There’s something different about the way Michael Jordan inspires me. It’s been this way ever since I was a little kid. I was a toddler when the Bulls started winning championships in the 90s, and I grew up idolizing MJ and wanting to be a professional basketball player. In elementary school, when we were asked about our heroes, I would say mine was Michael Jordan. His greatness made me want to be great. His greatness made me believe I could be great.
When I was studying English at BYU, I had a professor who told us about a trip she took to Europe when she was younger. She went to see Michelangelo’s David in Florence, Italy.
She said that when she saw it, she was awestruck. She had never experienced anything like it up to that point in her life. That sculpture — that work of art — was the closest thing to perfection she had ever seen, and it was made by a human. In that moment, she came to understand the potential that human beings have. We can create things — and we can achieve levels of skill — that approach perfection.
I think that’s what Michael Jordan’s greatness — his near perfection in his craft — helps me to realize. It’s the feeling I get deep down in my soul. There’s something sleeping down there that gets nudged every once in a while, but it hasn’t fully awakened. It’s an idea that is just waiting to come to life, and I think it exists in all of us. It’s the idea that we can be great, that we can master our craft, whatever it may be. It’s the idea that we can approach perfection.
So how do we do it? How do we fully awaken that dormant potential within ourselves? What’s stopping us from unleashing it?
Think about it, and the answer will come. I think the answer is a little bit different for each of us, but there’s something holding us back. Once we identify it, we can work toward overcoming it.
It’s exciting to think about the potential that resides in each one of us. Each of us has our own David to create. Michael Jordan’s version was on the basketball court. J.R.R. Tolkien’s was with the written word. For others, it’s music or painting. And there are a million other possibilities — marketing, teaching, dance, editing, finance — the list goes on.
The ultimate truth this leads us to is that we are created in God’s image. We are children of God. And children usually grow up to be like their parents. God is the greatest Creator. So what can we do with the creative power that we’ve inherited from our Heavenly Parents?
What’s your David?