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October 2, 2020 - "I am the greatest"

Each of you has been endowed with a remarkable set of gifts, talents, and abilities. As you build upon these strengths, humbly recognize your personal limitations, remain faithful to your covenants, and put your confidence in the Lord, you will see your weaknesses transformed into strengths through the power and grace of His Atonement. You will have the ability to meet the challenges you will face in your life.

Gerald Causse, "For When I Am Weak, Then Am I Strong", BYU Speeches, December 3, 2013

We each have a set of gifts and talents that are unique. Nobody else has that exact combination. These gifts and talents were given to us by a loving Father and they are customized to our personalities and needs. And only Heavenly Father knows what those are.

Our first step is to find out what those gifts and talents are. They're not a secret. We just have to ask Him.

Secondly, we need to develop, use, and strengthen those gifts and talents. Each time we use them, we strengthen them. Practice.

A word of caution... humility is the key to developing and strengthening our gifts and talents. In all my years playing sports and then the few years that I coached basketball, I would concentrate on being coachable and then instructed the kids I coached to be as well, and of course, my own kids as they played sports.

Coachability means humility.

Every time I watch sports on TV, I shake my head when I see egotistical, arrogant, boisterous, selfish athletes. And that shines through a lot. Sports is no longer about fun, working hard, and learning to work together. No, it's about winning, about being better than the next player or team. There's nothing wrong with competition. It makes everyone get better (unless you're of the socialist camp and want to eliminate any advantage over another and everyone be the same, thereby no getting better).

Competition is good unless you tear down the next guy (or gal) in order for you to rise higher. And that's what I see in sports. "Look at how good I am" while simultaneously undercutting the player next to you.

Point is, there's healthy competition where gifts and talents are strengthened and everyone gets better because they want to. A sense of pride and accomplishment are the results....for you and the next guy. Then there's unhealthy competition where selfish fame, notoriety, and wealth are the goal at the expense of everyone else. You may be on a team but the motives are completely self serving.

This same concept or ideal works in everything in life, not just sports. Humility is key.

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