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Excerpted from I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was by Barbara Sher with Barbara Smith. Copyright © 1995 by Barbara Sher with Barbara Smith. Excerpted by permission of Dell Trade Paper, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.
 


"What you love is what you are gifted at. Only love will give you the drive to stick to something until you develop your gift."

Barbara Sher, I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was, Part 2

I don't mean what you're skilled at. I don't really care what your skills are. When I was a single working mother with two babies, you know what my skills were? I could clean house like a demon; catch a moving bus with my arms full of laundry, groceries, and kids; and squeeze a dollar until the picture of George Washington screamed for mercy.

I do not want the career that uses those skills, thank you.

I don't believe you live the good life by doing what you can do; you live it by doing what you want to do. I don't even think your greatest talents necessarily show up in your skills. All of us are good at things we're not madly in love with. And all of us have talents we've never used.

Relying on your skills to guide you is simply unacceptable. That's why I don't intend to give you personality tests or skills assessments to find out what you should be doing.

I know what you should be doing.

You should be doing what you love.

What you love is what you are gifted at. Only love will give you the drive to stick to something until you develop your gift. That's the way really big things get accomplished in this world -- by people no different than you and I who know what they want and put everything they've got behind it.

If you don't know what you want, you can't get out of the starting gate -- and that's discouraging. But you're not alone. Recent figures show that as many as 98 percent of Americans are unhappy in their jobs. And it isn't only financial considerations that keep them where they are; they simply don't know what to do instead. What you may have thought was your private little nightmare turns out to be heartbreakingly common.

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