Are you sharing your gifts with the world?
I first want to start off by paying due tribute to the beautiful soul known as Robin Williams.
Robin was a comedian you could always count on for laughs. As such, he brought so much joy into our world. No one can say otherwise.
Whether he was unleashing boundless enthusiasm in the form of a blue genie, dressing up as a woman to spend time with his kids, befriending an unlikely genius with a broken past, inspiring a class of students to live life to the fullest, or trekking through hell itself in the name of love, the stories he helped bring to life will forever be with us.
Robin’s in the company of angels now, and I hope that as he looks back on the 63 years he spent with us, he can see with the utmost clarity the impact he’s had on we who cherished him.
I hope he can see the lives his work touched, that he can feel the love we hold in our hearts for him, that he can hear the prayers we’re sending to heaven in gratitude, and that he would know that he’s left an indelible mark on the world.
I was shocked and heartbroken to learn about Robin’s death. He was one of my favorite actors (plus I always felt he and my dad bore a striking resemblance to each other).
Today, however, while I miss his soul’s presence in our world, I take comfort in one thing:
In spite of his demons, in spite of his pain, even in spite of the darkness that depression cast onto his life… Robin used his gift.
He knew exactly what his talents were (acting, comedy, impersonations, etc) and he selflessly shared those talents with the world. As of today, Robin’s IMDb profile tells us that his career spanned over several decades, with over 100 acting credits to his name–not including roles where he appeared as himself.
That sounds like a life well lived to me. Sadder would it have been for Robin to leave our world without ever sharing his gift.
Which leads me to the topic of today’s blog: why you’re not sharing your gifts with the world.
I think really what it comes down to, Friend, is fear.
- fear that we’re not good enough
- fear that other people are better (waybetter)
- fear of ridicule, of criticism, of undeserved mean-ness
- fear of sacrifice (what might have to change in our lives to live our dreams?)
- fear of leaving others behind
- fear of being misunderstood
- fear of not being well-received
- fear of failure
The list goes on. Sometimes for miles.
And the truth is, there isn’t exactly a secret pill you can take that will erase all of that because courage isn’t the absence of fear; it’s action in spite of fear.
And I also can’t promise you that some of the above won’t happen…people sadly will still ridicule and critique your work, you will often have to make sacrifices as you pursue your dreams, and you may very well be misunderstood at times.
For the longest while, I’ve struggled with my writing. There are so many stories and characters that I want to share with the world, but I’ve always been afflicted with many of the above fears. And as a result, I’ve shied away from sharing my gift.
But you know what? I’m making a different decision this year.
You see, I believe that if you have a gift, you’re not meant to hide it or keep it to yourself. I believe we come into this world to be the embodiment of love, and what better way to love others than to dedicate yourself to sharing your gifts?
When we don’t share our gift, in fact, we’re essentially robbing the world of the joy, laughter, lightness, peace, etc. that was ours to bring.
And don’t for a second think that your gift is insignificant. Whether you can make animals out of balloons or have the ambitions to be a world leader, you’re needed. (In fact, feel free to respond in the comments with what you enjoy doing and what you’re gifted in, and I’ll give you suggestions as to how you can use that talent in your daily life!)
We all have a part to play. Or, as Robin Williams said in his famous monologue from Dead Poet’s Society:
To quote from Whitman: ‘O me, o life of the questions of these recurring, of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these, o me, o life?’ Answer: that you are here. That life exists, and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
If nothing else, I want to encourage you, my dearest friend, to share your gift with the world. I believe in you. I will stand for you. I will encourage you at your lowest valleys and stand for you at your highest peaks.
The world so desperately needs what only you can contribute. So the question is, will you honor your calling?
I certainly hope you do.