Game On! What Position Will You Play?

Well, the Super Bowl is over, and one team is celebrating a lot more than the other. I didn’t watch but, from the score, it appears the stars of both teams were on the defense. It’s not often you see a big game with scoring so low on both sides.

I was never known for my athletic ability and, as a result, I was never much of a sports fan. I played little league baseball and football, which is to say they let me be on the team. I think there was something about that in the rules. My job on both teams was to occupy every square inch of the bench so the star players didn’t end up with splinters in their butt.

And that’s okay. We all get a few splinters every now and then. Besides, there were lots of things I could do much better than the stars of the team. But apparently, my mastery of the multiplication tables and ability to speak in complete sentences wasn’t a big turn-on for the girls back then. And I learned really fast not to compare report cards in the locker room.

Somewhere along the line, though, those things began to take on greater importance. Toward the end of high school, girls did start to gain an appreciation for intelligence. Or maybe it was my motorcycle. I’m still not completely sure. But my clumsiness on the playing field began to matter less over the years. Even the jocks didn’t care. To them, I was just another face in the hallway.

And here’s the thing – never once have I filled out a job application that asked about my batting average or how many times I sacked the quarterback. Seems now, all they care about is my brain. Well, that and my willingness to show up for work every day and actually do something productive.

That’s not to say I’m any better than the guys who chased me around the locker room with mentholatum and wet towels. In fact, I’m pretty sure some of them went on to have successful careers of their own. Hopefully someplace that places a high value on giving the new guy a wedgie. But I’m sure a lot of the people who control my paycheck were stars of the team back in the day.

We all have gifts. Some are more visible than others, and some are more valuable in a given situation. An athletic physique can be an asset when you’re sitting on the lifeguard stand or carrying a fire hose up six flights of stairs. But in the boardroom, where it’s covered by an Armani suit, nobody really cares.

For most of us, life exists somewhere in the middle. And, in that world, it takes a mix of skills to get by. There are days when a few extra muscles come in handy, like when it comes time to dump a 40-pound bag of salt into the water softener. Other times, those extra muscles are about as useful as a fork in a bowl of soup.

The key is to make the most of our gifts so that, when a situation arises, we’re able to pull out the right one. Ask any mechanic about their toolbox, and they’ll probably tell you they started with a couple of screwdrivers, and then built from there. One day they needed a set of wrenches. The next day it was a pair of pliers. And, for all of us, the day comes when we just need a bigger hammer.

There are some jobs that only require one tool, or one skill. But the more complex tasks require a mix of abilities. And sometimes, it’s the most delicate tools that we rely on the most. When I had my surgery a couple of months ago, one of the tools used was a bone saw. But I’m pretty sure the surgeon had a whole tray of tools to work with. Hopefully he counted them all when he was done.

We each have our own unique combination of skills and knowledge. That’s what makes us different and able to tackle a given situation with just a little more ability than the person next to us. But tomorrow, we may have to sit by and watch them take the “hero” spot for a day.

Our ability to use those gifts, and to seek out and find people who complement our own talents, can carry us to unlimited heights. We don’t have to be the star of the team. All we have to do is bring our best and make each day as important as the big game. Do that, and you’ll win every time.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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