Honoring Your Abilities and Gifts at Work and Play (with 9 Questions for You)

Via water taxi to rendezvous with our kayaks, Copyright 2010 D.M. Solis

So much of my father’s creativity went into cooking on the weekends and into creating and problem solving at the lumber mill the rest of the week. Though a talented artist, cooking and carpentry became practical ways to channel his creativity while attending to our basic needs. But there were great reservoirs of his artfulness that went untapped and unused for lack of time, mostly.

As uniquely creative individuals, in order to live fully and healthfully, whatever our gifts or talents and which ever ways we choose to contribute to the world around us, it’s important to honor our abilities by exploring activities we enjoy doing or by nurturing our talents. At home, in the studio, and/or on the job, no less than at an art museum, seminar or spiritual retreat, there are many ways to do this while taking care of business and getting the job done. I’ve developed some practical methods through the years.

Here are a few questions to help you sort through some of this. These are simple but powerful questions for nurturing your gifts where you are, and for making subtle or dramatic changes that will increase the creative quality of your life.
  1. What are you good at?
  2. What do you like to do? (1 and 2 aren’t necessarily the same things)
  3. What kinds of situations or environments bring out the best in your skills? Which bring out the best of your personality?
  4. If you could design your dream job, what would it include? List ten aspects of it.
  5. What are three aspects of the dream job you could incorporate into your current work or living situation(s)? Tell how. Then choose three more… What are three aspects of the dream job you could incorporate into an avocation to do in your time away from work?
  6. How have the difficulties or challenges in your life contributed to your creativity, whether through problem-solving or research that did or might take you in new or different directions?
  7. What are some things you can learn or notice about yourself or your gifts by focusing on the joyous or even humorous aspects of your life?
  8. What are ten places, skills, or topics you’d like to explore, that you’ve never had time for?
  9. What are five activities you like to do, that you haven’t done in a long time or that you would like to try again?
Trip from Seward to Homer, overlooking flats
beyond trees submerged in Great Earthquake of 1964, Copyright 2010 D.M.Solis
I’m curious about what you may discover or rediscover while answering a few or all of these questions…and about next steps you might explor for honoring your abilities and gifts. Good luck and happy innovating. With great love,

*An AVOCATION is 1. something a person does in addition to a principal occupation, especially for pleasure; hobby: Our doctor's avocation is painting; 2. a person's regular occupation, calling, or vocation (from