I like to think that each of us is gifted in some way, that we all have something that makes us unique. It can be a special character trait, a particular strength, or a particular skill that we are known for. Instead of focusing on finding our purpose, and then making sure that our work is aligned with that purpose, I prefer the idea of working with our special talent, in order to find a job that suits us, where we get to explore, have fun, get some money, and if we are lucky contribute to the society and give back to our community, since work and passions are not the same.
“Here’s some practical advice: Do not what you love; do what you are.” – Penelope Trunk
Working towards creating some magic
Working with our top strengths can contribute to make us feel better about ourselves and happier at work in general. As we master something, we feel resourceful, we become more creative, and are recognized more easily for our work, since we can offer quality proposals.
That’s also where the magic starts to happen. The Oxford dictionary refers to magic as “an exceptional skill or talent”. When we get in that comfort zone where we feel secure and safe, we can start to play, and bring innovative solutions. The first condition for creativity is the same one as the one for play : when we feel comfortable with ourselves and with others, knowing that we are accepted, we are not afraid anymore to propose new ideas, to explore different concepts, to play with others. An open mind and confidence are two of the keys of creativity.
When we master the knowledge needed to propose new and creative ideas and then bring some innovation, what happens next? Magic. We create magic. We bring something new to the table, we change paradigms, we challenge the statu quo. We create companies such as Airbnb, Tesla and lostmy.name, initiatives such as Luminotherapy in the heart of Montreal or Giving Tuesday, projects like Project Happiness and A Complaint-Free World.
What else is magical?
When we talk about magic with creative initiatives, we refer to something that seemed impossible at first, that we couldn’t believe in, a crazy idea coming to live. Another description of the Oxford dictionary for magic is “The power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces”, and that’s why I believe there is something magical in creativity, since we have the power to change the course of history.
Even though I love this great side effect of creativity, I believe we can also explore other ways to integrate some magic into our lives, as some people possess a superpower that is not necessarily linked to creativity.
The magic I prefer is of another type. Referring again to the Oxford dictionary, I will describe it as “A quality of being beautiful and delightful in a way that seems remote from daily life”. Wow. Being an ENFJ (that’s a personality-type people), I find my balance when I make people happy while getting things done. That’s why I love to use my creativity to surprise and delight people, and bring something special into their lives.
You have this superpower too. It doesn’t take much to make a difference in people’s lives, and bring some magic into the day-to-day. Smiling to someone in public transportation, offering a coffee to the person behind you at your local coffee shop, or buying flowers for your neighbor. Those simple gestures of generosity or gratitude can truly make you happy. Isn’t when we connect to each other, that we offer a helping hand, that we feel the best? I choose to believe in altruism as a way to bring some magic to our lives.
One of the great things about this kind of magic is that it also works on the people performing it. This Christmas, we organize a unique Christmas mail at work, where employees could buy cookies for a colleague and even get a special singing delivery. It worked wonderfully, and spread joy all over the building. Not only the people receiving the special delivery were amazed, but their whole team got to enjoy some Christmas carols. Imagine how many people benefited from this simple action? As we were performing, we felt wonderful, we made people feel special as they were receiving their gift, and we made the whole team delighted to get a break in this very busy time of the year. Never underestimate the ripple effect of those simple yet quite powerful generous actions.
See the world through the eyes of a child
Talking about Christmas. Remember when it felt like the most wonderful time of the year? When you truly believe that Santa would come through your chimney, eat the cookies and leave before you woke up? Or when Mary Poppins was jumping through the sidewalk to discover a new world with Bert and the kids? And what about Harry Potter and the power of love to save lives? (I just couldn’t resist plugging HP)
I have always been a huge fan of these fantasies, as I believe there is so much we cannot understand rationally. There must be someway, somehow, to get back to seeing the world through the eyes of a child. What if they were right all along? What if they were able to see things we don’t see anymore, because we don’t take the time to look properly?
No matter how we choose to see it, as an exceptional skill or talent, a power to influence events or a quality of being delightful, magic is everywhere. It is powerful. Some use it in a good way to bring more happiness, while others may be tempted to use their magic to get power, influence and money. Please be aware. You have a superpower. You get to choose if you will use it to do good or to do evil.