Each year, Time Magazine publishes a list of the year’s 100 Most Influential People. On this list, you will find giants of almost every industry from poets to politicians and writers to world-changers. All of whom possess one of the most sought-after traits in the world: the power of influence. You may ask yourself, “How did they get there? What made them so extraordinary?” There are many ways one can become a person of influence.
Some people gain influential status through titles that provide a level of authority. Sometimes, financial wealth attracts new relationships that lead to influence. A prominent family name can give you a seat at the table. A degree from a prestigious college or university may put your resume in the “short stack” for an opportunity. Even a life experience that makes you a subject matter expert could be your entry into the world of influence elevating you to a position of power. However, many of us are not in a position like the above examples. Everyone may not possess all or any of these assets, but everyone possesses a gift.
For me, I have found that sharing your natural gifts with the world is the most meaningful and memorable way to mark and leave an indelible impression in someone’s life, which is what influence is all about.
Proverbs 18:16 (NET) states, “A person’s gift makes room for him, and leads him before important people.”
We are all born with gifts. Gifts are those inherent abilities seeded inside of us. No person, school or organization can give them to us—they are ours and irrevocable. That means we cannot lose them, no other person can own them, no school can teach them, and no organization can claim or fire them. Our gifts are ours and ours alone. They are personal, unique and innate.
However, our gifts are meant to be shared with the world. If we are like trees, then our gifts are our fruit. A tree does not eat its own fruit. The fruit is there for others to partake. The same is true with our gifts. Our gifts are for service; to nourish, grow and edify others in a way that only good fruit can—in a way that causes the world to come back to us for more. This is how you become a person of influence—serve your gifts to the world.
Your gifts are different than your skills in that gifts cannot be taught. Gifts must be “ripened”—i.e. developed and refined—before they can be effectively served. Here’s how you ripen your gifts:
- Learn from the right authority to instruct you.
- Enlist the right mentor or coach to guide you.
- Seek the right career to utilize you.
- Plant yourself in the right environment to cultivate you.
To discover your gift, think about those natural tendencies and abilities you have—what you like to do and what you do well. What makes others notice you, follow you and flag you as their “go-to” person? What makes you shine and feel like a genius?
Your gifts aren’t magical—they are you!
Once you refine and operate in your gifts, you will experience its power and full measure:
- Your gifts benefit others.
- Your gifts enlarge you and make you a standout.
- Your gifts attract people to you.
- Your gifts open new doors and elevate you.
- Your gifts cause you to prosper.
- Ultimately, your gifts glorify your divine Creator, who is the source.
What are your gifts? Are you operating in them? If not, what’s one thing you can do today to move closer towards operating in that space? Remember, you are not in this alone. I am here for you!
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