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Another NBA Gem: Music to My Ears

Rui Hachimura is a Japanese professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. He was drafted into the NBA in 2019 and plays the position of power forward. He came into the Lakers’ organization just this past January, when there were a lot of trades happening.

Rui was a bit starstruck as he met his superstar teammates, Lebron James and Anthony Davis (AD). But he had the desire and drive to be a valuable asset, to find his sweet spot on the team and contribute to the Lakers’ post-season success.

“You could see when he first arrived, he was trying to sort of tiptoe around LeBron and AD,” Laker Head Coach Darvin Ham said. "I told him, just go out there and be free, be aggressive. The only mistake you could make on this team is to just not compete...”

The feedback Rui got from his two star teammates was an echo of what the coach was telling him. Hachimura said the way Lebron James and Anthony Davis talk to him has changed how he views himself.

“They tell me, ‘Take more shots'...When James tells you to shoot more,” Hachimura said with a hearty laugh, “You have to shoot!”

And when he started showing up aggressively, shooting freely, coach Ham reassured Rui that that is what they are looking for from him. Then coach Ham had the best line:

“The only thing I want you to turn down is your collar.”

My immediate thought: Now, that would be music to my ears! The idea of having someone in a position of authority tell me my unique strengths are needed and desired, and then empower me to let it fly, unencumbered by worries about being too much (or not enough) in some way...that feels like total freedom, like flying!

Then I realized: My whole body and soul was responding to that statement not because it would be encouraging and freeing to hear that, but because that is what I did hear from God when I was seeking Him about how to offer my strengths in this season of my life, and the idea of this blog ‘plopped inside my brain’ and went directly into my heart!

That’s who God desires to be for each of us – our Coach, our Star Teammate, telling us to let it fly!

When He created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27), He imbued a unique part of His character into each one of our hard wirings. It is His desire and purpose that we discover our God-given specialness, and His delight when we then connect with where we can offer or contribute that gift in our spheres of influence in the various seasons of life.

When I was in my first training course for becoming a Life Coach (eighteen years ago now!), the instructor asked each of us why we wanted to be a Life Coach. My answer has stuck with me throughout my coaching career:

It’s the thing I can’t not do!

I pose this question to every potential client, to get a feel for where they are in their journey: What’s the thing you can’t not do?

Each of us has something we would do for free, we do in our leisure time, others come to us comes out of our pores!

And when we are freely offering that specialty to someone or some place, the joy feels like flying, and those around us are the benefactors of our freedom to offer our gifts and strengths.

For me, the thing I can’t not do is encouraging others – specifically, encouraging others to discover their passion - their thing they can’t not do; then to embrace their God-given wiring, and find somewhere to offer it.

Discover. Embrace. Offer. = DEO, which in Latin = (for) God

Each part of that journey – the discovering, embracing, and then the offering – can encompass years or decades. But the process brings purpose, and purpose brings focus, and focus-acted-on brings fulfilling joy!

Where are you inside those three progressive action words: Are you Discovering? Embracing? Offering?

In previous posts, I have shared on the Enneagram as a powerful tool for transformation. It can be useful in all three of these stages. For those of you who are curious about the discovery process for finding your unique gifts and strengths, let me offer you a summary chart to whet your appetite for jumping into the adventure of discovering your God-given wiring using the Enneagram.

If you think you might benefit from a professional partner in this process, contact me; and we can discuss the possibility of me facilitating an Enneagram Typing Interview with you – a much more comprehensive and personal way to learn about the Types and discover which ones resonate most with you.



Gifts (at High Level)


The principled, idealistic type. Ones are ethical and conscientious, with a strong sense of right and wrong. They are teachers and crusaders, always striving to improve things.

Integrity, Mission-oriented, Discerning


The caring, interpersonal type. Twos are empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted. They are friendly, generous, and self-sacrificing.

Open-hearted, Generous, Nurturing


The adaptable, success-oriented type. Threes are self-assured, attractive, and charming. They are ambitious, competent, and energetic.

Authentic, Motivating, Confident


The romantic, introspective type. Fours are self-aware, sensitive, reserved, and quiet. They are self-revealing, emotionally honest, and personal.

Sensitive, Empathetic, Creative


The intense, cerebral type. Fives are alert, insightful, and curious. They are able to concentrate and focus on developing complex ideas and skills.

Perceptive, Innovative, Visionary


The committed, security-oriented type. Sixes are reliable, hard-working, and responsible. They are internally stable and cautious.

Trustworthy, Courageous, Self-reliant


The busy, productive type. Sevens are versatile, optimistic, and spontaneous. They are playful, high-spirited, and practical.

Joyful, Playful, Accomplished


The powerful, dominating type. Eights are self-confident, strong, and assertive. They are protective, resourceful, and decisive.

Heroic, Magnanimous, Passionate


The easy-going, self-effacing type. Nines are accepting, trusting, and stable. They are good-natured, kindhearted, easy-going, and supportive.

Peaceful, All-embracing, Healing

In closing, if you and I were having coffee or tea together, and you felt safe and seen, I would want to ask you:

What is the thing you can’t not do (= your sweet spot)?
What do you experience when you are operating out of your sweet spot?
Do you have an outlet for contributing your strengths and gifts?

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Blessed to play a part ~


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