Over the past several years, in the midst of the long hours and frustrations, at times I have questioned whether I made the wrong choice pursuing the coaching profession, which I believe is a question that many people of all ages grapple with. Now, despite still not having had any tangible success (see previous blog EVEN IF), I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is where I am supposed to be, and I hope that my revelation might help someone else that may be dealing with similar lingering uncertainty.
While recently reading Garden City, I realized that “Why I Coach” is really not quite as simple as “To make an impact” or “It’s what I’m passionate about” or “I have a future there.” Coaching is what is right for me because it is my Intersection. Coaching is where the different viewpoints of my calling collide. When I think about how to evaluate what you’re going to do with the rest of your life, I feel that a couple of perspectives/questions emerge that people use to make that decision.
What am I good at?
This could be a useful perspective. At some level, being skilled/talented in an area could/should correlate to future success and maybe even contentment. But what if what you’re really good at just isn’t very useful? What if you’re not passionate about it? What if it doesn’t give you much of a chance to grow?
What do I love?
A ton of people use this question as their filter. If there was a single filter to use, this one might be it. If you’re passionate about something, that should lead to contentment and hopefully success. But what if what you’re passionate about, you’re simply not very good at? What if you have no background/network to get you a start in that field? What if, at best, you can only hope to be average in that area?
Whose lives can I change for the better?
This has been a key part of my identity for a long time. Both on an intimate, emotional level, and on a more broad social level (Change the World). I want to make a difference, both in the lives of individuals and in the world around me. But what if the place where I can make the most impact, I don’t have the requisite skills and abilities to be successful? What if, while attempting to impact others, I would sacrifice my own growth and contentment?
Where can I grow the most?
This has a lot to do with your personal background, experiences, and connections. Everyone is geared more towards certain things than others based on how you grew up, who you know, and how your skills and abilities translate. But there are certain paths that you might be immediately successful in, yet there isn’t much of a ceiling in. You might be challenged and content in that industry for the next 5 years, but what about in 10? 20?
What I am getting at is this: I think the entire direction of one’s life is of far too great of significance to simplify to a single question.
I truly believe that if I was basing my vocation based off of any single one of those questions, I would be doing something else.
Gifting? Business or Sports Admin
Passion? Leadership or Ministry
Impact? Missions or Politics
Potential? Business or Politics
What I have devoted my life to doesn’t make the top 2 in any of those four areas…. WHAT??
Coaching is not the highest point on any of those lines.
Coaching is where those four lines intersect.
Gifting– My intellect, communicative skills, and leadership ability are useful here.
Passion– I love competing. I love watching others grow. I love diagnosing and solving problems. I love getting better.
Impact– I get a chance to impact the lives of individual young men on a daily basis AND I have a chance to use the platform of sports to promote positive social change beyond the field.
Potential– I am a coach’s kid that grew up around the game. I have had a chance to play for and coach with the ABSOLUTE BEST in the industry. I am better suited in this industry than any other to have long-term success.
I believe that our calling is where our GIFTING, PASSION, IMPACT, & POTENTIAL collide.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do believe that I am right where God has called me to be. For that, I am grateful.
When people used to offer me advice about my life path, they would say things like “Just do what you love” or “Well what are you good at?” Inwardly, I would roll my eyes and think If it were only that simple…
This is an admission that it’s not simple, but it is manageable if you look at it the right way. Hopefully, this idea of our calling as an “Intersection” of multiple factors can help give you some direction and peace. If nothing else, I hope it challenges you to evaluate what you do with your life through each of those lenses.