Enjoying your natural gifts

Published on September 26, 2006 by in Career Coaching, Mind Work


I often talk to clients about their gifts when doing career coaching. These are the gifts that were naturally bestowed on them by the powers that be whether they be some heavenly power, or simply their DNA. I was contemplating this topic today and here’s a look at my initial thinking.

1) What is a gift? Remember your last birthday present. Well, it’s also a gift. Think about the similarities. With your present you may have had no idea what was in it. You were curious when you opened it. And it was intended to make you happy. The intention of the giver was likely of goodwill and love. Could are god-given gifts be the same way?

2) What is talent versus a gift? A gift is often confused with a talent. A talent is a skill that you cultivated over time with practice. While you can have a gift and cultivate it, those that are gifted have to work way less than the other guy to achieve the same skill level. A gift is something that you have may or may not have done anything to deserve, or cultivate. It’s just something that you are. You don’t know why, or how. It just is. You are really creative. You may not do anything to be creative, you just have been that way all your life. Often because we are naturally gifted in some way, we often take our gifts for granted. I often hear “Oh, everyone has that same thing.”

3) What will you do with your gift? So, let’s say after some coaching you realize that you are gifted as a speaker. What will you do with that gift? Will you keep it? Do you want to swap it for something else like say…incredible good looks? Will you just keep it in the closet till you know what to do with it next like fruit cake? Will you wave your hands up at the powers that be and curse them for giving you this particular gift? Your gifts are yours and you can do whatever you want. You have the free will to do something or nothing with them. The only seed of doubt that may emerges is thinking about why they given to you? This is the only risk in the “do nothing” strategy. What happens if you never even dare open the box?

4) What to be careful of with our gifts? The only potential problem with gifts is when we let our gifts grow to mythical proportions and they start controlling your very being. We allow our gifts to define you. For example, let’s say you are a gifted debator. Will you let this gift start defining who you are and hold you hostage? If you are not debating, will you not be you? Do you feel bad when you aren’t your gift? This then moves your gift to being an obsession.

5) Is comparing gifts ever productive? It’s often easy to fall prey to comparing our gifts. Why did my brother or sister get the gifts I wanted? I wanted to be the skinny blond headed one? This line of thinking can be counterproductive. A more helpful approach would be embracing the gifts that you have and figuring out a way to fully express them to their highest potential and best use? So, maybe you are chunky and bald, but you are smart as a whip, and always surrounded by people that love you.

Gifts are presents. Cherishing and expressing them is just another way of loving and accepting yourself.

For more on this coach C.J. Liu

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Transitional Jobs – 5 Simple Steps

Published on September 24, 2006 by in Career Coaching


Often times clients start a job search and get confused with the right place to start. Should they first start with finding their dream job? Should they stay in their current job while looking for another? Of should they find a transitional job?

A transitional job is one that you take if you are between jobs or you find that you cannont tolerate your current job anymore. It’s the job you take to make money so you can keep up with your expenses and buy time while you contemplate what you really want to do.

The problem with transitional jobs is that they often end up becoming the job. It’s like the guy you date after you break it off with a serious relationship, except you fall into just dating the transitional guy. So, here are some tips about how to keep yourself honest:

1) Create an expiration date: Make a commitment to yourself on when you want to leave your transitional job (e.g.- By Feb 15th I’ll have found my ideal job). Put a date in your calendar and remind yourself to ask yourself some hard questions: Does this transitional job still work? What have I done for finding my dream job? Can I let go of this job yet?

2) Decide your priorities: Will your transitional job be one in which you want to get your feet wet in a potential new career? Or is it purely about money? Or is it a bit by both? Be clear with your priorities.

3) Write a job specification: What do you want your transitional job to be? Be clear with exactly why you are doing the transition? Is it just about doing something mindless for a couple of hours a day? What don’t you want your transitional job? What types of places will you/will you not work in? What kind of flexibility will you need?

4) Commit to the long-term: With your new work schedule make sure to carve out time to find your dream job. Create a plan and routine that will give you some time to explore, research, network, and think about your longer-term career.

5) Cover your expenses: Create a budget and figure out how much money you need to support your monthly expenses. If you don’t know how to create a budget take a class on budgeting

The key is to establish clear boundaries with your transitional job and to keep your eye on the prize (your dream job).
For more information about the author see Career Coach in Seattle

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131_3174.JPGFor some reason I woke up this morning at 3 am thinking about love, self-doubt, and karma. I was having a nightmare about a brake up with an x-boyfriend. I was dismayed by how much anger and negative energy I still had stored up about a relationship that happened 15 years ago. Why was this invading my dream time? It was something I thought I resolved awhile ago, or more appropriately just ignored and thought it would go away. Weird how the unconcious keeps you honest.

MY STORY: What really disappointed me is the way this relationship ended was how I thought that I openly hearted approached him with an apology with love and how the sentiment wasn’t returned. My intention was love. What I took away was self-doubt, anger, etc. That just seemed cruel and injust. For the last 15 years that was how the story ended in my book.

THE TRUTH:Well, I was contemplating this idea at 3 am this morning… I started really thinking about the true unfolding of the story. I broke up with the guy without a ton of notice and created self-doubt in him and likely whether my love for him was true. While he received and probably appreciated the love. It was too little, too late. Kind of a convenient part of the story I forgot in my rendition:) Upon reflection, I was expecting him to give me this story book response sort of like you’d see in a movie. What I realized that instead of the love loop I was hoping for, the only loop was self-doubt. The doubt I gave him came back to me and was not resolved until yesterday night, when I let go of the story and came to grips with the reality and the full picture.

So, last night I did a Buddhist prayer and sent him love..true love and asked for forgiveness ending the karmic circle of self-doubt and creating one of forgiveness and love (in whatever form that may take). Here’s what I now realize 15 years later. Love cannot be given with expectations. You give love with no expectation of getting it returned or returned in the same way it was given. My husband reminded me of all the love that my father had given me. While I gave back the love in my own way (operative word…my own ) it was probably not proportionate with the love I received. However,years later my father’s love for me pours out in the love I shower our children with… so it continues on. Loving someone means giving love with no expectations, no conditions on how it will be expressed back, or if it will ever be expressed back. This is true unconditional love.

So, why the heck was I dreaming about all this anyway? Oh… the joy of our minds. I was just pouring love into my child yesterday and thinking how it some times feels like an endless well. What my dream reminded me of was that I had to let go again of my story book picture of my child showering me with the same number of kisses, and just give love without any expectations. This is true unconditional love.

Namaste, C.J.

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