A large proportion of your life has been dedicated to lacing up those sneakers, skates, or (insert sport paraphernalia here), and now you’ve come to the conclusion… the final buzzer.
At this point, it may not have even hit you. You may even continue to follow your old routine… a familiar sequence of protein shakes and workout routines (fun!). Until you hit the proverbial wall. The one you may or may not see coming—the large chunk of free time in your daily agenda—which previously was occupied with wind sprints, practices, and games. The emotions come flooding in again. More than what you felt from scoring that game winning basket—only this time, you aren’t overwhelmed with elation. At this point, stress, anxiety and even depression may start to flood your brain and saturate your thoughts as you piece together what to do next.
Flash in the Pan
Here’s an unlucky twist of fate. Imagine this. Your career is bursting with potential—dreams of making it pro aren’t so farfetched. Only to get derailed by a career-ending injury(ies). Sad. This cohort of athlete is unluckily all too common. It’s true. I see it happen regularly. Nonetheless, no matter which group you fall under, you’re left to wonder… what’s next?
Finding Your Passion
I unluckily fell in the latter group. Due to a misunderstood injury at the time—that Will Smith made famous—concussions. If you’ve never had one. . . imagine having a wicked hangover mixed with a fierce sensitivity to light. . . anyways I digress, they suck! After you’ve had your “bell rung” a few times you realize that maybe future-you deserves better. OR at the very least, should deserve better. So, fast-forward feelings of doubt and feelings of letting teammates down, I unceremoniously “retired”. If you’ve read this far, bless your heart I appreciate you — I tend to ramble, but for this instance I just wanted to add context before I dive into tips I used to find my passion, in hopes that you can implement them to find yours!
“Whatever you do, do with determination. You have one life to live; do your work with passion and give your best. Whether you want to be a chef, doctor, actor, or a mother, be passionate to get the best result.”
— Maya Angelou
1. Don’t ever feel stuck
If you despise and/or are miserable doing something. . . there’s absolutely, positively no reason to stay doing it. As I see it, life is about alternatives—you either stick with the status quo OR you pursue something that makes you happy… you only got one life. Be happy. Or not.
2. Taste all the flavours
How do you know you don’t like shrimp if you’ve never had shrimp? Same goes for dating, hobbies, careers… pretty much everything in life, you name it. So when you’re figuring out what you’re passionate about and you don’t know where to start, try a bunch of things you wouldn’t otherwise imagine you’d do… I even tried curling. . . and I have to say. . . I kinda like it
3. Self-awareness, patience, and gratitude
Is the concoction I drink daily — more on the last two at a different time. If you’re honest with yourself, you can acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. Which would be a massive advantage in figuring out what you should pursue. . . you can even pair it with something you enjoy. For example, if you’re good at writing and you love coffee, you could work your way into becoming the local expert coffee reviewer. Or a business copywriter for coffee shops or coffee related businesses. For me, I’m decent at math and I enjoy business development—so getting to work with fascinating entrepreneurs and creatives is a blast for me! And for weaknesses, don’t worry about those — focus on your strengths, because everybody sucks at something.
4. Glass-half full always wins
There’s inevitably going to be highs and lows in life. And when circumstances veer toward the extremes, its optimism and perspective that can help guide you through those situations. Having your mindset and eye geared toward the long-term macro will help bypass the micro adversities.
5. Last but not least, volunteer!
There’s nothing like helping out or contributing to a good cause to get your passion juices flowing. Getting to connect with other awesome people in your community will give you ideas for career paths you may want to conquer!
This is definitely not an exhaustive list of tips. Just some I’ve used along the way that have helped me, that I’m hoping to pass to you! My alma mater—University of Alberta—did a similar write up about my experience and tips. . . that may interest you too. Click here.
Would love to hear your story! Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
“There are 168 hours in a week—what you choose to do with them is up to you.”
Appreciate your time,