Are you using your creativity and resourcefulness to look around and see what’s available to you to start moving toward your hopes and dreams? Or are you still sitting on the sidelines and listening to your excuses?
It’s a very common condition for us to sit idle and wait for the time to be right. Perhaps we are waiting until we have the right amount of money, or think that we have to go acquire a certain level of schooling, or that perhaps we haven’t met the right people, or that we couldn’t possibly find enough time to do the things that we wish that we could do. But we fully intend to get to these things, “once the time is right.”
Those are all excuses. The right time is right now.
Perhaps that seems harsh, so I want to be clear that I included myself in the “waiting for the right time” group up until very recently. And to clarify, I’m not suggesting that you should expect to immediately experience or have everything you want, but if you ever expect to have or experience the things you desire, right now is the time to start doing something about it.
Are You In the Game?
I believe there are two types of people in this world. There are those who are in the game, mixing it up, doing their best, winning, losing, falling down, getting back up, and learning either way. And then there are those on the sidelines. They are the ones judging, cat-calling, wondering, waiting, cheering, jeering, and even some who sit in quiet desperation, secretly longing to get in the game but are too afraid to step off the bench. They are afraid of what other people may think. They are afraid of failing. They are afraid of succeeding. They are afraid of leaving the comfort of what they already know. They are at least vaguely aware that they have chosen the familiarity of disappointment over the uncertainty of potential. This grinds away at their soul. And whether they are cheering on the people in the game or joking and even booing, they are at some level quietly honest with themselves in knowing that each moment that passes is yet another that they’ll never get back.
Training Camp Counts Too. Learning Is Growing
I have been a goal-oriented person for as long as I can remember. Even so, I relegated myself to the sidelines to a great extent up until fairly recently. To be fair, I had some work that needed to be done before I could get back in the game. And one might suggest that the kind of work I’m referring to is actually an engagement in a game itself, as it requires a curiosity, accountability and commitment to action that can’t be found by, say, sitting in front of the television every spare moment.
I needed to understand and embrace who I really was, know what I was really about, what mattered to me and what did not, what were my values, and how could I be more in the state of gratitude and mindfulness more of the time. I see now that I had to learn how to be able to make the pursuit of the goal something that added to the experience of the present. Otherwise, I found out, when you are reaching after any kind of achievement, you are always leaning a little bit into a future that does not exist yet, a bit of a slave to your expectation of fulfillment while you are playing just a little bit ahead of the beat that is the rhythm of your life. But once you figure out that the pursuit of a better version of yourself that aligns with your values and passions is a much more fulfilling way to remain present and engaged in every moment in the existing here and now, you are ready to be in the game all the time and enjoying the dance. Once that time comes, it’s up to you to lace up your sneakers and get off the bench.
But What If I Don’t Have What I Need?
Still, it’s natural for us to want to wait until the time is right. That is where creativity and resourcefulness come in. Train yourself to start looking and asking around. Embrace the idea that nothing will ever be perfect let alone be perfect right out of the gate. Doing something and feeling like you’re doing it poorly is a subjective opinion anyway and it lives between your ears. But even if you happen to be right, once you have re-framed it all, you will see that you have set the stage for fulfillment as you realize that you are beginning to learn, expand, and improve. This can only be accomplished by doing. And I promise you, when this light goes on on and energizes your spirit, it is what I imagine Superman must feel like when he flies up into the atmosphere and becomes re-energized by the sun. You will begin to pick up an impossible amount of momentum and you will have more energy and focus than you ever thought you could.
I allowed myself to sit on the sidelines for years with things like wanting to do a podcast, recording and sharing more of my catalogue of original music, starting my rock band bucket list project, and even doing little videos to put on my YouTube channel (like the one above), all as a stepping stone to the ultimate goal I’ve had for almost 20 years: a thriving speaking career (for which I’ve made countless excuses for not doing and, as a result, I’m not yet in the game). And I would say that I am still very much at the beginning stages. But I can share with you I have been able to create and enjoy more in the last 6 months than in the last couple of years combined. And each new step that I take, I learn a little bit more, and a little bit more, and a little bit more.
Accountability: If He Can Do It, So Can I … and So Can You
The video that accompanies this blog (above) illustrates some accountability on my part, recognizing somebody who was consistently beating me at these principles. I learned from him, when you may be able to argue that, given my relationship with this person, it should have been the other way around. But by being creative and resourceful, I was able to see a source of support and learning that was sitting right in front of me. You can do it too. Please take a few minutes to watch the video and see what you think
Take a look around. Look differently this time. Ask yourself: how can you just take the first step to get started? Then take it! You will feel some momentum building before you know it. And I invite you to leave a c0mment with what step you think you may need to take, or even just to share what dream you have that still seems so far away. Maybe I can help by seeing it from a different viewpoint. I’ll be happy to try!
It has been said that you miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take. That’s true. But remember … you will not even have the chance to take a shot if you don’t first get off the sidelines and into the game.