Instagram is full of inspiring quotes and I often read ones telling me to follow my passion. That’s great as far as it goes, but what if the thing I am passionate about is not necessarily my forte? Passion doesn’t necessarily equal purpose, although on any purpose questionnaire it’s one of the first questions you’ll find. 

Timothy J McClimon wrote in Forbes… 
Some have argued that passion is about your emotions while purpose is the reason behind those emotions. Or, that passion is about the “what” (I’m passionate about ___”) and purpose is about the “why” (“I am here to accomplish___”). Or, that passion is about yourself while purpose is about others. Or, that passion is the result of doing meaningful work, not the reason for doing that work.’
 
I believe that it’s when we discover the impact that we can make using our natural gifting (purpose) that passion is awakened within us. Passion then fuels purpose, it gets us fired up.
 
It is, however, possible to be passionate about a particular sport without being any good at it or great at something but not be particularly passionate about it. Being passionate about something without being purpose driven gives us a little escapism. Football was just that for me – an escape, and my passion. Saturday was game day and my focus was on something other than changing the world, it was about beating the team in front of me. 
 
There were a few things I learnt on the pitch as a player and then a manager of an amateur team that I’d love to share with you. I found that my passion for football taught me some really important lessons that I was able to translate into the realm of purpose. It ended up being more than just an escape and an outlet for unspent energy!
 
Passion caused me to adopt a ‘pro’ mentality 
You might not be a pro but you should invest in learning to ‘kick with both feet’ as it were. I loved the look of surprise on the faces of the opposing team players when, after using one side, I shot with the weaker foot! Taking corners with both feet allowed me to score a few direct goals. Working at developing your skills will help you take the world by storm!
 
Feelings are not always fatal, passion can be reawakened!
Some days I didn’t feel great. Everything seemed a struggle, even before getting to the game. Once the game had kicked off though, a good tackle reset everything. I got my mojo back. The traction came through action.
 
Passion should be used the right way
When I was still playing, before the managing days, I remember having a particularly bad year. Whatever could have gone wrong that year did! I was grateful to be able to channel my anger on the pitch and that season I won player of the year. I must have played the entire season angry! I played like my life depended on it and left my frustration on the pitch.
 
Everyone can be passionate about their position
There are many roles in a team, but when you ask players where they played at amateur level few say anything other than up front! Even the best defenders say it! Everyone loves to score a goal. I found it interesting that real success as a manager came from building units, more than searching for star strikers. I made each player part of a unit. Even our defenders, over time, were celebrating clean sheets as if they had scored a goal. The back 5, including the keeper, became tight. The core of midfield talked on and off pitch. The forwards had different strengths and wingers and goal scorers knew their roles.
 
It’s important to have a passion for the team
On many occasions while managing I had to remind players that we were better together. Some of the best football we played was when we were missing one or more of our superstars.
 
On one occasion we were up against a team that had beaten us 4-1 near the start of the season by dint of a dirty tricks campaign. We knew that talent wasn’t enough to beat them, it was time to rely more heavily on tactics. During the game we had lost everything had gone through the midfield. The other team’s number 8 had won every header, using a fair amount of elbow, and we hadn’t been able to compete. We watched them for weeks leading up to our game and it was always the same story with their game plan. We decided to put a player of our own on number 8, a player who was himself an ex pro and knew a thing or two about cunning play. Every time number 8 jumped our man backed into him, held his shirt and rolled over. Each time it looked as if he’d fouled our man and number 8 would lose the ball. We managed to beat them 5-1. The midfield general had been ‘out-thought’ and he didn’t even want the ball by the end of the game.
 
Football has been a passion of mine that has fueled my purpose. Playing in a team, and then managing one, taught me the lessons in leadership that I later relied on. 
 
Passionate people often get caught up in the moment, however, in tough times, passion (on its own) doesn’t cut it. It’s purpose people, fueled by passion, who keep going through tough times. You can have one without the other but having both is the real difference maker.
 
We’d love to help you communicate your unique purpose and the passion that drives you by telling your organisation’s story in a creative and innovative way. We’ll make sure that your audience understand your message and we’ll help you to optimise your brand marketing methods.

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