Never Too Late to Discover Our Gifts & Talents

Never Too Late to Discover Our Gifts & Talents

Jan Fowler

is author of the best-selling book, “Hot Chocolate for Seniors”(winner of national & international awards); winner of Gold Halo Award from the So. California Motion Picture Council for Outstanding Literary Achievement; winner of First Place Excellence in Journalism Award (SPJ –Southern CA); Town & Gown “Phenomenal Woman” Award; former television host & KSPA radio host of “Senior Living at its Best with Jan Fowler”; speaker, contributing author for “Savvy Women Revving Up for Success”; founder of Starburst Inspirations, Inc. 501(c) (3) nonprofit which supports Redlands Drug Court. Jan welcomes feedback and comments about her columns and invites you to leave her a message on her website.

“Never Too Late to Discover Our Gifts & Talents”


Jan Fowler

Remember the “pie ladies” who appeared on Oprah’s show who tirelessly rose before dawn each day to bake their mouth-watering luscious fruit pies to sweeten the lives and outlook of others? And remember another Oprah guest who structured his life around baking dozens of loaves of bread each day to distribute to children and adults who he met on his daily bicycle rides through small country towns?

“The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.”               Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Each of us has something special which sets us apart from others but it’s up to us to let the world know about the attributes which we value the most in ourselves. We all have unique qualities, so what are yours? Is it the art of compassionate listening? Making wood carvings? A knack for cake decorating?  Restoring antique cars?

Feeling proud or boastful about our special strengths doesn’t mean we’re going to come across as big-headed.  Quite the contrary, in fact, because people rather enjoy hearing about our unique qualities—especially when we express them joyfully.

For example, there’s nothing offensive about bubbling over with enthusiasm when making such comments as, “I am proud to say that when I put my mind to it, I can grow the juiciest tomatoes on the block…bake killer apple pies…barbecue sweet and sassy ribs…paint tranquil ocean sunsets…sing romantic ballads, etc.”


“According to this law {the Law of Dharmal}, you have a unique talent and a unique way of expressing it.  There is something that you can do better than anyone else in the whole world.”  Deepak Chopra

I have a friend who is an expert in makeup artistry, a gift which she freely shares with men and women just before they appear onstage, on camera, or on the runway in beauty pageants. She refuses to charge for her services and will only accept donations, just so she can reinvest in the purchase of more makeup supplies. I know that she discovered long ago that her joy and gratification come from using her talents to bless and promote others.

Similarly, there’s a dedicated lady in our church who spreads her special brand of love by baking banana or chocolate chip bread in one-pound coffee tins to cheer others up whenever they need a lift. She, too, has discovered the joy of smiles which result from her sharing her gifts, especially when someone has suffered a loss.

One of the greatest gifts we can probably give our children or grandchildren is to help them discover exactly where their special gifts and abilities lie.  Is it music, drama, or perhaps riding a unicycle for a Y Circus performance?  Our encouragement to develop those skills is also important.  They may just need a loving grandparent to help them tease out, identify, and develop their hidden talents.

So if you happen to have a hidden flair, gift, prowess, or aptitude—large or small—I urge you to please let your talent be known because we should all make the most of what we have and can offer to others.

“Our talents are the gift that God gives us…What we make of our talents is our gift back to God.”                   Leo Buscaglia


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