This article is the fifth of a five-part series of talks delivered by Steve Harvey featuring themes of resilience, courage, faith, imagination, adversity, belief, destiny, and purpose. Part one hit on the importance of never giving up. Part two hit on the power of faith and imagination. Part three hit on dealing with adversity. Part four hit on the necessity of taking risks on the journey to success. I will continue to publish one article per day until January 7th instead of the usual 2 to 3 posts per week.
Per his Wikipedia page, Steve Harvey is an American comedian, television host, producer, radio personality, actor, and author. He has been described as “America’s comedian” for his high likability and down-to-earth demeanor. But what I like most about Steve Harvey is the vulnerability with which he shares the wisdom he has acquired over the years. I’ve transcribed the fifth and final segment entitled “What is Your Purpose in Life?” In it, Steve Harvey explains how walking in your gift is the key to fulfillment in life.
Your gift is very simple to know. You don’t have to go anywhere to discover it. It’s not in the water. It’s not on the mountaintop. It ain’t hid under a rock. Now this is how you know you’re not living in your gift. If when the alarm clock goes off in the morning, and you ain’t happy about it, you ain’t doing what you want to do. If your job makes you sick to go to. If you’re unhappy with waking up to go where you got to go, it’s because you ain’t living in your gift. What burns in your heart is important for you to pay attention to because it never goes away.
That’s why people wake up in a rut. See you hate waking up because you’re waking up and you don’t know the reason. You’re waking up and you don’t have no design in mind. Once you live in your purpose when you discover your gift, you can’t wait to wake up. Please understand. Pay very close attention to the thing that makes you happy. All of you are gifted at something. The problem is you keep wanting your gift to be what somebody else’s gift is. Identify your own gift ’cause you already have it. Here’s the way you identify your gift. Your gift is the thing that you do the absolute with the least amount of effort.
If you fry chicken better than everybody you know, you ought to be somewhere frying chicken. People make millions of dollars frying chicken. Popeyes. Kentucky Fried Chicken. El Pollo Loco. All they doing is making chicken. They just found a way to do it. Somebody just started making chicken.
You know the story of Marie Callenders? Do you know what this woman did, man? She worked for a diner, a greasy-spoon diner that was going out of business. It was her only job. She was a single mother. It was her only job. She needed that job, but the diner was going to close, so she went to the owner of the diner and said, “Let me bake one of my pies. People like my pies, and see if I can help you make a little money.” He said “Whatever, bring it in.” She brought one pie in. They sold every slice. The next day, the people came in and asked for the pie. She had to go home and make another pie. The next day so many people asked for the pie, she had to make 4 pies. Then people started saying, “Can I buy my own pie?” She made so many pies at this store, that she eventually saved her money and put a commercial oven in her house. Now she done made so many pies. The dudes shop, he ain’t selling hamburgers no more. All he’s selling is them damn pies.
That’s how Marie Callender got started. Marie Callender now has over 120 restaurants. You can’t go to no frozen food section without seeing Marie Callender there. You know what she started with? A pie. One pie. Your gift will make room for you. Now what is your gift? It’s the thing that you do the absolute best with the least amount of effort. That’s your gift. Quit running away from the gift. Your gift will make room for you. Stop trying to be something you ain’t gifted at. Maybe you’re here because you need to here this. Maybe you’re here because you need to dust off your dreams. Maybe you need to explore your imagination. Maybe you just need to identify your gift so you can quit tripping in your own life trying to figure out what you can do. Some people are born to be teachers, caregivers, nurses, babysitters. Those are gifts, you know what I mean.
If you’re living your gift, you’re cool. If you ain’t . . . You do anything else, when that alarm clock go off in the morning, you ain’t going to like it. But I would hate to die and never do the thing I was born to do. You should look into that before you mess around and check out of here.