Every week I meet someone else who recently encountered the advice to “do what only you can do.” This bit of wisdom has created plenty of catchphrases and cliches, variously rolling off the pens and tongues of Andy Stanley, John Ortberg, Markus Buckingham, Seth Godin, and other niche gurus.
It’s wise advice. You are you. No one else is you, and you’re not anyone else. No one has your particular web of physical characteristics, gifts and talents, weaknesses and insecurities, quirks, interests, relationships, and energy. No one else can change the world in precisely the same assortment of ways you can. So take the advice and find your sweet spot, discover your strengths, arrive at your element, pursue you at your “youiest,” rise with the creative class, become indispensable. By all means, do what you love. Do what you’re good at. Do what only you can do.
But don’t forget about the other stuff that still needs to get done. Pursue your dream job, but don’t expect your dream to come true tomorrow. And don’t expect it to be just what you expect. Know that both the journey and the destination will require the doing of many things that don’t thrill you. Life is hard work, and work is not just about being happy; it’s about glorifying God by serving the human family (or your own family!). Spoiled children always want to do exactly what they want to do; big people also do whatever needs to be done. Be big.
NOTE: In light of my 30th birthday and in honor of the guys who have all the fun, I’ll be offering thirty reflections in thirty days starting December 19th. Today’s post is #2 (see the so-far list here). The only rule is that I have 250 words to make my point. After that just stop reading. Thanks for making my blog part of your internet experience.