I’m a huge fan of Steve Harvey. Particularly in recent years, I’ve closely followed his Words of Wisdom and inspiring messages on social media and on his radio and TV shows. He’s very wise and encouraging to me. A while back, he posted this video filmed during his talk show where he discussed following your gift and not your passion. Watch below…
I was confused at first because I always figured passions and gifts to be the same. In the video, though, Steve says a true statement. Your gift is the thing you do the absolute best with the least amount of effort. (If you’re confused or don’t know what your gift/purpose is, here are some questions that might help you get there). After thinking about it more, I realized that gifts and passions really aren’t quite the same.
When I was young, I had a real passion for singing. I thought that’s what I wanted to be. I sang in three different choirs, honing my voice, practicing runs and trying to hit notes from some of my favorite artists. You couldn’t tell me that I wasn’t going to be a star. Then I grew up and realized no one was offering me a contract *LOL* Not only did I see that I wasn’t as talented as I thought, but my sights also turned to something else: writing. Writing was something that came so easily to me. It was my path of expression when I couldn’t get my words out through talking. It was a quiet listener as I journaled joy and pain. It was a great way to get my point across to others. As I got older, I realized that I had a passion for singing, but writing was indeed my gift.
I see now that passion is just something that you really like or even love to do at a current place in your life. It could very well be a lifelong thing, but passions can change. Passions can fade away. Your gift, the thing you were truly meant to do on this earth, is completely different. I believe your gift is something that you are indeed great at and passionate about. However, what also separates it from just another thing you love to do is that you can’t quit it. No, really. You CAN’T quit it. I’ve found that something will always pull you right back to it, because your gift does indeed make room for you (Proverbs 18:16 in the Bible). Even when you’re trying your best to push it out.
Case in point, there have been several times that I wanted to quit writing completely and came pretty close. I was not only about to walk away from my old entertainment blog, but I was getting ready to quit my freelancing gig as well. It all seemed to be too much for me to handle, and I figured I should just focus on my 9-5, getting my little paycheck so I could save up to move to my own apartment. I even began writing up my final post for Spotlight and a quitting letter to my editor.
Then some strange things happened. Not only did another opportunity I applied for months beforehand actually come through, but I also was asked to host a writing workshop at my church for high school students. They were small but real signs from God that I’m meant to be doing this. No matter how hard it got, He had placed this gift in me and it was my responsibility to use it well.
Even on the occasions that opportunities weren’t coming, and I wanted to quit, thinking that I must not be good enough for this. Whenever something happened, in my life or in news, one of my first inclinations was to write about it. Whenever I saw posts or videos about freelance writers or bloggers, I would still flock to it.
Your gift is something you truly can’t escape. You either gravitate towards it some kind of way or it pulls you back in, even when you’re trying to let it go. I’ve also found that it not only gives you joy and fulfillment but if used correctly, it also serves others. For Steve, he has the gift of comedy. It can be fun to crack jokes, but I’m sure there are people in the audience need those laughs to take their mind off things for a second. For someone who has their own business, his or her service or product serves a greater purpose for others. For those who create content, writing, videos, music, etc., you serve others who need entertainment, news, positivity, or great songs they can relate to.
The best part about your gift is that it’s already ingrained in you. Think about what you love to do that comes seemingly effortless to you. Think about what you’ve maybe even tried to walk away from but it kept pulling you back. That’s your gift.