Do me a favor, okay? Grab either a pen and paper, pull out your notes on your phone, or find whatever you can to have visual representation. Now, I want you to write down five things you are passionate about. Don’t limit yourself, each thing can be either a single word or an entire story. Take your time, we are in no rush here.
Now, look at your list. What makes up your passion? Did you struggle coming up with five things or was it tough for you to narrow it down to only five? What do you see when you look at what you wrote?
When I created this series of Sundays with You: A Journey, I knew I wasn’t doing it for the people who follow my blog or the random people who would click on it every week because they saw it on my social media. I was creating this series for the people who needed it, and the person who needed it most was me. As I mentioned in the introduction, I wasn’t quite sure where each week would take me. It’s easy to type up 2,000 words for a blog post on any topic, but it isn’t easy to convince yourself that any combination of words and sentences will actually make a difference. Finally though, I found my topic for the second part of my series Sunday with You: A Journey… Passion
When I graduated high school, Jason Dragoon, one of my teachers, gave me a book. The book was They Call Me Coach by John Wooden. For those of you who are not familiar, John Wooden is one of the most decorated and celebrated figures in sports mostly due to his time spent as head coach of the UCLA Bruins basketball team. At UCLA Wooden coached Lew Alcindor (better known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) who went on to become the all-time leading scorer in NBA History. Wooden led a team which won 88 straight games spanning over a four-year period. At UCLA, John Wooden won ten national championships, seven of them being in a row.
Do you ever read a book and know that in some way it changed your life, but you’re not quite sure how? Me being the sports head that I am, I loved John Wooden’s book. I was taken into his life and got to read the stories about his time spent as one of the most iconic sports figures ever. I learned about leadership, passion, love, and so much more. However, when I finished the book, I didn’t have the feeling that it had changed my life. It was a great book, but not life changing.
Life changing moments can come at any time, that’s what makes them so scary, right? Do we ever really know if we are prepared for our “big moment” to come where everything we have worked so hard for finally pays off? In my experiences, true “life changing moments” rarely happen. And I know what some of you may be thinking… What about having a kid or the day I got married. While I am sure those moments were indeed life changing for you, that’s not necessarily what I am referring to. In movies and books, we often see the “lights come on” moments where it seems like every answer they have been searching for presents itself in one big gesture. For me at least… I can’t say I have had such an occurrence.
Sometimes when I seem to have a writer block, I will go to YouTube and start watching motivational videos to try and find the inspiration I need. While doing this recently, I came across a speech given by Rick Rigsby. You can find the speech here on YouTube and while it is 10 minutes, I don’t think you will regret a second of watching it. In this post I will be specifically talking about minute 2:52 through 3:45 of the video. In his speech, Rigsby says so many things that made me think about how I live my life and the self-made walls which I have created to prevent myself from becoming the best version of myself. “Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity. Pride is the burden of a foolish person,” Rigsby states. Too often I have argued with people that I am not egotistical but instead prideful and proud of the work I do. Never have I heard ego spoken about like Rigsby did; never have I felt so dumb for caring what others thought. Rigsby’s words reminded me that being proud of yourself can in no way be substituted by others being proud of you. Pride must be built on a foundation of internal satisfaction and if not, I challenge you to ask yourself, are you “filling your cup” or are you feeding your ego with your work.
As I continued the video, Rigsby brought up John Wooden, the legendary ball coach who I had read about roughly 7 years prior. I figured Rigsby would speak about his accomplishments, his national championships, who he coached, everything I mentioned above. Instead, he spends no more then two seconds mentioning who he is. Instead, Rigsby spoke about what made him special. I’ll let you read his words…
“John Wooden coached basketball at UCLA for a living, but his calling was to impact people, and with all those national championships, guess what he was found doing in the middle of the week? Going into the cupboard, grabbing a broom and sweeping his own gym floor. You want to make an impact? Find your broom. Every day of your life, you find your broom. You grow your influence that way. That way, you’re attracting people so that you can impact them.”
And just like that, there was my “lights come on” moment. I finally knew how John Wooden’s book had changed my life. His writing prepared me to be ready to not only hear what Rick Rigsby was saying, but to understand what he meant. Find your broom. It’s that simple. If you are doing what you are passionate about, staying late and picking up a broom will seem like just another way to have an impact rather than another task you have to check off of your to-do list.
As I reflect on both my personal and professional life, I can’t confidently say I have found my own broom. There are days where I love what I do and feel like I am having an impact, but I find myself questioning whether I am picking up a broom because it’s my passion or is it because I want to advance up the professional ladder and seem like I am the best at what I do. So, how do you know? How do you find your broom?
Do me a favor. Look back at your list from before. Is what you do daily, regardless of if it is personal, professional, or in between the two, made up of everything on your list? Is it made up of anything on your list? What you are passionate about should never be put on hold and if your daily routine doesn’t consist of the majority of things on that list, then that is exactly where you are… on hold.
I know some of you might be thinking “it isn’t that easy. I have to work to make a living. We all cant have our dream job” and I hear you loud and clear. What I think I’ve realized, however, is that life changing moments can pass you by if you are not ready for them. Finding your passion likely will not be easy, but the work you do to find it will not be wasted time. Throughout this journey I will continue to discuss ways to find your passion. Just as I wasn’t sure how John Wooden’s book had changed my life, I’m sure many of you have had the same moments. What I encourage you to remind yourself is that sometimes you don’t need to realize that your life was changed in the very moment it was changed. Maybe all of the pieces of the puzzle aren’t on the board yet and you still have work to do to find out how it will have an impact in your life. Finding your passion, however, is the first step which I have identified to be necessary to start this journey. Without passion as the foundation, any structure you build will eventually crack under turmoil. So, how are you going to find your broom?
Thank you for reading along and, more importantly, for letting me spend this Sunday with You.
-Colin Lane Croat