Friday, September 20, 2013

Gifts are made for Dancing

I just finished reading a handbook for baby boomers written by 50 contributing authors, many who have the sort of business that I’m creating—consulting, speaking, and writing about designing the second half of our lives.

I read the book expecting to be inspired by people who enjoy the same topics that energize me. To my disappointment, that didn’t happen. Instead, my confidence nosedived after learning about the contributors’ impressive credentials, years of experience, and notable clients.

From this point I spiraled down, questioning why I even bother to have this business dream. I don’t have 25 years experience in a field. I don’t have big name clients to impress you. My website isn’t glossy and technically advanced. I‘m an author, but self-published. Compared to many people who do what I’m aspiring to do, I’m nobody.

And yet, my little book has helped many people with their decision to retire and create meaningful retirement lifestyles. Thank you notes arrive in the mail with these messages:

You packed a lot of wisdom in this little book.
Your book is one of my most treasured resources.
Your book was even better the second time around.

When I speak, heads nod as though I’m playing pinball and hitting the 500 extra points buzzer, and I’m not talking about nodding off. My message resonates. I have something to offer. Equally important, the work has something of value to offer me.

I feel most alive when I’m writing, speaking, designing workshops, and discussing retirement with someone who’s struggling with the transition. In these situations, I’m dancing. The only explanation for this success is I must be using my gifts—the unique talents woven into my DNA.

How about you? In what situations do you feel most alive? When are you dancing?

If you have an unexplainable drive to do, create, or contribute something to the world, pay attention and trust your feelings. Don’t be intimidated by other people who appear more accomplished. If you do, you’ll pass up an abundant source of happiness; you’ll miss out on the dance.

Gifts don’t need years of experience or credentials to be valuable. They are gifted, not earned. They only need to be acknowledged, trusted, and shared.