“Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.” – Stephen R. Covey
Something that has been coming up for me a lot lately is the idea of honoring our gifts.
What does it mean to “honor” our gifts? And what are our “gifts” anyway?
Primarily, Covey describes our gifts above, as “endowments.” The difference between us and the rest of the animal kingdom is our capacity for thought and reflection, and all that flows from that.
We have thoughts, and know this, thus we are self-aware.
We have the ability to measure our thoughts and actions, against criteria, giving us a conscience.
Each of us chooses (consciously or otherwise… ) what we do or don’t do creating a course for our lives – our lives are up to us – we have independent will.
And, perhaps most importantly, we have the capacity to imagine new and better futures.
Honoring these gifts means we take the time and expend the effort to:
- understand ourselves;
- be clear about our values and standards;
- have clarity about our responsibilities and opportunities and
- realize and nurture our innate capacity for seeing the yet-unmade and believing we can help make it real.
No short order, for sure, but a satisfying life-long journey.