Since yesterday’s post was abt the risks of myopically focusing on our passions, figured I’d change course & talk abt the upsides of finding & diving in to our TRUE passions (so long as we find balance).
This pic’s from 2002. Other than my terrible floppy hairdo, it’s interesting for so many reasons. One of my earliest roles w the NBA was traveling team-to-team, presenting to the players abt the “Business of Basketball.” I had to take pics to prove that we, The League, were there providing this type of guidance to players.
This particular player I’m standing next to was hyped as a “can’t miss.” A 6’-11” 290 lb athletic phenom…such a phenom that he was the 1st ever player drafted right out of HS as an NBA #1 Overall Pick in 2001. His name: Kwame Brown.
So why talk abt Kwame & share this pic in a talk abt passion? For those not familiar w the full story here, despite his mammoth size, athleticism, & hype, Kwame is looked at as one of the biggest busts in NBA history. For comparison purposes, Michael Jordan wasn’t drafted until the 3rd pick his yr.
So what makes a “can’t miss” pick, well – miss? Many factors go into this, but at the end of the day, one of the biggest factors is passion. And it’s not even something we can fault ppl for. The real question is – just bc you’re fortunate enough to have supreme talents that’d make the “experts” think you could excel in a particular field/focus, does that mean that’s what you should follow?
Maybe no one feels bad for someone like Kwame, but was his thrust into “can’t miss” status, based more on what those arnd him were telling him – bc of his size & athleticism, as opposed to what he was passionate abt?
Kwame may be someone who would’ve lacked passion generally, if he’d explored other careers instead. But what we do know is that his passion/commitment for basketball didn’t match his given talents. It begs the question – regardless of our gifts, wouldn’t we be better off chasing something that fires us up, more than what others (even parents) tell us we were “made for”? Just bc your body/talent may say one thing, your PASSION is often what separates you.