“I can do things you cannot. You can do things I cannot. Together we can do great things.” - Mother Teresa.
We are too quick to compare and criticize ourselves for abilities we believe we lack. It's natural to want to be as good at something as someone else if not better. The truth is that we all have gifts which make us all unique and special in our own ways. So, why can’t we give ourselves credit for the talents and gifts we already have?
The greatest gift we could give to others is aloha. You don’t have to be Hawaiian or live in Hawaii to live with the aloha spirit. In fact, we all have the power to cultivate, share, and spread aloha. That is, we all have the innate ability to share the love, kindness, and compassion we have within ourselves with others. It is simply a matter of choosing to do so.
It is not the amount of money you have in your pocket that counts; it’s the amount of love you spend on others. As adults, we forget it can be that simple. Children don’t forget. They don’t have the ability to make money to spend on elaborate gifts, but that doesn’t stop them from finding ways to give. In fact, we are overjoyed to receive a flower they picked or a picture they drew for us. Why? They found a way to share their gifts of love, kindness, and affection. It’s pure and simple.
Time is another precious gift. All too often, we overlook the gift of spending time with others. Quality time spent with someone should be treasured because you can never return or get back time. If there’s anything to learn from living in quarantine, it's that we need to appreciate the time we spend with those who matter the most in our lives. Life is just too short to wait for good moments to happen. Create these moments and have fond memories for a lifetime.
When it comes to our talents, we are too quick to assume we're not good enough. We often forget what we have to offer to the world. You can empower the world with love, kindness, and compassion, but you should first focus on empowering yourself. Doing so will help you see that your abilities are better than you thought.
To help boost your self-esteem and confidence, it’s a good practice to remind yourself how gifted you really are by using a writing exercise I call, "Why I'm So Awesome" lists. It will also help you cultivate a better attitude about your place in the world. These lists include your passions, qualities, and achievements. Grab a journal, notebook, or laptop. Then, write or type these lists in one place or dedicate a separate journal for each list.
Your Passions. List everything that brings you joy. List every person, place, or thing that makes you happy. Describe all your passions - what you enjoy doing, where you enjoy going, and who you enjoy being around. Describe what makes you laugh, feel free, and alive. Describe in detail with colors, size, weight, height, and texture. Write about your favorite kind of day, your favorite activities, and your dreams. When you exercise your passions, the happiness within you radiates love and light. Therefore, your passions are gifts you can share with the world.
Your Qualities. List every single quality you have. Write down every characteristic or trait that you admire about yourself. Are you thoughtful, considerate, honest, and trustworthy? Are you funny, outgoing, and fun to be around? Also, think about all the compliments you have ever received. Were you told you had an eye for design or that you throw amazing parties? Did anyone ever say that you’re a keen observer or very perceptive? Has anyone ever thanked you for your patience or for being very helpful in a time of need? Write down all the qualities that make you smile and feel good about yourself when you read them. Also, remember to include everything you’ve done that makes others happy. Every time you review this list, you're helping yourself cultivate positivity, self-love, and self-compassion.
Your Achievements. This list is probably the most important because it’s the one we forget the most. When we think of our achievements, we tend to only focus on the big moments in our lives when we win trophies, awards, certificates, medals, ribbons, or even money. But victories come in many different sizes, shapes, and forms. This list should include all your accomplishments. From achieving a weight loss goal, graduating from high school, finishing your first 5k, and getting your first car to getting into the college of dreams, receiving a raise, getting married, and having a baby, anything that makes you feel proud, happy, or fulfilled is worth noting. It is also important to examine all the fears you have faced and the challenges or struggles you overcame. These include overcoming your fear of public speaking by giving a presentation to a class or management team, starting over after losing a job, getting back on the dating scene after a divorce, and recovering from a health crisis. Remembering all the times you faced your fears will help you build resilience, courage, and confidence. Therefore, there is no achievement or struggle too small or insignificant. They all add up!
You can add to your lists or update them at any time. As your list grows or changes, you can see how you change and evolve over the course of your journey. So, be as clear and specific when creating these lists so that they meet your current needs.
You are a culmination of these lists. Together they make you special and uniquely different from everyone else. By creating and reviewing these lists often, you will realize how much you take yourself and your gifts for granted. You may also start to believe in yourself and your abilities more, which will motivate you to pursue your goals and dreams.
You are gifted, my Pineapple. You have time, talent, love, kindness, and compassion to give. Use your gifts to spread aloha and make the world a better place for us all.
Live, Love, and Lead with Aloha.