Commit to Your Gift

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Kurt Elling, a Grammy winning, cutting edge jazz singer and composer with one of the most astounding voices around, shrugged and said “I sing pretty good, and I give my life to it.”

Christine Ebersole, singer, actress and SLN alumna divulged that she could sing on pitch at the age of three. “That’s my gift,” she explained, “the gold, frankincense and myrrh that I received.” And she has honored her gift by committing her life to it.

Arturo Sandoval, a world re-known multi-instrumentalist, composer, vocalist, committed for decades to developing and sharing the song in him, said “Be in love with your music.”

These comments, shared during public workshops at the Grand Hotel’s Jazz Festival on Mackinac Island, Michigan, prior to performances by these three, terrific artists, served to remind me of value of committing to the unique gifts we’ve each been given. Because, as Mr. Sandoval explained, “passion is going to drive you to success.”

We’ve all been gifted, no matter who we are. We all have unique abilities, passions, talents. But too many of us are afraid to commit 100 percent to them. “ What if I fail?” We wonder “What if I look foolish? What if I’m not as good as I think I am?”

In my opinion, those are the wrong questions to be asking. A more useful question is this: “On my last day on earth, do I want to look back on a life in which I chose not to embrace my unique gift?”

How would you answer that question?

If the answer is no, then ask yourself ask yourself if you are, on a daily basis, fully committing to expressing and sharing your unique gift—whether your gift is the ability to get to the heart of a problem easily and creatively; to write in a way that helps others see themselves and the word around them in a new way; or to create art that stops people in their tracks.

If you are committing less than you know you could be, ask yourself why. Are there are internal obstacles in your way—old patterns of thinking or behaving– that you need help moving up, around and over? Then find support, in a coach, a therapist, or regular meetings with group of friends committed to change and growth.

You are not here to be less than you can be. The world needs you to commit to your gift, right here, right now, in spite of your fear. The good news is that commitment trumps fear. Commitment trumps challenges. As Arturo Sandoval explained, “Your love (passion for your gift) is going to be a lot bigger than the obstacles.”

If everyone on this planet committed to developing and sharing their gift, we could change the world! So go ahead: Commit to your Gift, and rejoice in what you are here to do.


  1. What do you think are you unique gifts? Write them down.
  2. What one gift do you feel deserves greater nurturing or attention? Are you willing to commit to it?
  3. What could you do today to give it the attention it deserves?