Are You a Spectator or Participant?

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It’s Super Bowl Sunday (February 3, 2019) and that time of year I wonder how people are doing with their goals for the year. It’s also the day my mother died 16 years ago. In a little over a month, it’ll be 20 years since my father passed. The Purpose of Life weighs heavily on my mind.

New Year goals can be rocky… we start with gusto and things easily fall apart. There were 9 projects I wanted to begin over winter. With only 10 weeks to accomplish this, I had them organized, planned out, and details mapped out. Setbacks came and I’ve adjusted accordingly. Like you, I don’t get paid to play around… focus is crucial.

I’m obsessive about accomplishing tasks. Half my life behind me, I figure I don’t have an eternity to get everything done. Make it count while you can. Life just ain’t that long.

I set strong boundaries for who I give my time to. Because I’m clear on who I am and what I want to contribute, I can say no to projects that don’t serve my end goal of making the world a better place.

Last week, Bo Eason posted a video challenging us to harness the focus of a Super Bowl QB. If you haven’t heard of Bo, check out his YouTube videos HERE or his website HERE. As a former safety in the NFL, he’s aware of the focus it takes to Be in the Game.

The average person wastes 4 hours per day (equal to 13 years of 24/7 time spent) on television. When I teach the section on Time Management in my Transformation 101 book or course, I give a disclaimer. Perhaps you aren’t wasting 4 hours on TV, but I bet we spend the difference on social media. 20 minutes here and there on Facebook, Instagram, you tube videos, playing video games, etc.. Anything pulling you from your purpose in life is nothing more than a distraction.

Let me be clear—watching educational videos or videos pushing you to a better version of yourself aren’t a waste of time. Taking 30 minutes in a course or a Wellness-inspiring video doesnt count towards that 4-hour distraction.

Sometimes, movies or Netflix binging is a necessary evil. Ask yourself if your distractions “are the exception or the rule?” (Yeah, I watch movies and I binge on Netflix during the week between Christmas and New Year—we then cancel our 30-day trial subscription and resume working on projects.) Perhaps you use TV as a reward or downtime between projects—you need rest and reflection before beginning the next big goal.

Back to the Super Bowl analogy…

I thought about past friends, clients, co-workers (and myself at one point) who spent countless hours and dollars on “things.” Whether they’re spiritual junkies, shop-a-holics, those who buy programs they may attend and never used, or entertainment, my question is the same to you:

Are you a spectator or a participant?

Are you looking at someone else’s work, maybe even pretending it’s “meant for inspiration,” or are you actively putting your best foot forward? If you aren’t aware of your passions and aren’t setting boundaries and taking steps to get to those passions, you’re a spectator.

I use books, online courses, or webinars as a distraction and means of being a spectator. I know if I’ll use the knowledge.

A spectator is the guy in the stands wearing a jersey, screaming at the players on the field running left when they “should go right.” What the hell do you know, sitting in the stands? Can you imagine what it’s like to have 50,000 people staring at you, judging your every move? A spectator constantly regurgitates information someone else creates. Spectators dabble.

Do you know what it takes to write a book, to post a video, to make a movie, release a song, or paint? Do you know what’s involved in making that meal you said is cheap and bland, yet you willingly paid for it? You give up some of you authority and autonomy when you make a purchase.

If you can do better, do so. Even if you can’t, I say try. Some of our best creations happen during our mistakes. 

Stop being a spectator. Get out there and participate. Make a change. Rattle cages. Give a stranger a smile and wish the cashier a fantastic day… as a friend once told me, “I had no idea how small steps led to a big change.”

I wonder where my parents would be now if they had been participants in their life. Please don’t let your friends and family have those same thoughts about you. Play the game—let it “be bigger than your distractions.”


What are your thoughts?

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