There is a huge misconception that if you are not good at something right away, well that just means that it isn’t for you. We see this even with sports and the business of travel leagues and national competitions during early childhood development. If you have not achieved a certain level of success while in the single digit age group, then your future success is unlikely right? However, having this mindset can be extremely limiting. Finding your passion may take several attempts at trying new things and can sometimes happen when you least expect it.
Mahé Drysdale from New Zealand is the current Olympic champion and five-time World champion in the single sculls in rowing. If you are not familiar with the sport of rowing, it dates back to Ancient Egyptian times. It requires an incredible amount of endurance and training that happens before most people wake up. Interestingly enough, Mahé Drysdale discovered the sport at 18 years old. He then took a break to focus on his studies before going back at it and qualifying to represent New Zealand in the 2004 Olympics, where they placed fifth. He followed this with a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a gold in 2012 in London, and gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. At the age of 41 he has been training for the Tokyo Olympic Games, which shows that with discipline and hard work, he is still able to compete at a level with athletes half his age.
Another example of world class, comes from as far as the Congo. Dikembe Mutombo started playing basketball at the age of 16. However, he focused on his dream of becoming a doctor and went to Georgetown University on an academic scholarship. Likely due to his 7 foot 2 inch stature, the Hoyas basketball coach recruited him to join the team at the age of 21 as a sophomore. Along with his teammate Alonzo Mourning, he became one of the greatest shot blockers and defensive players of all time. In his 18 season career in the NBA, he went on to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year four times, an eight-time All-Star, and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Off the court, Mutombo speaks four languages and five African dialects and is highly regarded for his humanitarian work.
Give yourself some grace if you haven’t figured it all out. Now might be the perfect time to focus on trying new things. See where your interests might lead you and find something that you are passionate about. Despite what others may think, if you are doing something you enjoy, and with hard work, you can even do something great. For this weeks #MakeItHappen, we challenge you to learn something new. Start researching an online coding class, learn a new language, pick up an instrument. Let us know what you are passionate about by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your story and tag us on social.
Go make it happen,
Luly & the YTeach Team
“If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”
— Bishop T.D. Jakese