Why People Cannot Develop Their Own Gifts
My last two posts were about how being confident with your gifts is the antidote to worry. This short post is about some cultural factors that don’t allow most people to develop their inner unique talents.
I don’t want to get too complex about this. If you go to almost any school in the entire planet (with a few exceptions), there are basically three virtues that teachers and administrators love to see in their students, obedience, respect, and determination. “Do what I say and do it for as long as you can?” When students act in this manner, teachers are really happy. I am not saying that there are not a lot of teachers who promote creativity, taking risks, or lateral thinking. It is just that the system in general is preparing students to work really hard so that they can be workaholics for others. If you look at some of the treasured professions like law and medicine, the professions are characterized by extremely long work hours that follow prescribed ways of acting.
To get to other gifts besides determination and respect and obedience you need environments that allow for less production and more experimenting and curiosity, less results and more risk taking. In the last school that I worked in a typical student in the International Baccalaureate program hardly had a moment to breathe and no free time on weekends. Every moment from early morning to late at night was taken up by someone else’s requirements. It is nice an environment that is conducive to developing your own uniqueness and special talents. It is for your participation in the culture as it is.
What is more helpful which many companies are beginning to realize is that you need both determination-type qualities and those that allow more freedom and exploration. It is a dynamic balance, that is not that easy to achieve. You shouldn’t try to pack your whole calendar for the week, for instance, because you need time for emergent outcomes that come out of creative inspiration. It is not an either-or proposition. It is a both/and dynamic. We can work hard and we can be free and creative.
My experience is that when you are tuned into your dreams or your inspiration, then the gifts you need to develop will readily come calling. You just have to be paying attention.