The extra wants a speaking role. The speaking role wants a bit part. The bit part wants a supporting role. The supporting cast want the lead. It’s the energy we put into what we’re doing now that matters, because the reality is that there will always be higher demand for extras than leads. If we fail to shine as the leads in our own lives, it’s because the spotlight is continually succeeding at lighting our shadows.
The best thing in life to get the better of is the desire to better than the best. That’s an external drive with (at best) only momentary validation. The internal drive to be better than you were yesterday so you can be your best self today is renewed every waking moment. That’s sustainable, even on days when it feels unrealistic. If you can vanquish the desire to be anything more than the best you can be in the moment, you’ve defeated the worlds greatest rival…the Ego.
There’s a quote from the 1998 movie Rounders: “If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.” The same goes for change: If you don’t see enough change happening around you, that’s a sign for you to initiate the change. Sometimes we need a sucker punch of perspective to get things moving. Don’t ignore the reality that you might be the sucker getting punched by reality.
Would you choose to live better if it were part of your job’s scorecard? If your yearly performance evaluation at work also included how well you have been living your life outside of work and not just about how well you’re doing your job, what would you do differently? Now, what’s stopping you?
Knowing when to make a move is knowing when the game is lost. When you are able to see both sides of the game, you’ll never lose, for you’ve no longer given any more thought than necessary to the loss in front of you because you’re too busy moving forward. The only way to lose is to overthink what’s already been lost. That’s not preparation – that’s dwelling.
Wouldn’t it be foolish to think that time stopped because our watch battery died? Yet, how many times have our choices been the equivalent? How many times have we fooled ourselves into believing that time stopped because we didn’t feel like doing anything more with our time on a given day? We can choose not to bother to look at a watch that doesn’t work; we can attempt to not look at the time. But we know better – the question becomes: Why does that knowledge not equate do doing better?
There is no one to blame other than yourself for the choices you didn’t make. In the past, if you chose to ignore the internal voice that was steering you in the right direction, take the wheel now. Even if the results of your childhood insecurities are still painfully present in your life, take the wheel now. Time is running out. The relativity of this absolute truth is individual, and what individual knows what you want more than you? Make good with your time, because it’s the only time you have left.