The Difference Between Passion and Purpose

Hearing a comment Lance Allred made last night in Cleveland w the Cavaliers, a city/team where he actually lived his childhood dream of playing NBA basketball, reminded me of this story:
When the idea first came in my head to start an Alliance of ppl w platforms to all talk abt MH collectively/similarly, one of the first ppl I reached out to, cold call style, was Theo Fleury.
In wanting to know if he was the “right type of person” to jump on board & start building this Alliance concept w, I asked him: “Theo, would you give up ur favorite goal you scored in your NHL career, to save one person’s life.” He responded & it still gives me chills a yr later: “Eric, I’d give up my Stanley Cup ring & Olympic Gold Medal just to CHANGE one person’s life.”
I was “sold” right there that he was someone I wanted to stand next to on this life mission. However it also helped further clarify the difference btwn passion & purpose for me.
Theo played the game of hockey. He played it at the highest levels. He was passionate abt it beyond most ppl’s imagination. But, it wasn’t his purpose. Using his platform to now save lives is his purpose. The fulfillment he gets from what he does every day, far surpasses anything he accomplished on the ice.
Lance looks back & he went thru a lot of pain & sacrifice to become the NBA’s first deaf player. But his purpose, now that he’s found it, is to inspire others to use the challenges they’ve faced as lessons, & to live each day sharing your emotions & connecting w others.
There is a big diff btwn passion & purpose. I myself was beyond passionate abt working at the NBA League Office & for the front office of teams. But it wasn’t my purpose. This, I have found thru my own self-reflection & teammates like Theo & Lance & all our other Alliance members is my purpose. When you have purpose, you keep going. Bumps in the road don’t stop you. And you’re actually healthier- physically & mentally.
So to those in the community here’s to finding YOUR purpose. And a big thanks to the Alliance for being a group who – isn’t abt themselves – & genuinely wants to change the world🌎, together.

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