’s late husband. They have special gifts and abilities, but they either don’t know what to do with them and therefore ignore them completely, or they simply dismiss their gifts as things that anybody else can do. Which is even worse. There are millions of variations of the same gifts and talents. Even if two people have the exact same gifts and talents, it is because they are supposed to reach different people in different time spaces. There is no accident in the universe.

  • The Beautiful Orchid

Jim Rohn once said that what messes most with the human mind is “not doing all you can do and being aware of the same.” Denying your natural talents is very similar to that. It is like a orchid that needs sunlight to grow but its seed was deposited in a fertile soil, but under an oak tree. The orchid will probably die a premature death because of the lack of sunlight creating a non-ideal environment for its growth. The orchid cannot choose to move to a different and ideal environment for its growth. The orchid cannot move or cut the oak tree branches that are blocking the sunlight it needs to grow. The orchid cannot choose to endure a painful growth with the hope that one day the oak tree will fall and all the sunlight in the world will be finally available.

  • Closing Thoughts

We humans could be compared to orchids; beautiful, expensive and quite challenging to grow successfully. But as opposed to orchids, we can move to any environment of our choice. We can choose to give different meanings to our life experiences, meaning that empower us rather than weaken us.

Are you, like Mary Ann’s husband driving yourself to a premature death because you are ignoring or suppressing your natural talents? If you are are, what action steps can you take to start embracing them? If you are not, what can you do to help someone else develop his or her talent?