We own property on Vancouver Island just north of Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. Our place is a little more than a mile south of Sidney, a small retirement community near the ferry between Vancouver Island and Vancouver. Last November, the royal couple, Harry and Meghan, decided to spend their Christmas holiday a few miles from our property. They were spotted hiking in the nearby provincial parks and along the seashore with their young son Archie. Canadians welcomed them into this small island community as Canada is a friendly and hospitable country.
We now know that Harry and Meghan were struggling with British royal life. It is something Harry was born into and Meghan assumed upon marriage. We lived many years in London and saw firsthand the enormous pressure that the public imposes on British royalty. Some people would instantly exchange their places with royalty to gain the ‘glamorous’ life. Others, like myself, value privacy and have compassion for the struggles Harry and Meghan face living under constant public scrutiny.
Bill Hendricks, President of The Giftedness Center, authored The Person Called You: Why You’re Here, Why You Matter & What You Should Do with Your Life (Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL, 2014). I sense that Harry and Megan could use this book as they ponder how to create meaningful lives outside of the royal circle. “Fame is just a distraction. Our aim in life ought not to become famous but to become the best at what we do.” (page 27). Being born with the public’s expectations of living a royal life can be a curse if it conflicts with your giftedness, which Hendricks defines as:
“… the unique way in which you function. It’s a set of inborn core strengths and natural motivation you instinctively and consistently use to do things that you find satisfying and productive. Giftedness is not just what you can do but what you are born to do, enjoy doing, and do well.” (page 28)
Some may interpret royalty as what Harry was “born to do,” but being born into royalty is a human-imposed condition, not God-given giftedness. “Giftedness is fundamentally about your behavior. It is found in what you do and how you do it. … Giftedness is a marriage of ability and motivation.” (pages 34-36) Harry was in the military and is motivated by conservation projects. Meghan was a professional actress and is motivated by helping the underprivileged gain a good education. Being a royal certainly opens doors closed to most people but public expectations constrained their giftedness. I can only surmise that they must feel trapped in an unfulfilled life.
Harry and Meghan eventually came to a breaking point: either cave into public royal pressures or follow their “inborn core strengths and natural motivation.” In today’s modern world, why should anyone be forced into an occupation that does not align with their giftedness? “Humans possess a longing that no amount of money can ever satisfy. But what does satisfy it is the achievement of that uniquely personal, motivational payoff we are constantly seeking. That quest ultimately drives our behavior.” (page 39)
The beauty of giftedness is that it endures. “Your essential giftedness never changes. It does develop, but it doesn’t turn into something else. Likewise, where and how you express your giftedness may vary widely. But the core strengths and motivation you were born with will remain stable throughout your life.” (page 45-46) Harry and Meghan have many talents along with strong community support. I predict they will find an appropriate outlet for their giftedness. “Giftedness always seeks expression. No matter how harsh or hostile the environment, a person will seek out ways to unleash the energy that is within them.” (page 53) My prayer is that they unleash their giftedness towards uplifting our community and find inner peace during their journeys.