Editor's note: "Everything a person sees and hears," taught the Baal Shem Tov, "should serve as a lesson in life." We've been seeing and hearing about lots of games and competitions these days. Unless we're in the profession, is there anything useful to us in all these sights and sounds? Goldie Avtzon has assembled these messages from the world of sports:

Goals: Life is like a game of soccer. The world is the ball and you and I are the players. Our aim is to get the world to its goal. Of course there will always be people trying to prevent us from doing so. Don't let that stop you. Keep your eye on the goal and do your best to get the ball in there.

Individuality: Each sport has its own type of ball. You can't play basketball with a tennis ball, nor should you attempt to play baseball with a bowling ball. Each of us has been given a different ball set of talents to play with. Focus on the ball that you've been given and get on with your game.

Commitment: The life of a sports player isn't always easy. Once a player has made a commitment to his team, he must be prepared to play — rain or shine. Life's roads are not always smooth. There are many challenges along the way. Don't let the bumps slow you down. Keep your commitments.

Unity: The most important thing on a team is unity. The individual must constantly make personal sacrifice for the good of the team. As a member of the Jewish team we are always being challenged to put ourselves out for our "teammates." Be there for them.

Progress: In many sports you've got to keep the ball moving. In order to win at the game of life you've got to keep making progress. Once you've reached one goal, set yourself a new one and keep moving forward.

Boundaries: Every sports game has its boundaries. When the ball goes beyond them, it is "out of bounds." Although a player may be tempted to pick it up and continue the game, he can't. There are often things that tempt us that are "out of bounds." Leave them alone — it won't get you anywhere.

Support: In many games there is a person designated to catch "out of bounds" balls and throw them back in to the game. In life you will occasionally kick your "ball" too hard or throw it too high. Don't worry — there will always be someone there to pick it up and throw it back to you so that you can continue with the game.

Conscientiousness: A good sports player is conscientious about his fitness and health at all times. A Jew is Jewish 24/7 and he must be conscientious about how his actions impact his general wellbeing at all times.

Focus: In most fast-moving sports you've got to keep your eye on the ball at all times so that you can play it from whatever direction it comes to you. A distracted player can be a liability to his team. We never know where life's opportunities will come from. We've got to be alert at all times and stay focused.

Taking risks: In basketball, you can carry the ball provided that you keep bouncing it. While bouncing it you run a greater risk of losing it. Nevertheless, you need to take that risk in order to get closer to the basket. Taking important steps in life often involves some type of risk. Don't be afraid to take them.

Aiming high: When serving a ball in tennis, you've got to throw the ball high so that you can hit properly. In order to succeed in life you often need to shoot very high. It pays off in the end.

Momentum: When playing Tug of War each team has to keep pulling. The losing team is usually the team that was ahead and thought they had the luxury of letting up a bit. Don't ever let up on the important things. Keep on pulling.

Loyalty: Loyal fans of a team will root for their team no matter what. It's easy when the team is winning and popular. It becomes more challenging when the team is losing. It's not always easy to stand up for what you know is right — especially when it's not so popular. Don't give up. Your "team" will win at the end.

Published in honor of Eliezer Avtzon's bar mitzvah and in appreciation of the staff of Chabad of Hong Kong