Stadiums are filled with thousands of people but only a few people on the field. For example, there might be fifty thousand in the stands in football, but only 100 players on the field between the two teams, and only 22 people engaged in the game at any one moment.
It speaks to the crisis of action we see in the world today. So many men are ok watching other men engage on the field of life, crush it, collect big money, but never really look at our own life for where we are a spectator.
I know because that was me; I watched others do things that I wanted to do and reach goals that I wanted. I would tell myself; guys like you don’t do things like that; they can do things like that but not you. This belief was rooted in a story in my sophomore year of baseball in high school, where I played two innings all season. That year I learned that others get to play on the field of life, but I will always be just a bench warmer.
It was that story and belief that I had to break. I had to learn how to act by taking the smallest step that I thought was possible and repeated over time I learned to travel miles.
When I took the hard look at being a spectator in my life, a big lesson came to the surface; I needed to suspend the need to know how. I would sit on the sidelines saying, I don’t know how, so let’s just wait till the how shows up.
“Suspend the need to know how” – Ben Killoy
Screw that; the how typically never comes is what I learned, the how only shows up after you tried and failed a few dozen times or if your Edison ten thousand times. So glad he didn’t wait till he knew how to start before trying; that could have been some dark times.
To go from spectator to action-taker, you need to let go of the how and focus on the why. When the why is strong enough, big enough, and compelling, the how finds a way.
Think of Tom Brady; he was labeled a guy that wouldn’t cut in as a quarterback in his twenties and that he would never make it. Glad he didn’t wait till he knew how to play at an elite level.
If you are reading this and the reality is sinking in that you are a being a spectator for the first time, here are three things to focus on.
- Create a strong vision for where you want to be all in playing on the field.
- Start where your feet are and take the smallest step possible; repeat daily, and you will change your life.
- Adopt a never-quit mindset on life; if it’s not working, pivot, but never quit.
The stakes have never been higher, and it is bigger than just you. If it is your desire for your kids to be engaged in their life, you first need to be involved and leading in yours. Kids will follow in the footsteps you leave, making sure they are worth following.