Today I share with you the final key of the 8 keys to discovering your Unique Brilliance, those gifts that you have come into this world to share through your being and action in this world, those gifts that point the way to your most rewarding, engaging, vibrant life, those gifts that show the unique shining of you. This key is so crucial that I have saved it for last. Lacking this key many people get lost on their road to finding meaningful work or engagement in the world.
If you’ve missed my other posts on How To Discover Your Unique Brilliance, start here.
- You feel most alive and authentic, most like yourself, when embodying your Unique Brilliance.
There may be things you are good at that you don’t particularly enjoy, that don’t make you shine or feel alive, joyful, and happy to be you. These are gifts you may have learned along the way, or they may even be innate; they may even help you live your Unique Brilliance by providing useful support for it in some way, but they aren’t part of your brilliance. Why? Because they don’t make you feel alive, radiant, inspired. They don’t light you up when you use them.
For me, the best example is that I’m a really good manager and organizer of things, but I don’t enjoy it. I can be hyper-organized, efficient, even bossy, but I don’t like myself or my life much when I’m using these gifts. These gifts help me achieve my goals and keep my life running smoothly, so they offer potential support to my Brilliance, when I don’t let them get out of hand. But, when the manager in me is running the show, my life becomes all practical drudgery and concerns, and it kills off my creativity, imagination, playfulness, joy.
The challenge is that other people love these gifts in me because they need someone organized, reliable, efficient, self-starting, who will handle all the difficult, boring or complex tasks. So I get a lot of encouragement to be this way, rather than to be creative, fluid, sensitive, expressive, intuitive.
However, related to the managerial part of me is a gift that is part of my Brilliance: I’m a natural leader. When I’m in a leadership role, I shine and the best in me comes out. When I’m in a manager role, I become petty, bored, frustrated with the leadership or constraints around me, and weighed down by my life. There’s a big difference.
The leader part of me has been with me since I was a child, is innate, has no off switch. Even when I try to step back and blend in to the backdrop, I wind up speaking up, rocking the boat, taking the lead, standing out. Even on the playground I would lead troupes of my friends in various imaginative games, activities and adventures.
What activities, environments, situations bring out the best in you? When do you feel most alive, most like yourself, most inspired, lit up? And, when have you felt most proud of yourself? Look back over your life—it’s helpful to do this by decades—and write down which environments, activities, people made you feel alive? Which ones kill off that aliveness? And what achievements are you most proud of? And when I say “achievements,” I’m not just talking about the kind that the world validates. You might be most proud of a time that you stopped and really talked to a homeless person.
Together these 8 keys to your Unique Brilliance will help you discover who you are and what you are here to give, how you contribute even when you may not realize you are contributing. I hope they help you to see and appreciate your gifts, your uniqueness, and to craft a life centered around this that is fulfilling, deeply rewarding, joyful, fun, inspiring.