Finding Purpose In What You Do

Pretty eclectic group shown here. So different, but also so similar. What ties them together?


News broke a little over 48hrs ago that one of the pioneers in sports talk radio, known here in NY as “The Pope,” Mike Francesa, was returning to his role as a host on the radio station, WFAN. Tho he’s a big name here, for those unfamiliar w the background, Big Mike worked at the top sports radio station in the country, for 30 yrs straight, retiring this past December.


The only thing is, he didn’t just retire. He spent a full yr on a “retirement tour”…he complained the whole yr abt the politics at the station, & he charged a large group of fans to attend his own going away party when his “final” show approached. Now, a mere 4 months later, he went above his old boss to lobby for & ultimately get his old position back.


Back in ‘07, actress Emma Watson told the press, “I have enough $ never to have to work again.” Then in 2010, she referred to the end of the Harry Potter series as a “retirement.” That proclamation didn’t last long, as she went on to star in movies like The Bling Ring & The Perks of Being a Wallflower.


In 2014 Alec Baldwin announced his retirement from public life, ha. It didn’t last long. Since then, he’s appeared in films such as Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation & has recently played a recurring role impersonating a certain POTUS.


Singer (& actress) Barbra Streisand said farewell to show biz before returning a few yrs later. Back in the ‘90s she announced she was done w touring. In 2000 she gave a farewell tour. Then, in ‘06 a comeback tour ;).


Finally Brett Favre…well I don’t think I need to say much abt this one even if you’re not a sports fan & as a suffering Jets fan myself, I can confidently say ONE of his returns was enough.


So, the commonality here is – individuals who found deep meaning & purpose in a career, performed at a high level for some or many yrs, “tired” of that life, only to return to it: one, two or maybe 17 more times!


As humans we need purpose. We need a reason to get up every day.   And…we know ourselves by a certain identity. Take away that purpose & identity, it will make even those who have had “enough” of their old life, come back seeking more – for lack of knowing where else to turn.


This is why I loved Alliance Member, Keith Bulluck’s contribution to One of the best defensive players in the NFL, up for the HOF, & meanwhile, he was finding where else he’d have passion by getting his MBA, & starting a sports mktg agency after his playing days were up: Transition Sports & Entertainment.


I see this in my own family w my father. HS principal for 30+ years & he eventually “tired” of it. But that was his purpose & identity. So now, he took that passion a different direction as an education reporter for CBS 880 & a class scheduling consultant for schools. The dude works more now in “retirement” than he did when he was “working.”


Main takeaway is – whether it’s a tangent to a current position (eg, athlete to broadcaster; teacher to tutor), or a completely new area you find passion in, work on finding your Plan B.  There is sooo much out there to go after w nonprofit work, volunteering, consulting, new technology, etc. It’s not easy to always identify passion, BUT, passion is part of what keeps us going…& rather than return to something bc you’re lost & don’t know what else to do…exploration of other opportunities is worth the time put in!

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