Have you ever been asked if you have passion for your sport or your work – and when you look inside it felt a little parched? No love to be found – just the feeling that it’s hard.
It’s OK. It happens. It’s human. When you are heads down, working diligently on a long-term goal, there will be times when you look for the energy that passion provides and it’s just not there. There are days…and sometimes those days can become weeks…when it’s just hard.
So what’s a person to do? Rather than languishing, start by asking a critical question – “what do I want?” Sound too simple? The truth is, it’s a question we probably don’t ask enough. So if it feels a little uncomfortable – maybe out of place – don’t be concerned, it is natural to hit an uninspired stretch when we are working toward a big goal. By knowing, ‘what I want’ I can find energy even when inspiration is in short supply. If “what do I want” feels like a big question, good, you are looking in the right place. I’m pointing you toward understanding your bigger game – what you are hungry for in your life.
I worked with an athlete who told me he realized he no longer loved the game. Practice had become hard and he felt like a fraud – surrounded by teammates who were passionate about practice and learning when it just felt like work to him. We focused on what he wanted for his life. He saw that the game would provide the scholarship that would provide the funding to get the education to pursue his dream. He discovered what he wanted. He also realized that he wouldn’t keep his scholarship if he didn’t continue to develop his natural talent and bring value to the team. By understanding himself a little better, he reframed his relationship with the game. He realized he didn’t have to love it. He did have to work hard because it was the path to what he wanted.
I invite you to allow “what do you want?” to be a big question – to take you beyond goals of making quota, winning games, or getting the position. You may find that great questions lead to even more valuable questions for you. What impact do I want to have? Where do I want this investment to take me? Where am I in this picture? Where do I want to be? These are the questions that help you find your direction – your purpose. From those answers emerges commitment.
You can re-calibrate and decide if the mundane work (that in itself may not be inspiring) gets you where you want to go. If the answer is yes, let that be your passion when it gets boring or hard or tedious. Knowing what you want – really want – in life can provide clarity, patience, and commitment.