My friend Cindy called the other day and asked, “Could you dog sit for 30 minutes or so? Someone is coming to look at my house.”
I was expecting her chihuahua. What I got was her beagle Bryce.
Based on my experience with dogs. I was expecting to play fetch, have him run around with the kids, and maybe do some tricks.
Not this dog…not even close.
All Bryce wanted to do was follow scent trails. He chased my cat. He ran circles in the yard in 115 degree heat sniffing, sniffing, sniffing.
He wouldn’t even make eye contact with me when I whistled or called his name.
Now I’ve heard that dogs are bred for special tasks like hunting, digging, chasing rats and so forth. But until this week I don’t think I’ve ever met a dog that was so innately designed for a task–in this case, following a scent trail–that the “man’s best friend” trait was no where to be found.
That’s when it hit me…in some ways we are ALL just like Bryce.
Think about it. I am designed to write, teach, speak and create educational programs. Do NOT ask me to tell you my bank balance or account for my spending. My husband can solve any mechanical or electrical problem, schedule a team of 50 employees and fire someone who isn’t performing…but acting cheerful and making small talk in a room full of people he’s never met will absolutely wear him out.
Just like Bryce the beagle, we are designed with God-given gifts, talents and preferences. All of these guide our purpose in life and in business. They make us more suitable for some careers or tasks than for others. Unfortunately, the world of work would have us try to improve our weaknesses. I think that’s a mistake.
How much effort do you think it would take me to get Bryce to play fetch with me…ever? It could take a million years!! But if I wanted to catch a fox or a rabbit, he’d require no training at all. One good sniff would be all he would need.
So if you’re working at tasks or playing in situations that are wearing you out, ask yourself, “Was I made for this?” If the answer is “no,” what can you do this month to transition into using your strengths?
What’s that easy, natural, energizing thing you were made to do?