Igniting Passion

Mike Singletary is remembered as one of the most feared players in football history.  He was a player of immense talent and possessed an even more immense passion for the game.  He was a key component in the Bears teams that dominated the NFL in the mid-80s, particularly their 1985 Super Bowl win.

By 1992, however, things had changed with the Bears.  It was Singletary’s last season and the Bears were struggling.  The “Monsters of the Midway” had lost five in a row and everyone was questioning their coach, their dedication to the game, and their will to win.  

“What has happened to the Bears?” was the single most asked question in the city of Chicago.

In an interview late that season with a writer from Sports Illustrated, Singletary sat shaking his head in disappointment as he offered his answer.

“It used to be that teams would play us and their guys would be lucky to get up after our defense got through with them,” said Singletary, recalling those dominating seasons of the past, “I can remember our players foaming at the mouth, wanting to hit guys over and over again…”

But that was the past.

“Now,” he said, “Instead of having a bunch of guys flying to the ball, I go into the huddle and say, ‘Come on!  Come on! Let’s go!’ Then I look into their eyes, and I can see it.  They’re just not with me.”

Singletary acknowledged that it wasn’t coaching or tactics or talent that was lacking.  The missing ingredient was passion, and that is something Singletary says can’t be summoned at a moment’s notice.  It has to simply be a part of you, something that has been cultivated and fueled day after day after day. 

Singletary believed that the Bears could return to those winning, dominating ways, but not without a serious change of heart.

“The guys have to talk about it, dream about it, work for it, want it,” he said, adding, “We used to have a coach around here who’d say, ‘If a puppy doesn’t bite when he’s a puppy, he is not going to all of a sudden start biting when he gets to be a dog.’”

What about you?  Do you have passion for something in your life?  Is there that “glow” of desire in your life for your relationships, for your work, for your faith, or for some life-long dream?

Truly dynamic people are people driven by a passion.  They act on that passion by living life to the full, making the most of each and every day, no matter what they are doing.  They see every day as a gift from God to be lived with grace, purpose and, yes, passion.

It’s not too late to fan the flames of that passion, no matter what your age. Do a bit of self-examination.  Determine what is truly important to you.  Ask yourself what is holding you back from having that relationship, or that career, or that faith that you want.

Then, go after it.  Period.  It’s your choice to make. 

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