Getting to Know Our Forgotten Features

Every time I get a new phone, computer, or car, there is always that learning curve. You know those devices with all the latest and greatest features? Well, getting acquainted with new technology is always a challenge for me.

Now, I am not the most technical person by any means, but I am also not as challenged as a lot of people “my age.” I actually surprise myself at how often I have actually been able to teach others, even younger that me, a few techie things. (Said while sitting up straight and feeling super cool.)

I must be honest though: I only know and use a portion of the technology that is available to me. Occasionally, I hear someone talking about their phone and what features they use, and I think, “I’ve never heard of that. I probably wouldn’t use that anyway...Or would I? Because shortcuts are groovy. I would definitely use those. I don’t actually know any of them though... I should look into that.” (Yes, this is how my mind works.)

My Jeep has four-wheel drive that I am very thankful for during Michigan winters, but I have never taken my Jeep off-roading—the quintessential Jeep activity. (Curb hopping doesn’t count does it?)

The Jeep is able to go off-road, even if I don’t call on it to do so. The capabilities that were built into it are really only being utilized 5% of its use, maybe.    

All this got me thinking of how many “features” we have built into us that we have never utilized, let alone discovered.  

I know people who discovered abilities that they didn’t even know they possessed once they retired from their career or had a big change in their life.

A family friend became a well-known artist in his town after selling his dental practice. It was there all along—the gift and ability—but it wasn’t uncovered until it was recommended to him by a doctor that he relax.

It’s always an amazing story when an individual is faced with a challenging situation and they exhibit supernatural strength and the ability to make a split second decision. Again, this is often an ability that people aren’t even aware they are capable of, let alone ever thought they would need to utilize. The right situation sparks the uncovering, often through necessity, or desperation.

“We are fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful.” Psalm 139:14

That says it all right there. The drive to succeed and live a fulfilled life is already within us; it just may not have been discovered yet.

I’ve been so thankful for people in my life that have seen certain talents in me that I really didn’t even see myself.

I’ve had mentors, family, friends, bosses, and coaches that have pulled stuff out of me and made me stretch to do things that I didn’t think I could do.

I honestly have asked myself, “Why do they think that I can do that?” I doubted myself sometimes...a lot of times.

Then, after something new is discovered and used successfully, it doesn’t seem like such a stretch to utilize that talent. We can even make improvements and continue growing that gift.       

My favorite thing is to help other people discover their gifts and talents that may be hidden or underutilized right now. When someone has that lightbulb revelation of “I can actually do this,” it is one of the most exciting moments.

That’s when what they wanted to do becomes a bit more tangible because they have a better idea of what they’re truly capable of.

It’s always work. It’s always a process of discovery and trust. And it’s always worth it.  

I’m in absolute awe of others’ talents, skills, and passions. We all have different strengths that can complement each other and build each other up, rather than compete.

On the other hand, there are some people right next to us, or maybe it’s you, that have undiscovered or underutilized features.   

What if we all looked at others and tried to help them discover everything that is within them without fear of judgment or competition?

Do me a favor today. Look at someone with eyes of discovery and not judgment. Make it a point to notice what their underutilized features might be. Be an encouraging force for them. You may just discover something new about yourself along the way.

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