Our gifts

Written on October 18, 2016

Our responsibility is not to hoard our gifts but to use them in challenging ways so that others can benefit. In short, your calling is a gift, one that is intended to be given away. — Jeff Goins, The Art of Work

Nowadays with the Internet, we have at our fingertips the ability to make new discoveries everyday. Whether, you’re a barista that wants to become a programmer. Or a programmer that wants to be a book maker. Or a book maker that wants to be a chef. It has never been easier in history than now to obtain the knowledge to become who you desire to be.

But the Internet alone isn’t what gives us access to the knowledge we seek. It’s the people that have openly shared their gifts – as a programmer, chef, book maker – through the medium, that is the Internet that has allowed a generation of apprentices to acquire new skills and share their gifts with the world.

I know I’m a product of what I’ve described above. Although I went to school to study how to become a programmer, the majority of my knowledge was learned through articles, tutorials and videos from the Internet. Or aside from being a programmer, along with my wife, we’re paper goods makers. Through the guidance of complete strangers met on the Internet and the ability to be resourceful, we connected the dots to make paper goods.

As a result I’ve done my best to share my knowledge as much as I can and openly put out tools and resources that I’ve made for myself. This is so that I not only benefit, but others do too.

I don’t do this enough but if you’ve ever benefited from someone who has openly shared their gift, take a little bit of time to acknowledge them. I promise you it won’t blow up their ego, rather it encourages them to put more quality stuff out for others.

I recently experienced this with a Sketch template I had put out that is used for making Xcode icons for iOS sticker apps. While making a sticker pack for a friend, I created a Sketch template with various artboards, with labels and exports so that it would enhance my workflow. After I had created it, I gave it a descriptive title and I put it up on GitHub and tweeted it a couple of times.

Weeks went by and I didn’t think anything of it. But then this week I started to get a lot of folks starring the repo. I even had one person email me because he was speaking at his local CocoaHeads meetup and sharing about iOS 10 sticker apps and wanted to share my template with his audience.

I checked the repo’s traffic tab and realized that it was getting a lot of traffic from a post on Medium by an illustrator named Adelyn located in Kuala Lumpur. Adelyn somehow found my template and used it to release her super cute sticker pack, Dim and Sum.

After I read her entry I was super ecstatic for her. That something I made enabled her to put out her sticker pack. I was also embarrassed since I didn’t put much TLC into the repo that had the template. So last night I took a little time to fill that in.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, I truly believe we’re in the generation of all being teachers of our knowledge. I encourage you to openly share what you know and make, it might help someone one day on their journey to become who they’ve set out to be.

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