I was struggling to put finishing touches to something I had been contracted to do when my phone rang. I took the call but the caller who incidentally is my Coach could tell that I was distracted. I was speaking to her on the phone but even in that distance she could tell I wasn’t fully present. After about five minutes she asked me; “Is this a bad time? I can call later, because you are not responding to me.” I apologized and told her that indeed I was distracted because I was rushing to meet up a deadline on a contract I had to deliver on within the hour. She said she understood and hung up.
Weeks later, we were face to face, and out of the blue, in one of the rare times we shared a one on one together on that trip, she recalled that telephone conversation and asked me “So tell me, that particular contract, is it your best use?” Wow! That one got me, and was an answer to the questions a lot of people have asked me over the past few years.
Most people are confused as to what God has called them to do, or the reason why they are on earth and it is not because they are bereft of gifts and skills. Rather it is because they are good at so many things that it becomes almost impossible to settle on what they should really be doing. Perhaps you fall in this category; Well, thinking through the question “is that your best use?” did help me and I hope it helps you too.
First what does the question “Is this your best use?” mean? My Coach wanted to know if that particular task I was doing that day was my best I could do. Now the thing is I am very good at this task, I am really good at it! So initially I felt since I am good at this, shouldn’t I find a way to convert it to income amongst all the other things I do?
However, the more I thought about it, the more the quotation by Tim Redmond comes to mind “There are many things that will catch my eye but there are only a few things that will catch my heart.” When you chose to be the best and most impactful you in a particular field the first thing you must know is that it is not because this is the only thing you can do well. It is just that on the scale of preference, priority and impact that which you choose carries more weight, both in value and reward.
So how do you recognise your best use? By asking and answering the following questions:
1. Is this a taught or acquired skill or is it a gift bestowed?
2. How many other people within your circle or team can do this at least 80% as well as you can?
3. Honestly can you keep doing this even if you are not paid for it? What are you willing to sacrifice to continue to be used in this way?
4. Is the time you spend on this use commensurate with the reward? To answer this question, please note that it is critical to define what a reward looks like to you.
5. Do you look forward to retiring from being used like this, or is this your lifework?
6. How many other people are blessed with this use, besides you?
7. Does this blessing endure or is it temporal?
8. Whose life gets better, really better because you did this?
9. What is the worst that can happen should you not be used in this way?
Well for me by the time I got to question four, I recognized quickly that indeed that was not my best use. The question now is, am I discarding that use totally? No I am not; I chose to only use it for those who I really love as an act of service and love rather than a tool to earn an income. I believe that if I focus on my best use, amongst which is serving you on this blog, I will make more impact and ultimately more reward.