Isn’t it remarkable that all diamonds start as coal? In their early days, diamonds are a far cry from the gleaming and glittery precious stones that we know them to be.
The diamond’s backstory is seductive: who doesn’t want to be plucked from obscurity only to be cut and shaped to reveal our remarkable beauty and full potential? The diamond is passive. It awaits to miner to rescue it from the dirty and common life it lives as an uncut and undiscovered stone. Then, once chosen, the compliant and docile diamond allows the jeweler to carve it and shine it until its brilliance is obvious to anyone and everyone.
The problem with the diamond’s story, the trouble with wanting to align ourselves with the diamond’s laid-back and submissive nature, is that happiness, fulfillment, and achievement in people doesn’t seem to work the same way as I imagine it might in (albeit personified) diamonds.
It is a pity that all human beings don’t come with self care instructions. Of course, I don’t think self care is realistic during the first decade or so of human life, since the very young require a good deal of care taking. But after a certain point, wouldn’t it have been nice to have received some written guidelines to help you navigate your path to adulthood? I know I would have benefited from some candid advice. I propose that a note, possibly referred to as Instructions for Care, be written and attached to all. The note need not be lengthy or poetic. I’d not just settle for, but actually prefer, short and direct:
Instructions for Care (to be opened at the age of 14): Discover your strengths. Use them daily. Repeat.
The roughness, the dullness, the sooty outside coating of an uncut diamond belies the magnificent brilliance that exists within it. Instead of swallowing the diamond’s whole story, a more thoughtful approach would be to let this grimy introduction to the diamond’s early life inspire us. We, too, certainly have greatness, sparkle, and strength deep within us. But let’s not passively await the discovery of what makes us unique and special, useful and strong as the diamond awaits the miner and jeweler. I fear that such a wait might last a lifetime. Instead, use your strengths daily and watch them grow. Living your strengths will make you sparkle more than the world’s biggest diamond.
For more about reaching your full potential by using your Strengths, see Sarah Robinson’s Amazon Best Seller Unstuck at Last: Using Your Strengths to Get What You Want.