It’s funny how our mind works.
When many of us face obstacles, we tend to believe we’re the only ones facing that obstacle. So we don’t talk about it. We internalize everything. And because of that, we feel alone in a battle with a Goliath we can never beat.
In all reality, there’s hundreds – if not thousands – of people out there going through the same situation, if not much harder ones – yet they’re overcoming it. Because we don’t know about them, we assume we’re alone. And we believe our battle to be an impossible one.
Neither is life. And that’s why I love them both.
I felt it fitting that today, Super Bowl Sunday, should be the today I break the news. The game of football isn’t fair.
Yes, the field is the same width and length for all players. The football is the same for both teams, and the time on the clock doesn’t sway one way or another. But the game is still not fair.
Certain players (ahem, first rounders) are given extra opportunities that seventh rounders (or free agents) aren’t. You know that guy who committed those off-the-field atrocities? Yea, he’s been signed again because his talent is too much to pass up, while that guy over there (the upstanding citizen) is cut to make room. Even on the field, the odds aren’t even. Some players are just flat-out better than others. They’re born with a rare talent – and even more so, they work hard to make the most of that talent. They have physical advantages that other players on the field will never know. And the best players? Use every ounce of those talents.
Football has been my favorite sport since I could walk. I still remember playing with my dad in our living room as a small child, and those Friday nights in east Texas? They’ll go down as some of the most fun times in my life. I live and die each season with my Horned Frogs & Panthers. The game of football was my first love.
We tune in every single week to watch the game and cheer for our teams. As a society, we love the game of football. Friday nights. Saturdays. Sundays. It’s our favorite time of year, and the TV ratings, ticket & merchandise sales, and water cooler talk all verify this. And I’ve never seen a sport better embody the game of life.
So why, do we complain and moan that life isn’t fair?
Who writes your permission slip?
I remember when I was in school the permission slip was the key to getting out of class (and occasionally escaping boredom!). Sometimes you got a doctor’s note, sometimes the counselor would help you sneak out of class, and a few times the principal would give you the pass. You needed that slip to do anything outside of sit in class and learn. Your parents, teachers, & administration “controlled” the slip, and therefore controlled a part of you.
For some reason, as we grew older, we continued to act like someone has a pen and holds our permission slip. As if we can’t do anything without obtaining their permission first. We sit in neutral, choosing not to chase a dream because we don’t know if we have the permission to. We stay in a job we hate and in an environment that stifles growth because we don’t feel like we have the permission and right to make a change. It’s as if we are unable to give ourselves permission to make a change.
Chris Brogan is a big proponent of giving yourself permission. He writes,
“Permission is about claiming your crown. You can choose what you want to do next. You can choose how you respond. You can decide that now is a great time to get strong.” (Seeking Permission).
In other words, why do we wait for someone else to give us permission to do something that only we can do?
- Who are we waiting to approve our choice to pursue a goal?
- Who signs off the paperwork to make a life change?
- And who have we given power to do decide how we can and cannot live?
Chris once asked me – who gave me permission to start Compete? The answer was simple – me. I made the choice. I acted. I gave myself permission to succeed or fail in the pursuit of this goal. If I waited on someone else to give that permission, I would have never started. I would have constantly sought approval from others who don’t have the power to give me what I needed.
I’ll ask again, who writes your permission slip? If the answer isn’t you, you’ve given the pen to the wrong person.
I challenge you today to take it back. To claim your crown. And for you – and only you – to decide what to do next. It’s your life, Compete for it.
This week’s Monday Motivation is a reminder about the importance of perspective. How you view an obstacle determines your attitude & actions.
Look at David & Goliath. Every Israelite was terrified of Goliath. They saw the giant as an impossible victory. But not David. David had a different perspective – one in which he knew he would win – and acted accordingly.
Do the obstacles we face in life hinder us and hold us paralyzed with fear? Or do we view them as possible victories?
Those two words are the most damaging to your dreams. “Being realistic” is accepting things as they are and lowering your goals. “Being realistic” means changing your dreams to fit inside their expectations of what you’re capable. “Being realistic” means living by their rules.
Not your own.
“Be realistic” is the phrase people tell you when they lack the vision to dream as big as you do – and the willpower to pursue dreams of that magnitude. It’s not that you can’t. It’s that they can’t, so therefore they assume you can’t. It’s a good thing your life isn’t dictated by what they believe to be reality. It’s dictated by what you do.
Don’t “be realistic” – be outrageous. Be flamboyant. Be wild.
Be YOU. Dream YOUR dreams. Set YOUR goals. Create YOUR life. Refuse to “be realistic.”
Dream big. Live bigger. Always.