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Posted by on Oct 19, 2007 in Running | 0 comments

Why Tiger Isn’t an Accountant

Have you ever tried to figure out the difference between gifts, talents, and abilities? The three are so closely related. We take inventories on spiritual gifts, strengths (like StrengthsFinder), aptitude tests, personalities, and more hoping for an objective voice to tell us what we should do with our lives.

I’ve struggled with this, especially these days as I try to transition into a self-employed mode. And a friend sent me a great reminder through new information (below) about Tiger Woods.

I once heard that gifts, talents, and abilities are three facets of the same diamond.

God has given me and you certain gifts. They came in our DNA. By adulthood we’re supposed to have discovered our gifts. Gifts include personality, our relational style, beautiful singing voice, quick twitch muscle fibers, height, metabolism, and our talents.

We can’t change most of our gifts. But many of them can be affected by practice or discipline–like our talents.

If you were born with a singing voice–your instrument–you might be a natural talent. But you can enhance that talent through vocal training to increase your breath support, your tonality, etc. You can also take lessons and learn music theory and other methods of becoming a better musician.

Abilities are things that we learn. Along the way to improving our talents and maximizing our gifts, we learn other things. Like how to do math. You may not be gifted with number love, like my good friend Teacher Jim, but you can do numbers if you have to.

The rule of thumb is this:

  1. Accept the gifts you cannot change (race, height, etc.). Thank God for them.
  2. Discover and maximize the talents you have. Glorify God with them.
  3. Utilize the abilities you’ve learned. Serve God with them.

I think we would all say that Tiger was given a gift of athleticism. He nurtured his talent in golf. And he is a competent businessman.

A friend attended a conference where Hank Haney, Tiger Wood’s golf coach,
spoke. He outlined Tiger’s daily schedule the week prior to a major tournament.

6:30 – 7:30 am Run 5 miles
7:30 – 8:30 am Weight Room
8:30 – 9:00 am Breakfast
9:00 – 11:00 am Hit Balls at Range
11:00 – 11:30 am Putt
11:30 – 12:30 pm Play 9 holes (He has a golf cart that goes 35mph)
12:30 – 1:00 pm Rest and light lunch
1:00 – 3:00 pm Hit Balls at Range
3:00 – 4:00 pm Work on Short Game
4:00 – 5:00 pm Putt
5:00 – 6:00 pm Play 9 holes
6:00 – 6:30 pm Weight Room
6:30 – 7:00 pm Shower
7:00 pm Dinner

How committed are you to maximizing your gifts? This has inspired me to pick a “major tournament” in my life and prepare for it. There will be many stages before the last week prior to it, but I’m going after it.

For me? It’s finishing my novel and getting it published. I’ve played at it for a while. Others have told me I have a winning idea and a great start. Professionals have told me I’m gifted and I have honed my talent. It’s time to pursue it with the same determination as I am pursuing the Rocket City Marathon.


Leave a comment, if you like, and tell others about your “major.”

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