"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." St. Catherine of Sienna
Former NFL Quarterback Tony Romo is the Dallas Cowboys franchise leader in passing yards and touchdowns thrown. He was an undrafted free agent who had to wait his turn. Three years to be exact before he entered his first NFL football game. He is regarded as one of the best-undrafted quarterbacks ever.
In all this, Tony Romo did it in a way that only he could do it. He wasn't your prototypical quarterback. Romo was full of flare and excitement. He had a unique ability to extend plays with his feet and escape almost hopeless situations in the pass pocket. He never tried to become anything that he was not. Though coaches tried to curb his gun-slinger approach, he understood this gave him the ability to be an above average quarterback in the NFL.
In 2016, after injuries had plagued the veteran, he graciously handed over the reigns of the Dallas Cowboys to the young, up-and-coming quarterback, Dak Prescott.
His final speech to the media he ended with this:
"I feel like we all have two battles. One with the man across from you. The second is with the man inside of you. Once you control the one inside of you, the one across from you really doesn't matter. I think that's what we're all trying to do."
Each of us is uniquely designed to give something special in the time we are here. Much of life is figuring out who that person is. Through navigating our passions and learning to come out on the other side of failures, suffering and difficult situations is how we discover our true self.
Stay persistent in your growth. The difficulties standing in front of you are there to help you do this. The more you face them, the more you get to know yourself, and the more irrelevant those deterrents will eventually be.
Like Romo, you may go unnoticed for a while. But as you persist and grow into yourself, your efforts, gifts, and passions will undoubtedly bless the world around you. You'll realize the two battles is really just one.