Have you ever asked your family what you were like as a child?
The first time I asked my mother this question she said 1 word…
Thanks Mom, you’re a gem.
When I approached her again along with my other relatives they said things like…
you taught school every day to your stuffed animals –even on Saturday and Sunday
you loved school—even when there was a flood, we just had to get you to school or you’d cry like a crazy person
you loved all people no matter who they were or their station in life
smart. we don’t know where you got that from but you’ve always been really smart
you read ALL the time. We’d find books hidden in all of your special nooks so that you could retrieve them upon your return
if we ever needed anyone to do a speaking part in church, you were our first choice because the seniors could always hear you…you were this happy, smiling, articulate, loud little person
At the ripe old age of 28, I had this flash of panic that I wasn’t headed in the right direction. What was I doing with my life? Am I using my full capacity?
Has this ever happened to you?
If so, if you’re lost, I encourage you to look BACK and I promise you that it can give you the information you need to move forward.
When I collected all of the responses from those that knew me prior to the age of 10 I had the realization that my strengths, those gifts that God gave to me over 30 years ago are the same today as they were back then.
My passions, those things that call me out of bed in the morning are those things that I loved doing as a child.
My happy place as a child is still my happy place at 31.
Teaching, speaking, having an audience, educating those around me and helping them to be their best self.
God knows my story because he wrote it from beginning to end and he was superb at foreshadowing.
When I took the time to look BACK I can see all of the clues that led me to where I am today. It is no coincidence that I do what I do.
My challenge to you is that the next time you’re lost on your professional path. Reach out to those who knew you before you were 10 and ask that simple but critical question,
“What was I like as a child?”
The above is a small talk I shared at “Faithful to Speak” at Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, TN. We had around 15 minutes to write it, one rehearsal and a brief moment of peer feedback in small groups. I was then one of three to perform on stage while being videotaped. I enjoyed the process and am pretty okay with the outcome. My biggest critical feedback was that I need to highlight a story that demonstrates my current professional role and how that fits in with what I discovered about myself through the looking back process. I can do that.