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Your Life is Your Story, Issue #077 – Discovering Your Special Gift
May 26, 2010

"Your past is your story up to now. The future is the story yet to come. The present is where you live with that experience, your hopes and your dreams."

Your Life is Your Story Newsletter

May 26, 2010 Issue #077 – Discovering Your Special Gift

From Tom Gilbert – Editor and Writer,

In this Issue:

Opening remarks: The Journey of "Lost"
Featured Article: Discovering Your Special Gift
Resources You Can Use

Opening Remarks: The Journey of "Lost"

I’ve been a big fan of the television series "Lost" and watched every episode. I was pretty much hooked from the beginning. If you are familiar with the show you know that a group of plane crash survivors were on a mysterious island and spent their time trying to get back home, or to find purpose and meaning living their new existence. There were lots of twists and turns in the plot and even after the series finale questions remain. The show was mystical, spiritual and adventurous. What I most enjoyed were the intriguing characters. I like to tell people I believe everyone has a story. Watching "Lost" makes that an understatement!

May is Personal History Awareness Month and in this issue the feature article builds on last month’s theme of getting to the heart of your story by asking you to discover your special life gift. I hope reading it will inspire and enlighten you.

You are receiving this e-zine because you signed up for it or someone who is subscribed passed it along to you. If a friend DID forward this to you consider subscribing by visiting our signup page . Also, let me know what you’d like to see more of in this newsletter – simply reply to this email e-zine.

While the main focus of this newsletter is to share thoughts, ideas, and insights on life story writing you should know that I offer various services and also mention some products and services that can be helpful. You are under no obligation to purchase anything, but if any of these products or services are helpful and you decide to utilize them then I am most grateful.

Thanks for reading. – Tom

Featured Article: Discovering Your Special Gift

By Tom Gilbert - Copyright © May, 2010

One of the greatest gifts you will ever receive is the one you share with others. Most of us spend our lives getting to know who we really are. At some point in that journey you discover that you are gifted. I believe this is true for everyone. We all have a special gift. Don’t be modest, because this is truth. Of course, don’t get egocentric about it either. Humbly accept that you were created with a special gift. You may not know it yet. On the other hand, you might be intimately familiar with your gift and are busy putting it to good use. It is a talent that you possess, but it does little good unless you use it for the benefit of others.

Have you discovered your special gift? The clues will be what you like to do, what you are naturally good at, what people compliment about you and what resonates in your heart. There’s a lot of truth to the statement, “follow your bliss”. I interpret that to mean do what you truly love and what matters the most to you. Your special gift is closely tied to your bliss.

Your gift or talent may not be unique – but you are! And that means that you bring something special to your talent. There are many artists, musicians, writers, entrepreneurs, teachers, builders, designers, counselors, therapists, athletes, protectors and humorists in the world. There are many types of occupations. In your life journey you are likely to have several jobs and multiple careers. During this journey you will explore your interests and you will learn new things. And you will discover certain things for which you have a gift.

In my own experience there have been a couple of things I’ve discovered about myself – talents, if you will – that I didn’t initially realize. One was an ability to communicate, particularly by interviewing people. This developed over time in my radio broadcasting career. When I started working in radio I just knew it was something I desperately wanted to do. I got “bit by the radio bug”, as broadcasters like to say. I really enjoy music and putting together playlists for people. It’s difficult to find the freedom to do this in commercial radio, but I had my moments.

Another talent that I discovered was writing. I’m not proud to admit that this gift lay unopened for a number of years. And even when I began to realize I had an ability to write I didn’t spend much time developing it. It has been only in my second half of life that I have made a commitment to writing. Part of my resistance may come from the difficulty of creating quality writing. It’s hard work! But I know if I am true to myself I must not neglect this gift. (You can see samples of my life story writing here.)

The desire to work as a personal historian is a direct result of my talents for interviewing people and writing. I really enjoy learning about people’s lives and it is a natural byproduct to want to write about people. So I put the two together when I created Your Life Is Your Story.

Another gift I’ve recently discovered is teaching. I’m transitioning into a second career as a school teacher and it resonates with me. I really like working with youngsters, especially the 9-13 age group. This past year I’ve done a great deal of substitute teaching and it is a great source of enjoyment to engage 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. My driving personal philosophy of education includes the desire to help others discover their talents and special gift.

Think about your gift. What do you have to share with the world? You may have already made a significant contribution in your work and to your family and society. This can be a rich treasure trove of memories worth preserving and sharing. Discovering your special gift is vital to fulfillment and happiness. Documenting and sharing your life story is also important.

You can read other articles on life-story writing here.

Resources You Can Use

Getting Started on Your Story

One you recognize that you have a life story and you want to preserve it you are confronted with the challenge of figuring out how to get started. I tell people there are many ways to go about it and every project is different. But I can give you some basic information and I’m flexible in creating work relationships with clients. Get more details here.

Veterans History Project

Memorial Day is a time to remember those who’ve served in military service. Many gave their lives for their country. Some veterans gave of themselves in combat and in service that came at a cost. Preserving the stories of war veterans who have a story they want to document is the work of the Veterans History Project.

The Veterans History Project collects and preserves the extraordinary wartime stories of ordinary people. It is a project of the American Folklore Center of the Library of Congress. The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 and it is an ongoing project. The project relies on volunteers to interview, record, compile and donate materials. All are encouraged to participate: veterans, civilians, adults, young people, men, women, scholars, students, amateurs, and experts. For an “up close” look go here.

Closing Information

That’s it for this month’s issue. Thanks for reading. Be sure to visit our blog regularly, and here’s to telling your story. Do give it some serious consideration because I just know you’ve got a great story to tell! Be sure to see the Get Started section.

Any comments, ideas or feedback is greatly appreciated. Just reply to this ‘zine and tell me what you think!

Until next time, – keep your story alive!

Tom Gilbert

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