I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to pursue a goal or dream and how to best set myself up for success. Passion, vision, commitment, having an open mind, serendipity, and allowing for God’s plan to play out are the things that come to mind when I think of how I want to pursue my dream.
Passion and Commitment
What is passion? Many people answer this question by saying that it is loving something deeply or that it is when they care about something more than anything else. While those interpretations are kind of right, I interpret “passion” a little differently.
Passion is actually a word derived from the Latin term, passio, which means “willingness to suffer” (i.e. Passion of Christ quite literally means the suffering of Christ or Christ’s willingness to suffer). So when you think of something you want or really care about, think about whether you are willing to suffer to some extent to achieve or pursue whatever it is you claim to be passionate about. In this case, my goal is a career in sports law (not an easy career to get into at all). However, after extensive thought, I have determined that this is a career that I truly want to pursue—and if that means putting in actual work, figuratively or literally getting my hands a little dirty, or suffering through hours of painstaking academic work or other types of work, I am more than willing to do it. Much like in any profession or sport, you cannot be good at something without paying some sort of price to truly achieve—typically, that price includes suffering to some extent. Without passion, there is no real willingness to suffer. Without willingness to suffer, one does not really have a true passion for something.
“Without passion, there is no real willingness to suffer. Without willingness to suffer, one does not really have a true passion for something.”
Throughout my life—due to the way I was raised—I have allowed myself to be motivated by all types of things from different sources. Of course, it’s easy to be motivated by the doubt of others or by your own desires, but I have also been motivated by little things—songs, movie quotes, movies, etc.
One movie quote in particular comes to mind when I think about passion. In the 2001 movie, Serendipity, Dean Kansky (played by Jeremy Piven), an obituary writer for the New York Times, was speaking with Jonathan Trager (played by John Cusack) in an effort to tell him he did the right thing after Trager cancelled his wedding in hopes of finding his true soul mate. What he said to him will forever be a quote I hear in my head in anything I ever decide to pursue throughout my life. He said, “You know the Greeks didn’t write obituaries. They only asked one question after a man died: ‘Did he have passion?’”
I can only hope that I pursue all of my goals—from my faith to my family to my career—with passion. Only then will I be able to say that I gave everything in order to achieve. If you live with passion, there’s usually nothing more that could have been done to achieve dreams, goals, and aspirations. One thing is for sure, if I do not pursue this dream career of working as a sports lawyer (agent, in-house counsel, or otherwise) with passion, then I simply don’t want it bad enough.
I recently had an opportunity to speak with an agent/attorney at CAA (Creative Artists Agency) in my efforts to gain some knowledge about the sports law career and what I needed to do in order to get closer to achieving my dream. He told me several useful and helpful things, but one that stuck out to me was that you cannot just “love” sports and have knowledge about athletes, statistics, and scores. Rather, he said that if I really wanted a shot in this industry, I need to be fully committed to the project—110% all in. This should come as no surprise; however, many people who believe that they want to get into this career tend to do it for the wrong reasons. They either believe that because they played sports growing up or because they are a super fan and know all types of statistics that they want to pursue a career in this field. Many also want to pursue it simply because they want a huge paycheck. However, there is so much more to it than that.
The fact of the matter is that, in many sports, there are more agents than players. It is a struggle and a grind to maintain business and reputation within the sports law world. It is also a very competitive area of work where many do not succeed. Therefore, if you decide to pursue a career in this field, much like what I am trying to do, you have to be ready for set-backs, grinding, and, of course, suffering.
Without real passion (and commitment), there is no way to achieve the goal of working in the sports world as an attorney.
However, that does not mean there is no hope. Fortunately, we all have the ability to do certain things like committing to the pursuit of something greater than ourselves or working hard to the point of suffering to achieve what we want.
As with most things in this life, there are no real shortcuts to achieve anything worthwhile, including careers. Poet Rudyard Kipling said it best when he wrote, “If you don’t get what you want, it is a sign either that you did not seriously want it, or that you tried to bargain over the price.” Here, there is no bargaining. Hard work, commitment, and passion must be present in order to achieve this goal.
To end this post, I want to share what my Torts professor told the 1L class at the end of my first year of law school. He gave us advice that should be obvious to so many, but that really never plays out in reality. Basically, he told us to not just pursue a law degree for the sake of getting a law degree. He advised that we should go for what we really want and what we are truly passionate about or else we will be miserable. As for me, whether this dream works out or not, I am choosing to take his advice and pursue this dream to the best of my ability with real passion and commitment.
So, ask yourself: “Do I have passion?” or “Am I living with passion?”
I hope this post provides some sort of motivation or sparks some sort of conversation among the readers. I also hope it is helpful for those, not only in sports law, pursuing a career or any other dream. Let me know what you think. All feedback is appreciated!
My next posts will be about vision, having an open mind in pursuing a career in sports law, and allowing for serendipity and God to work in your life. Please give those a read once I post them later. Also, I will be traveling to the University of Oregon by way of car in a week for their Sports Law Institute, where I hope to gain a greater understanding of sports law and hope to meet many other great people interested in the same career I am. Posts are sure to follow after that experience and I hope you will give them a read.
Thank you and God Bless.
“If you don’t get what you want, it is a sign either that you did not seriously want it, or that you tried to bargain over the price.” – Rudyard Kipling
– Dale Hutcherson