It has to come out

I worked for a Chemistry professor for a while, an Organic Chemist.  Originally from Prague, Josef is still an icon in the discipline.

When he interviewed me for the job as his assistant, we went through the usual process, and at the end, he asked me if I had any questions for him.  LOL. Little did he know – I’m a professional question asker!

Unable to hold back my Career Coach curiosity, the first thing out of my mouth was, “How did you decide to become a chemist?”

That took him by surprise, then he looked thoughtful.  He told the story of being a young boy in what was still Czechoslovakia.  His father was a judge, his mother a teacher.  He was raised in privilege and was just a brilliant lad.

He mastered a second language at age 3; by the time I knew him, he spoke 16 languages fluently.  He could have followed a safe path, conforming to the desires of the Nazi regime that captured his homeland when he was young.  But that was not his path.

He told me that in second grade, a chemist visited the class.  Josef’s face lit up when he described how the visitor performed a simple experiment that involved a chemical in a test tube, a lighted punt, and when the two met, fire shot out!  Whoosh!

He laughed, “That did it for me!”

What could have been a random event directed his life’s path.  He chuckled at how angry his mother was when he melted a silver spoon for an experiment.  Nothing got in the way of his learning and exploration into what he loved.

I remember his joy at “doing some science!”  He would appear in my office every morning after walking to work in his goofy bucket hat and practically click his heels to begin his day in the lab.

Even though I only planned to keep that part-time job a year as a stop-gap while building my coaching practice, I stayed 2 ½ years.  His joy was a magnet.  And he contributed mightily to his discipline.

Your creativity is your gift to the world.

Everyone is born creative, some cultivate it, some don’t.  You may not realize that golf or cooking can be creative, but if it brings you joy and challenges you, that’s your creativity manifesting itself.   That’s your gift, no matter how others may judge.

For Josef, creativity was “doing science.”  Had Josef not pursued his passion, I imagine a very sad person indeed.

It has to come out

That gift must be released, or our spirit becomes atrophied, stunted, and withered. A withered spirit makes a bitter person.

And here’s the cool thing, when you are using that gift – it brings you JOY!  Your bliss is the activation of your gift. 

Your gift to the world is really a gift to yourself.

It has to come out.

2 Replies to "It has to come out"

  • Ginger
    August 22, 2018 (8:34 pm)

    I heard about Josef a lot when you worked with him. I’m so glad to hear the beginning!

    • Debra
      August 22, 2018 (9:55 pm)

      Isn’t it fascinating? I just love it when inspiration and dedication meet!

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