When most people think of the word masterpiece, they think of a painting by Degas, Rembrandt or even Warhol. Many think of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or Botticelli’s Primavera. But a masterpiece just means an exceptional work. What is your “exceptional work?”
Here is my perspective. Each of us has specific talents and strengths – attributes uniquely hardwired in us. Some are great with details and solving challenges, others are exceptional listeners, relationship builders or have spiritual insight. Some are artistic and some can write. Some can invent and some are extraordinary teachers. Each of us has the ability to create our personal masterpiece – our great work.
When we discover and play to our talents and strengths, we bring our best to our lives and to our world – we access our greatness and use it to impact the world.
o A teacher’s great work can change the life of a student forever.
o An artist’s great work can change a person’s mood with their art, music or writing.
o A builder’s great work can create a safe place for a family to realize their dreams.
The point is you have a masterpiece in you – there is greatness in you. But most people are unfamiliar with how to find and release their masterpiece. It starts by knowing yourself – the talents, strengths and passions you have. Here’s how:
1. List what you are great at. What comes naturally? What do others say you are great at? What do you seem to have great success doing?
2. List what you are passionate about. What gets you excited, energized and fired up? What could you do all day and never look at the clock?
3. Review your lists. Where do they intersect? What are you good at and love doing? These are your masterpiece areas. These are your areas of greatest performance, greatest impact and most significant contribution. What things come to mind? Where are you at your best?
The more connected and self-aware you are, the clearer your masterpiece areas will become. The world needs you as you are. Don’t try to force it or to be what others insist you be; instead, play to the talents, strengths and passions you that are part of the deeper or “true you.” When you understand yourself, you will see your masterpiece emerge.
I’ll talk more about this in my new book, The Greatness Zone; Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, and Transform the World, due out in September 2010. Watch for more information soon.