A shining talent like dancing or acting is hard to hide, but a true life purpose can be tougher to identify.
"This happens all the time," Oprah says to Bishop T.D. Jakes in this video clip from an episode of "Oprah's Lifeclass: The Tour." "Anybody who can sing just a little bit, or they can write a piece of a poem, they think they're supposed to be Maya Angelou all of a sudden. And you say people confuse talent with purpose."
Bishop Jakes says that yes, being good at something doesn't mean it's your calling. Pulling from a sermon he preached entitled "Living on Purpose," he says, "You must understand that the purpose is an underlying chemistry that makes you live your life.
"I was sitting on a speaker and I said, 'This speaker will bear the weight of my body. It will make a chair in a pinch,'" he continues. "But it was not designed to be a chair. I am not using it for its highest and best use. Many times we are pushed into functioning in an area that is not our highest and best use because someone needed us to be something we were not created to be."
If you're stuck on how to tell the difference between talent and purpose, Bishop Jakes advises that you look honestly at your best skills. "So many times you have a modicum of talent in an area," he says, "maybe just enough talent to appreciate people who are really called to that area. It doesn't mean that you need to necessarily go out and do that thing."
However, if you're in a situation where your talents aren't being used to the maximum, it could be beneficial in the long run.
"You may start out doing something that was not 'the thing' that you were created to do," says Bishop Jakes. "It may only be the thing that leads to the thing you were created to do. So don't stop at where you are as if it were the destination, when in fact in reality it may be the transportation that brings you into that thing you were created to do."
"Oprah's Lifeclass" airs Sundays on OWN.