Before the 2012 NFL season began, Eric Thomas addressed all of the Miami Dolphins’ players and coaches. Thomas is a renowned speaker and educator who delivers high energy messages that encourage people to live up to their full potential. In his speech (short excerpt below), he talks about Kevin Durant and what makes him such a competitor.
If you are going to be great, you have to have a why.
Thomas poses the question, “What’s your why?” In other words, what makes you want to succeed? What makes you train a little harder? What makes you take that next step from good to great? When Durant was in high school, his coach and mentor passed away at the age of 35 (the reason why he dons the number 35). That’s his why. That’s what drives him. That’s why he wants to succeed so badly.
Durant’s story is tragic. That does not mean you have to have endured a tragedy in your lifetime in order to be a great competitor. Perhaps, your why is the fact that everybody always told you that you would never amount to anything. Maybe your why is that you grew up in poverty and you don’t want your kids to grow up in the same situation. Your why can be anything! But, Thomas argues, you have to have a why.
You have to have a reason why you do what you do.
Be passionate about what you do. If you’re not, find something else to be passionate about. If you play a sport to have fun or to be around your friends, that’s fine. But, you will never achieve greatness. Don’t get me wrong, sports are meant to be fun, but they’re meant to be fun when you win; when you achieve your goal. If you’re having fun when you lose, something is not right. Have a reason to do the things you do. Find what makes you run faster; what makes you train harder; what makes you compete with more determination. Find your why.