Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Developing Our Talents: An AH-HA Moment

You know when you have those light bulb AH-HA moments? It doesn't happen to me very often, but when it does, the light bulb really clicks and I feel quite brilliant. A couple weeks ago, my cousin Rosemary wrote a blogpost that resonated with me (reference it here, it's worth reading)! Her point was, it's okay to NOT be good at some things. Now I realize that I am NOT good at A LOT of things! However, I like to at least pretend that I'm good at most things. In her post, she compares and contrasts the things she is not good at with the things she is good at. Her final thought was:
I am going to focus on what I do well and get better at doing those things. I'm not going to try and get better at what I'm not good at in the first place. I am also letting go of all the associated guilt. 
I was inspired after reading. I don't know? It just really hit home for me. I think too often I feel guilty for not being good at something, when in actuality I'm really good at a lot of OTHER things. Fast forward to a couple of weeks later and I was at church in the Gospel Principles class. The lesson was on  "Developing Our Talents." The following are some things we talked about:
  • We all have different talents and abilities
  • We should use and improve our talents
  • We can develop our talents in spite of our weaknesses
  • The Lord will bless us if we use our talents wisely
WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT TALENTS AND ABILITIES-- We have all been given these different abilities. One thing that was brought out in the lesson is that through these individual talents that we possess we can help others be successful as well. The lesson manual stated:
The prophet Moses was a great leader, but he needed Aaron, his brother, to help as a spokesman (Exodus 4:14-16). Some of us are leaders like Moses or good speakers like Aaron. Some of us can sing well or plan an instrument. Others of us may be good in sports or able to work well with our hands.  Other talents we might have are understanding others, patience, cheerfulness, or the ability to teach others. 
How important is it to recognize our talents and realize that all of us possess different talents. The things that some people are bad at others are really good at. I think so often we compare ourselves to others and how good we are at something, when in reality we should just USE our own talents and be good at what we do.

WE SHOULD USE AND IMPROVE OUR TALENTS-- When we are good at something, I think people are sometimes afraid to use those talents because they don't think they have any talent, or that others have more talent than them, or that they might fail or be criticized for what they are doing, or maybe others will think that they are being arrogant while using these talents. We need to USE and IMPROVE our talents! How do we do this?
  1. Discover our talents.
  2. Be willing to spend time to develop our talents. 
  3. Have faith that Heavenly Father will help us and have faith in ourselves. 
  4. Learn the skills necessary to develop the talent
  5. Practice using our talent. 
  6. Share our talent with others. 
The AH-HA moment came for me when I read that we needed to have faith that Heavenly Father will help us.

It's a fact. I hate sucking. I am a little bit of a perfectionist, okay A LOT of a perfectionist! I don't like to be BAD at things. One time, in college, I had to take a soccer class. I hate soccer. I hate soccer because I am BAD at soccer! The class was required for my minor and so I painstakingly made my way through the class. It turned out to be one of my FAVORITE classes. There were A LOT of people who were bad at soccer, but then there were some people who were GOOD at soccer that helped us make it through the class.

WE CAN DEVELOP OUR TALENTS IN SPITE OF OUR WEAKNESSES-- We all have weaknesses. No one is perfect! Ether 12:27 says,
27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their aweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them.
Back to the AH-HA moment... having faith that Heavenly Father will help us! He gives us weaknesses so that we may be humble! The best part is if we have faith, then will he make those weak things become strong. What a great promise!

THE LORD WILL BLESS US IF WE USE OUR TALENTS WISELY--  The Lord is pleased when we use our talents wisely. He will bless us if we are using our talents to benefit others and build His kingdom here on earth. What better reason is there to use our talents than receiving the Lord's blessings?

So, here's to hoping I can be better at recognizing, developing, and USING these talents. If we all do this we have the wonderful promise of receiving the Lord's blessings. It's OKAY to be bad at things. Our weaknesses can be another person's strength. If we trust in the Lord and have faith, he will make our weaknesses become strong. What a great promise!

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