It hit me. Our real life struggle. It is a fight between our gifts and our challenges. The winning one dominates us. Which one ends up on top drives the outcome of our life – good or bad.

This is a real life choice.

We all have gifts.

Each of us has gifts. We may not recognize it right away, or some may take time to develop. Either way, we all have gifts. It could be writing, dancing, leading, lecturing, designing, inventing, thinking, or _____________________________ – fill in the blank with your special gifts. In our life, we have gifts to use.

We all have challenges.

Each of us has challenges. They stare at us each day. Our challenges can be procrastination, disorganization, drugs, alcohol, laziness, negativity, unhealthiness, anger, or ___________________________ – fill in the blank with your challenges. In our life, we carry a challenge or two.

It is our life choice.

Here it is:

Do we let our gifts shine through, or do we let our challenges weigh us down?

It is a struggle. Which one wins determines much for us. It is about our mindset, our attitude, our internal strength, and our being. It is also about our friends, family, community, and accountability relationships.

It is a struggle. Our challenges can serve as a barrier, holding us back from using our gifts fully, or they can serve as the floor we walk on to extend our reach, holding them in check while using our gifts to the fullest extent possible.

These are our real life choices.

What will dominate our life? Our gifts or our challenges?

Whichever one we choose, it will determine how our life will unfold and how purpose-filled our life will be.

Life Inflected. When we let life’s challenges bring us down, they consume us. Our internal strength may renew, and we may recover. At some point, we learn from our challenges, and it creates an inflection point in which our gifts become our core focus again. We recapture our footing, and it is stronger than ever before.

Life Inflected


Life Full. Challenges are present, but we always keep them in check. We use our gifts to overcome any challenges, and it is through this focus we are always on an upward path in realizing our purpose. As we continue, the challenges bend down because our spirited, passionate motivation keeps us centered and moving forward. It is living by dancing On the Sunny Side of the Street“Life can be so sweet, On the sunny side of the street.”

Life Full


Life Deflected. Our challenges are always front-and-center. At times, we overcome them, but they always rear up and overtake us again. We weaken and give up. We succumb to our challenges, and our purposed-filled life begins to drain from our being. We feel it happen. We see it happen. We feel helpless, but it is because we let it happen. It may be more than a life deflected; it is a frustrated life.

Life Deflected


Life Smothered. This may be the Eeyore life. Pessimism dominates our outlook. We believe nothing good can happen for us. We let thoughts of never-ending challenges dominate. We become a challenge generator rather than a challenge solver. In other words, we let our challenges keep our gifts in check. We put a damper on any effort that may lift our gifts up for others to see or, more importantly, what is possible for us. It is a dreary basement where we let our thoughts and internal spirit dwell.

Life Smothered


Use your gifts. Live purposefully.

The points are simple.

  1. We need to lead with our gifts each day.
  2. We need to keep our challenges at curbside.

We need to win the struggle between our gifts and our challenges. It is a key to living a life full of possibility realized.

It is the difference between living an inspired or uninspired life.

How do you win your struggle between using your gifts and being overwhelmed by your challenges?