Finding Your Why

professional development purpose May 13, 2020
How passion research can lead to your purpose

Right now, the majority of the world has entered a collective pause. While pauses are not ideal, they can be an opportunity to reflect on life and what may need to shift. 

As an athlete, you probably haven't had a ton of time to sit back and think about life outside of your busy routine. Between all the responsibilities you are juggling, it can be hard to squeeze in a nap or an hour of personal time. 

A pause can give you a chance to start thinking about what you like and enjoy beyond the game. Of course you love playing your sport and everything that comes with it. But now you've gotten a taste of life without it- and as much as we all wish that an athletic career could last forever, we know all too well that there will be a time in the future where you are right back here, looking for the next thing. 

So while you're staying home, start to think about your interests outside of sports. What makes you happy? What gets you excited to get out of bed in the morning? What do you enjoy? 

We had the opportunity to hear from a great panel on The Power of Purpose at our Virtual Summit last month. In that conversation, the panelists recommended making a list of what you notice yourself doing throughout the day that lights you up. Essentially, doing some passion research. 

This list can be anything! Maybe it's getting in the kitchen. Or getting creative with your workout routine. You may enjoy working in technology with coding and creating new apps. Maybe you love being outside. Or creating graphics, painting or drawing. You may be playing a lot more video games or diving into some new books. 

Some days it might be harder than others to think of things you like and what brings you joy. On those days, just list the simple things, like eating ice cream, wearing fuzzy socks or going for a run. These probably won't lead you to your purpose, but they will help you get in the habit of paying attention to what makes you happy. 

Start to keep a list over a few weeks and notice what fires you up and gets you motivated. Then look for the patterns. You may see trends that all show you love creating things, or you love helping people succeed. Maybe you love solving problems. These patterns and trends become your "why". 

Your "why" is what gets you out of bed every morning and what pushes you to keep going. As an athlete, your "why" right now may be winning the championship, showing up for your teammates, or being the best to ever play your game. 

You need that same motivation in life after sports too. Follow your "why" and look for opportunities where you can do the things that light you up. It takes time and effort to find your purpose, but once you do, you will be just as unstoppable as you are in your sport.