Gifts—what comes to mind? “Gift” has so many meanings and each one of us has a slightly different interpretation. Before reading further, take a moment to note what thoughts the word “Gifts” brings up within you- there is no right or wrong answer.
Alright, now let’s explore “gifts” and I’d love to hear more about your thoughts, feelings, and ideas in the comments!
Particularly during this time of year, gifts are given and received: material goods, like a bicycle or a sweater; experiences, for instance a skydiving adventure or a weekend getaway; money; services, such as a gift certificate for a massage or an offering to give someone a ride; and more!
In giving and receiving gifts, both sides benefit. Oftentimes the giver gets even more of a rush that the receiver. How do things change when you give a gift to a complete stranger? Watch this 2 minute video and notice the joy and exhilaration being experienced… and notice who seems to be experiencing the most pronounced joy and happiness. Take note of this: How did you feel while watching that video?? You were watching strangers, most likely in a different continent, and the actual exchanges happened in 2015. BUT- Chances are you experienced a nice feeling watching the exchanges. This brings up another point, observers also benefit from seeing others give and receive.
Giving is good for your health! In fact, we experience a release of endorphins which mimics a low level hit of morphine when we give. This is commonly referred to as “Helpers High.” Whether your gift is opening the door for an elderly person or giving a million dollars to charity, the benefit is there for the giver, the receiver, and observers.
Let’s go a bit further in this journey into the meaning of “Gift.”
Being a Gift
You are a gift. You have gifts. You may not fully know what your gifts are, but the gifts are there. They have been there all along. It’s a matter of letting them blossom. An extreme example of “Being a Gift” is Derek Paravicini, one of the most amazing pianists of all time.
Here is a quick rundown about Derek by Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes:
“Derek is a masterful musician, who is blind, with disabilities so severe he can’t tell his right hand from his left or hold anything but the simplest of conversations… We started following Derek because of his gift at the piano, but it is what he taught us about relationships, communication, and what music is really all about that’s kept us coming back… Derek is a musical savant, blessed with an island of extreme talent in a sea of profound disability.”
This youtube clip tells his story. I invite you to plan a time in your day to take 15 minutes to watch the clip and experience Derek’s story- It is well worth the watch.
How many “Dereks” are out there in the world? My guess is there are millions. Millions of people have yet to discover the extraordinary gift that is lying dormant inside. What if no one was there to support Derek as his gift emerged? His gift might not have blossomed and forever been a secret—a potential unrealized. Also, he may have ended up in a facility as a stranger to the world with his gift trapped inside. We all would have missed out!
This is the kicker: Just like Derek, you have a gift. You have many gifts! Everyone does. Imagine what the world would be like if absolutely everyone realized their gift and lived a life in service of that gift. The world needs people that have realized their genius, have come alive, and are being a gift to the world!
“The part you are to play is as unique and beautiful as a snow flake… And one only you can fill.”
-Jane Lee Logan
You may be wondering: “Ok, but how do I find my gift and help others realize theirs?” The answer: It is already there… relax… notice.
Living in the Space of Noticing Gifts
Simply stated, there are gifts all around you. Consider all the “gifts” mentioned above: gifts we give and receive, gifts we observe being exchanged between others, special gifts people have yet to realize within themselves, your gifts you bring to the world, and more.
Notice the gifts everywhere—even the simple ones like a sunny day, a relaxing rainy day, or the serenity of falling snow. When you purposefully begin to practice noticing gifts, gifts appear.
Notice the happy outcome that arose out of a situation you initially thought of as unpleasant, the emotion in a dog’s smile, or the gratitude for the tiny gifts that pop up throughout your day.
In the last few months I have met and built relationships with several amazing people—all of whom have incredible stories and huge untapped potential just waiting to be set free. If I had met these same people a couple of years ago, they may not have seemed so special to me. However, they have always been special, I just didn’t notice it—the world has not changed, I have changed how I perceive the world. You can too.
Life is a work in progress. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies. Although, the more we notice gifts (people, situations, material gifts, the gifts each person has within, thoughts, feelings, opportunities, possibilities) the more we have available to give.
As you enjoy this holiday season, give gifts, be a gift, and notice the gifts all around you.
What are your thoughts, feelings, and ideas? I, and may others, welcome your comments.
…. Until the next revolution.
2017 is just around the corner. Start the year off by treating yourself to the gift of discovering what is next for you. Apply for a complimentary strategy session– realize your possibilities!
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Excellent and very timely Post. As I internalize the secret to success and happiness is in the giving and changing lives, over the past few days my overreaching focus has been to further develop my ability to listen and observe. Giving is all about that.
What an insight, Andre. Giving and changing lives is such a gift for everyone. Thanks for listening, observing, and sharing your thoughts! 🙂