Thursday, August 14, 2014

You're Not Special

“Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life.”
Jackie Robinson

You’re not special.
You’re not unique.
You’re not interesting.
There are nearly 7,000,000,000 people in the world. 
So you’re not special. 
Unless you want to be.
But you have to want it.
You have to more than want it.
You have to work for it.
No one else can do your work for you.  Even your loved ones, even those who want to see you succeed, cannot do it for you. 
(Besides, they have their own work that they should be doing.)
It doesn’t matter how many people want to see you succeed, there is a force against you.
This force, call it the world, the flesh, the devil, Resistance, the Enemy, the Pain Body – call it whatever you will – is real.  It’s an external force.  It’s political, social, societal, and financial.  It can come from the government, the schools, the churches, or the workplaces.  It can even come from your family.
It’s the voice saying, “Give up.   You can’t do it.   You already work hard enough.  Why add more stress to your life?  Just relax and watch TV.”
It may not be a coincidence that so much time, energy and money in our culture, in our world, are invested in TV, video games, professional sports, and other forms of entertainment. 
We are conditioned to watch, not to do.
We are conditioned to be spectators, not participants. 
But no spectator has ever made a touchdown or a home run.  No spectator has ever written a book, started a business, worked with autistic children, created artwork, or produced an album.
No spectator has ever changed the world, his country, state, city, neighborhood, or family. 
No spectator has ever changed his or her own life.
Jackie Robinson said, “Life is not a spectator sport.”
It’s not.  The analogy is obvious and I won’t repeat it or belabor it here.  But, for all its use and overuse, the analogy is still true.
Talking doesn’t do it.
Neither does wishing, hoping, dreaming, or even praying.
Only action changes our lives.
Only action and participation in our personal dreams make us special, unique, and interesting. 
Here’s the good news: Eventually enough action leads to results. 
It’s not a guarantee, but no results are guaranteed if there is no action. 
As I write this, I realize I have to follow my own advice. 
I need to keep taking action against my own inertia, fear, laziness, and the belief that I have nothing new or interesting to contribute. 
I too have to work to be special, interesting, and unique. 
I too have to Get Started and Keep Going.
So do you.
Because you’re special.