Carrie Roberts, head coach of the BYU women’s golf team, delivered Tuesday’s BYU Devotional. She spoke about agency and becoming a champion through making choices.
Roberts began by sharing influential advice that her parents gave her growing up. After venting to her mom about a difficult day, Roberts’ mom said, “Carrie, if you don’t like something, change it.” This impressed upon Roberts the importance of agency.
In another instance, when she was trying to decide which college to go to, her father asked, “What do you want? Choose the school that will give you that.” From that experience, Roberts learned that in order to get what she wanted out of life, she first had to know what she wanted.
“It’s hard to act for yourself when you don’t know what to think and act upon. Knowing what you want is understanding your why. Discovering your why is powerful,” said Roberts. “By figuring out my why, I was able to create a vision for my life, define what it should look like and begin to take action to get it.”
Understanding that lesson didn’t come to her right away, Roberts explained. She tried exercise, money and exact obedience to bring her happiness. None of those brought her lasting happiness because they were not her why. When she realized that the main reason she was on Earth was to become like Heavenly Father, she was able to create a vision for her life. For Roberts, becoming like Heavenly Father involves creating – including creating happiness.
“One of the great lessons we can learn from the gospel is to come to understand the importance of creating our own lives through our agency, said Roberts. “With that personal understanding and desire, along with the help of a God who is there to guide and aid you, what you can achieve is without limits and has no boundaries.”
Roberts then shared examples of people who knew their why and acted on it. The scriptures provide many examples, including Nephi, Christ and David. David’s fight with Goliath shows how acting on a personal why can lead to great achievements. The BYU women’s golf team is also an example of how a personal why can lead to achievement.
One year, the women’s golf team knew they wanted to compete in the national championship. As Roberts explains it, winning in golf is difficult — so difficult that golfers can be considered successful without ever winning — but the team knew their goal, worked hard and set milestones for reaching the championship.
That season, the team made it to regionals, where they had to finish in the top 6 to advance to the national championship. After two rounds, they were in 5 th place. The third and final round of gameplay was difficult. The team fell behind. They made key mistakes. But the players knew their goal and did not give up. One play secured a birdie, others made difficult putts and the team qualified for nationals.
“To become a champion in life is to discover your why, learn to think and act for yourself and use your agency to create the life you want,” said Roberts. “You get to choose. Will you own your life or let someone else own it?”
Roberts concluded her address by encouraging attendees to find their passions. “Figure out what you truly want in life. Discover your why. Then go to work acting for yourself to create the life you want. Knowing, understanding and discovering your why is powerful. Acting on it is life-changing.”
Next Forum: Dr. Kay Jamison, Clinical Psychologist and Author
There will be no Devotional next week, February 19, due to President's Day and the Monday Instruction schedule. Dr. Kay Jamison, a clinical psychologist and author, will deliver the next BYU Forum on Tuesday, February 26, at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center.
Her remarks will not be broadcast or archived.