CIRCLE OF COMPETENCE: YOUR GIFTS & TALENTS

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Hello fam,

So, I am back from the “dead.” Praise God!

I had a terrible cough and nose bleeding for a week. And traveling didn’t make it easy. But my travel wasn’t all cough, blood, and tears. I met, connected with, and drove with a wonderful young man for 10 hours from Redding, California to Los Angeles.

Meet Landon from Idaho.

He is an organic farmer (7 years running), world traveler, and extreme hiker from a wonderful family. Plus, he is only 23. Our drive was fun.

Landon shared his passion for storytelling, script writing, film, and production. But, he had questions for me. And the questions was the sign to share this post. Initially, I felt that it was premature to share this, but Landon inspired its release.

Exception: I like writing short posts. But, because of the weight and life changing nature of this post, this will be a little emphatical for the sake of clarity. It will benefit you greatly. It might change your life. I will try to be brief. (That said…)

Here’s the deal –

We all have God-given gifts and talents. Let’s call these cluster of gifts and talents – your circle of competence. They are your strengths and can cause you to blossom.

“The gift makes way for the man” ~ unknown

But –

Having gifts and talents does not mean you will succeed. Finding them doesn’t mean you will automatically grow.

However –

Understanding the lifecycle of your gifts and talents (circle of competence); and understanding where you are in that lifecycle can help you to – become clear, find peace in your search for meaning, and enable you to grow intentionally and effectively on your journey toward destiny.

And the insight which I share with you below is what I shared with Landon.

The Lifecycle

I found this insight from my study of the biblical account of King Solomon’s life. After King David died and Solomon became King, God visited him and asked him what he wanted.

That night the LORD appeared to him in a dream and asked him, “What would you like me to give you?” – 1 Kings 3:5

King Solomon asked for wisdom to rule wisely. God was pleased and blessed Solomon with wisdom and wealth. Then, in the following chapter (1 Kings 4), King Solomon displays his wisdom when he solves a problem between two harlots fighting over a baby.

This is where I think there is a misconception and where the unraveling of the parable begins –

I often thought that since God gave King Solomon wisdom, Solomon instantly became wise. I was wrong. Solomon was given wisdom BUT NEVER INSTANTLY became wise 

Being given wisdom by God was –

The Gift.

The gift (your gift/talent) is the profound ability to easily understand huge chunks of data in that particular field because God has wired your mind that way. It is also the capacity to easily absorb huge chunks of subject matter in the field your gift is related to without becoming overwhelmed.

Though the gift is both capacity and ability, ability is dormant because the capacity is zero. That is, there is no knowledge (in your capacity’s keeping) for the ability to work on. Or the knowledge you have is little for your ability to dissect and find insight to blogging problems, mysteries, enigmas, and current world affairs.

Hence, the capacity first has to be filled with some knowledge for the gift ability to have fun deciphering insights, thoughts, ideas, processes, formulas, logistics, and simplistics of that knowledge as it relates to the field your gift is meant for.

Therefore, initially, the gift is only the capacity NOT the ability. This capacity is like a deep empty wellKey word – EMPTY!

This emptiness is like dryness and causes a thirst. Anything that is empty desires to be filled.

The Desire

This empty well and its emptiness awakens in you the thirst “to want to know” facts, laws, rules, expectations, truths…in the field the gift is related to. That is, it awakens the desire to search for “water” to fill that empty well.

The water represents the brand/taste of knowledge (type of answers) that the empty well desires. Here, the desire is to know the mechanics of how “things” really work in that field.

The unrest you feel, and the numerous thoughts you have related to that dream/vision/calling/field are ignited because of the deep desire to learn. The deep desire know intricate details of how something work in that field (or area of life or sphere of influence).

Feeling the unrest and having those numerous thoughts means that somehow, if you are not already aware of them, you perceive your gift, talent, and God-given destiny to an extent.

and, if you perceive it, it means

Its time. God is calling you from the future to take action. Its time to explore. Its time to grow. Its time to walk on ahead. Its time to take risks NOT take care. Its time to have faith.

Passion

Your quest to engage in learning in order to acquire the brand of knowledge (answer, waters) to fill the empty well is what I think we often refer to as Passion.

When you put actions and efforts behind your quest to acquire a lot of information (as it relates to your interest) to fill the empty well and quench that insatiable desire, people observing you will describe you as Being Passionate.

And by the way,

That action and effort behind your quest to engage in learning in order to know…is all the faith you need. That’s it. That’s the first step.

Now! Because of the capacity and ability your gift creates, when you acquire knowledge, you will be able (gift ability in action) to easily understand. Thus, allowing you to learn and acquire knowledge in less time so you can know and do more.

The ease with which you can learn and understand in that particular field which your gift relates to is what you feel and what is described as –

This thing (topic, subject, theory, law, algebra, cooking, painting, dancing…) comes naturally to you.”

 

Referring Back to King Solomon’s Story

Solomon was given wisdom.

Wisdom, was the gift. It gave him the ability to understand mysteries about how the world really functioned (The Mystery of Life and Existence). But, he was young when God gave him the gift of wisdom.

He had little knowledge of life and life’s experiences to work with. His capacity was still an empty well that needed filling. Sure, with God’s help, he could solve some problems. But not the majority. Thus, his unfilled capacity invoked the – empty well – feeling.

This empty well caused a thirst and a hunger in Solomon to explore life. It ignited a desperate desire to know the the truth about existence. He searched for answers to the questions –

Who am I? Why am I here? How then should I live?

Thus, on his quest to know (to fill the empty well), he made efforts to learn and research in order to know what he needed to know (Passion). Solomon didn’t instantly become wise. As it says in Ecclesiastes, a book about life which King Solomon himself wrote,

I, the Philosopher…I determined that I would examine and study all the things that are done in this world…I know what wisdom and knowledge really are. I was determined to learn the difference between knowledge and foolishness, wisdom and madness (Ecclesiastes 1:12 GNT).”

Note the words – examine, study, determined, and difference – in the verse above.

These words describe someone seeking to know, find answers, and discover patterns. Plus, no one becomes a philosopher without extensive reflection, study, and research across several disciplines of life. Won’t you agree?

This was why Solomon was almost obsessed with knowing more about life. That feeling of unrest to know

Because Solomon now acquired vast chunks of data about life, love, laughter, death, work, people…etc, he was now able (gift ability) to process and understand what he knew (gift capacity filled).

He was now ready through gathering insight from his understanding to apply himself and his reasoning/answers to difficult questions/problems and invent solutions.

In a sense, King Solomon received Inspired Wisdom from God. But through taming that inspired wisdom, Solomon turned Inspired Wisdom into Established Wisdom & Real Life Counsel.

 

Finally,

Regardless of the industry Solomon branched out into or tried his hand in, Solomon succeeded because he centered his efforts only around his core gifts and talents (circle of competence).

God gave Solomon unusual wisdom and insight and knowledge too great to be measured…He was the wisest of all men…He composed 3000 Proverbs and more than a thousand songs…Kings all over the world heard of his wisdom and sent men to listen to him (1 Kings 4:29-34).”

  • Wisdom – gift
  • Insight – capability to understand chunks of specific subject matter
  • Knowledge – learning and research (student, botanist, philosopher)
  • 3000 proverbs (writer, leader, teacher, professor), over a thousand songs (music, entertainment, poetry), and people came to learn from him (life coach, counselor, business consultant)

Now think this through.

So, what do you think? Where are you on the lifecycle and what do you think you need to be doing in order to grow? Can you see God in the process?

Have you found yourself interested in something that you just want to read more, know more, or do more without anyone influencing it? It may not be related to your current field of work or study. Often, this is the case. How often are you on wikipedia and what are you researching? 

What’s exciting is that you can trace your steps back from your quest, desire, and obsession to your physical and spiritual gifts and talents. I tried using this thought with friends to trace back their steps and it worked.

But you have to…

looking-to-the-future-with-expectancy-sermon
Come back Friday for the final piece of the Post (Stories and Demonstrated Application)

Wishing you all good health and prosperity.

 

One Love – One Spirit,

Ish’mael A. Ngu


Landon is searching for a good training program that specializes in storytelling, script writing, film, and production. If you know of any in California, NY, etc…add a comment with the name of the program/institution.

3 comments on “CIRCLE OF COMPETENCE: YOUR GIFTS & TALENTS”

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