Last night I was flipping channels in my state of sleepiness and was happy when I came across a conference entertainer Steve Harvey was giving over his latest book about the road to success. The first words I heard were “Do not share your big ideas with small people” and that immediately resonated and inspired this post.
How many times have you had a great idea that you are so excited about and feel like patting yourself on the back with, and when you go to share it, you are met with a whole lot of “are you sure?”, “I don’t think that is a good idea”, or “how about something else instead?”. Most people have a lot of great ideas, and since childhood they are either met with great approval or often times their idea is shut down by the chicken coup.
Sometimes ideas get shut down as a sacrifice (one’s family must come first), or they are told they are too old/too young/too whatever, or they allow their ideas to take the back burner once shut down by one persons response.
Most people will allow these small minded people’s opinions to completely stop them from going forward and there in lies another problem (get a thicker skin people). If you truly feel passionate about an idea, write it down, map it out, and either keep it to yourself or figure out who the right people to tell it to are.
Family is not always the best place to start contrary to what many may assume. I know this all too well as my family will always shut down my big creative ideas. I love them with all my heart, but they are the last people I will tell my big ideas to now that I know who the right people to tell it to for ME are.
It can be a business partner, your significant other, your bff, a student or an acquaintance you think has a good ear. Choose those who will listen to your idea objectively, give constructive feedback, and not shoot everything that sounds out of the “norm” down.
Small people are those who want everything to fit within the parameters of “normalcy”, who fret from high risk ventures, who put their own opinions as fact and the only way something can be achieved. They aren’t bad people, they can be awesome people you look up to even, but when it comes to your big ideas just do not work as listeners who can give correct critique.
According to Merriam-Webster to give  a critique “is evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way”. Not a “i don;t like it”, with no analytical or objective reading behind it! That is an opinion my friends not a critique, and i thank having done band in high school and my Bachelors in Art as an undergrad as weekly critiques of your work in front of your peers was the norm and taught us all how to critique correctly.

“Do Not Confuse Your Gift, with Your Passion”

When I heard this segment I had an “Ah ha!” moment. Our gifts are things we do very well, with minimal effort. Our passions are things that we do over and over due to a compelling emotion or feeling.
Steve Harvey gave this example: “ever since I was a little kid I had a knack for making people laugh, and when i pinpointed it down, it was my gift to take information, process it in my mind, and output it instantly into a form that would cause a humorous reaction. My gift was in the ability of processing information and turning it into a new output instantly….information processing. Now my career is as a comedian and entertainer because of following my gifts. My passion when I was younger was playing basketball. Where I grew up, that was the way to get out of your hood and be something. So I played basketball everyday, only problem was, if you gave me a ball and had me run full speed down the court, the ball wouldn’t be there anymore! I would practice and practice and practice, but it did not come easily to me at all. My passion was basketball, but my gift was information processing.
See the difference? Perhaps you love to garden, perhaps you love to draw, perhaps you love to sing, perhaps you love to cook. Figure out what you do so amazingly well so naturally and there lies your gift.

Grandma Was Right!

After hearing this segment I was floored! I went back, and began jotting down notes on a  page and I realized that my passion too was not my gift. I LOVE belly dance, and picked it up rather quickly, but when it comes to my gifts, since I was a little girl my grandmother always said I would be a fashion designer. I had binders and binders full of designs, and I would cut up all my barbie clothes and make new better outfits for my dolls. Fast forward to now and my costuming is something that comes so naturally. The way the sketches pour out and turn into costumes quite rapidly in form. My entire family is witness to how easily it has always flowed for me.
My other gift is information breakdown. The reason I picked up belly dance rather quickly and the reason my students and workshop attendants give me such great feedback is due to the methodology. I can watch a move, and break it down piece by piece into easy to digest pieces instantly. It is this ability to “x-ray” the information that led me to learn belly dance, excelling in music (back when was in competitive band), math, and pretty much everything else I have set my mind too that involves breaking down information. Here is my belly dance classes page in case you are interested.

Figure It Out…

So what you may perceive to be your passion may not be your gifts at the root of it all. What are your gifts? What are your passions? Do they differ? Who should you and should you not tell your big ideas too?
I hope this gets your brain churning, and cannot wait to read your insightful responses.