What Were You Born to Do?

by Abby on July 6, 2011

In case you missed it, I made an unsolicited vow to come up with some ideas for better programming on Oprah’s OWN network. Here’s my first idea:

Olympic swimmer Michael PhelpsOne day last year while I was watching my son’s swimming lesson, Michael Phelps walked past me in a Speedo. In case you don’t know, Phelps was the then-23yo American swimmer who won 8 gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He’s from Baltimore and owns the biggest swim school in town, so it’s not that extraordinary to see him around now and then. But even if you didn’t know who he was, you can’t help but look at him and think, “Wow! That guy was born to swim.”

First of all, his wingspan is 3 inches longer than his 6’4” height. He has an unusually long torso and short legs, and not an ounce of fat on him. Numerous experts have speculated that his physical build gives him an edge over other swimmers. But the part that interests me most is that he came to swimming almost by accident. His mom signed him up for his older sisters’ sport to give her hyperactive son something to do. Can you imagine if she’d signed him up for fencing instead?!

So here’s the idea: This show, “Born With It,” would feature someone who’s excelling in their field thanks in part to their natural gifts. Whether it’s cooking, playing piano, doing yoga – whatever it is, they’re at the top of their game and it’s largely because early on they tapped into their natural ability to identify flavors, play any tune they heard, touch their knee to their ear, whatever. And here’s the twist: this expert is paired with a regular person who’s just starting to identify their unique attribute and wondering how to develop it and what to do with it.

Just the other day my husband was wondering what he could do with his freakish gift for remembering faces. (It’s true; the man can’t remember to bring home milk, but he CAN remember that the lady at the pool with the twins used to bartend at some random pub in our old neighborhood 10 years ago.) So on this show, he might be paired with a top detective who’s cracking tough missing-persons cases based on her ability to recognize people she’s only seen once.

The possibilities are endless. We all know people who were born to be football players (like my tough toddler, maybe), teachers (like your bossy older sister?), or artists (have you SEEN my older son’s drawings?). And we all know people who struggle to identify their natural gifts. Maybe even some of you.

As for me, I think the ability to combine a sighting of Speedo-clad sports star, my husband’s random quirk, and my love of TV and Oprah under a central theme means I was clearly born to be a writer. Don’t you?! (Humor me, please.)

So what were YOU born to do?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

neena July 6, 2011 at 7:47 am

This is the cutest post!!!


C July 6, 2011 at 9:29 am

Ok this makes me sound like a stalker “that the lady at the pool with the twins used to bartend at some random pub in our old neighborhood”…the fact of the matter is I have an uncanny ability to remember faces that’s it. Too bad i cant be a professional witness! lol


Kim July 6, 2011 at 9:36 am

Great idea! I’ve seen so many people that seem like naturals with their talents, like my younger sister in her all-boys kindergarten classroom, she was born to do that, it’s her calling. And then I see myself and others and we seem to not be so natural with everything, we have to work hard, but there’s a reward in working hard. Although I wasn’t born to play volleyball, write, do crossword puzzles, or mingle with adults, the struggle makes the end result feel pretty rewarding.

Now I’ll probably spend most of the day wondering what I was born to do?
Maybe it was calculus back in high school, that came easy to me 🙂


Mrs Ebrahim July 6, 2011 at 9:58 am

I think about this everyday… I love love love BOOKS. Does that mean I might open a bookshop one day? Maybe… I hope. Beautiful post 🙂


Angie Mizzell July 6, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I think I was born to daydream. I’m constantly in some other world. My husband calls it Only Child Land. 🙂


Lou Mello July 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm

You are definitely a WONDERFUL writer…do I get points for sucking up big time??

I enjoy seeing about 5 different folks’ blogs and I would not miss yours even if I have to check it out on my miniature iThingy where whatever I type is turned into cwazzziness by the evil spell checkers.

Oh yes, back to the point….oops, time for wine and dinner time. ciao for another day.


Abby July 6, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Calculus, books, daydreaming, spell-checker rants… 😉 Just goes to show there’s something for everyone!


shyril December 13, 2011 at 5:03 pm

I was born to be a mother. Its the only thing that I absolutely love to do no matter what!


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