Perhaps the most important thing we ever do in life, is to live it with purpose. Whether you’re an athlete or a non-athlete, having personal purpose is paramount to your existence.
It’s something we’ve all heard at one time or another, on the radio or television. We may have read it on billboards, online blogs and magazine columns. Often thrown into our weekly horoscopes - “Find your purpose in life and live it.”
But how often do we really resonate with the notion of self-purpose and how much attention do we give to what genuinely drives us forward in life?
The answer? Probably not enough.
Roy T Bennett, author of ‘The Light in the Heart’, once said, “If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.”
Athletes, perhaps more than most people, will truly be able to relate to this statement, having relied heavily on ambition, passion and exceptional will-power to drive them through to achieving sporting success. An elite athlete’s career is always first founded on a dream – ambition and determination, both the driving factors in the journey to becoming a talented and skilled athlete. It is a career choice that is essentially pursued and then nurtured through passion.
Self-purpose is a personal attribute, frequently revisited by active, working athletes throughout their time in the sporting industry.
So, what happens after the final game? What follows once you’ve competed for the last time?
The end of sport is not the end of purpose.
It is, instead, a time to re-connect and re-align with all your personal motivators, rediscovering all the things that matter to you most.
It is the perfect opportunity to apply your individual morals and values into discovering a new direction that will lead you to feel fully accomplished in this new, exciting chapter of your life.
This is an excellent time to consider the concept of ‘authentic purpose’, taking time to think about how your gifts, talents, skills and strength of character, can still positively influence not only your sense of self-worth but offer credible benefit to other people’s lives too.
Purpose is an ever-evolving, personal characteristic. Throughout the numerous challenges, obstacles and opportunities we each experience in life, the definition of our own purpose, what it looks like and what it means to us, will evolve with us. If we are living well, then we will be always be re-evaluating what genuinely matters to us.
ACT play a pivotal part in helping retiring athletes to re-define their purpose during their career transition from the sport industry.
Ben Paszkowec, performance psychologist for Athlete Career Transition, said: “When you live your life with a sense of purpose, you begin living positively and start seeking out new opportunities. You start experiencing everything that you feel will make a difference. We help athletes to understand their priorities and help them to lead a purpose-driven life after sport.”