One of our cancer team members was *finding meaning.* And one of the ways we established meaning and purpose was by sharing our story with various audiences across the country.

But here’s the irony: Hubby would have paid to not have to get up in front of people and speak. Jon Acuff, in his book Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job, wrote:

If you admit that there is a chance that you are good, perhaps even great at something, you should feel a little uncomfortable. Because if your gift is not nothing, that means it is something. And a gift that is something is always a little terrifying.

Doing nothing—putting your feet up on the coffee table and watching other people lead extraordinary lives—is so much more comfortable than using your gifts.

Here are 3 reasons why using your gifts is critical:

1. It provides meaning. In our case, being able to share what we were doing to live well with metastatic disease helped bring purpose to a senseless diagnosis. Our speaking hope and encouragement was yet another example of cancer not being able to dictate what Hubby could or could not do.

2. It helps face down fear and grow confidence. Stepping outside your comfort zone to discover that you’re good at something is empowering. Speaking in front of crowds became easier and easier as our confidence grew.

3. The world benefits when you put your gifts to good use. Open a coffee shop. Teach a class. Build a bridge. Produce a movie. Go to med school. Write a song, a book, a poem. Using your gifts can create a better life for others – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

What are you passionate about? What life experiences make you knowledgeable about something? What energizes you? Take your skills and interests and create a better world for yourself and others.