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This chapter is from the book

Let Your Light Shine

Maybe your last play comes to you as a gift that only you can give. Then grab that gift.

Since coach Butch Davis has been at the University of North Carolina, I have spoken to the team every month, starting with an excerpt from Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Our playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so other people do not feel insecure around us. We were all made to shine as children do. It is not just in some of us. It is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Then, the entire team stands and sings a simple song: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine; these are my brothers here, I’m gonna help them shine.”

That’s all there is: Shine your light, and in the process, help others shine theirs. That’s how you make that play count. Do your work, make your play, give your donation, and help others give theirs. This shining is showing off your personal gift. There’s nothing wrong with shining. However, people do sometimes make mistakes in two different ways when assessing their personal gifts: (1) they think they have no gifts, or (2) they think they have many. The fact is we all have at least one, and sometimes maybe two. But we must quit wasting time developing too many gifts—or worse, wasting time developing none. Find that one definitive special gift, work it into your vision, develop your plan, and grow it in its season to shine. And shine as brightly as you can.

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