What Uniquely Matters to You?

growth personal

I was listening to one of Rob Bell's recent podcasts where he talked about how we have things that matter more to us than they matter to most people. He didn't reference this as a negative trait but rather as a unique gift we have to offer the world from the lens only we have.

He gave an example of how he likes to format books to make them easier to read and engage with. I had previously noticed his books were spaced differently (more of a blog format than a typical book format), but I didn't give it much thought. He then explained that his latest book even has a bigger font as he feels like that makes a book more approachable and easier to read. Listening to him explain this, it was obvious that this mattered to him.

It got me thinking. What would that thing be for me?

I couldn't come up with anything. So I thought about my wife and immediately thought of numerous things that matter more to her than most people. I could summarize many of them by saying she notices details. I probably hear it used most often in reference to the lighting of whatever environment we're in. This almost never registers with me until she points out a harsh bulb tone (I'm looking at you daylight bulbs), a broken light, or too much light focused in one area. I grew up using the overhead light in whatever room I was in and quickly became a "lamp guy" after marriage. As I type this in my office, three different lamps are on, and my overhead lights are not.

She does this with all sorts of details in the environment. The great thing for her is that she's found a way to leverage what uniquely matters to her professionally. As a realtor, her eye for detail is constantly helping her clients notice and address the things others miss. When she prepares a property to show to others, she has an uncanny ability to make it look great.

So I asked Michelle to help me come up with something for me. Unfortunately, mine has been trickier to nail down. The closest we've come so far is that I have a unique sensitivity to time. I hate being late and have had this aversion since I was young. I remember a conversation with my dad as a kid when he told me this would serve me well one day.

But even as I write this, I feel more aware of the negatives than the positives. Perhaps that's how it goes when we look inward. I can get easily frustrated when something interrupts how I mentally planned on using my time. I can get annoyed with my kids when getting them to do something seems to drag on. I can check out when something goes longer than I planned on giving it. Patience requires a lot of work for me.

But I also know that my sensitivity to time helps me be present in the moment because I've committed to that space. I know that it helps me to read my yearly book goal as I manage the time necessary to accomplish that. It helps me create experiences that honor the effort and energy (and yes time) that others give when they show up to an event or experience that I'm involved with. I'm the type of person that starts AND ends a meeting on time. I've got more work to do to unpack this, but such is the journey of growth. 

Try it for yourself. What is something that matters more to you than it does to most people?

And then ask the trickier question: What can you do with that?

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

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