— This isn’t going to be a popular subject, but I’m just going to come out and say it: You only get one life, and the clock is ticking. So how much of it are you really going to spend in front of a stupid TV?
It drives me a little crazy being around “normal” people, “normal” couples in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and all they can seem to talk about are the shows they watch on television.
These are the same people who look at me and my life and seem astonished at how much I accomplish, amazed at my level of energy and drive.
To them I probably seem a bit obsessed.
And I am.
I’m just not obsessed with staring at television screens for hour after hour when I could be working on creating something awesome.
Now, I admit, now and then there’s a place for an hour of some show as entertainment or to simply unwind. I totally get that. (I’m not saying TV is evil. Heck, I watched every episode of Seinfeld back when it was on, and I loved it all.) But it’s like any kind of relaxation — you should indulge in it with moderation. More importantly, you should enjoy it in proportion to its real importance in your life.
I know people with serious relationship problems, serious issues going on with their kids, serious weight issues, serious financial challenges . . . And yet instead of trying to DO something about these, they sit on their couches for 3 or 4 hours every night watching TV, or sit playing video games into the wee hours of the night. (Maybe hoping to escape from it all. Who knows?)
More to the point here, I know a lot of would-be artists and writers who talk about how they would love to become REALLY good, but they “never have enough time . . .”
And I’d sympathize, if I didn’t also know that they were making time every night to binge-watch three hours of television.
Night after night.
Week in, week out. Month in, month out.
Do the math and you find that three hours a night adds up to SIX 40-hour work weeks each year. Six weeks a year!
Ask them how their portfolio is coming along, and they can’t offer much … but they CAN give you an enthusiastic scene-by-scene recitation of what happened during the last season of Walking Dead or Breaking Bad or whatever it is they’re addicted to at the moment.
And it IS an addiction.
I get that.
But wouldn’t it be better to become more selective in what you became addicted to?
What if instead you became addicted to taking walks with your camera or going for a short run every day? What if you became addicted to creating cool adventures for your family? What if you became addicted to improving some important part of your life (learning to create more exciting works of art, for instance)?
What if you became addicted to becoming AWESOME at something?
When I’m around “normal” people and they start talking about all the TV shows they watch, I want to grab them and shake them and say, “Enough. This is your life. It’s happening right now. CREATE something with it already!”
I don’t actually say that, of course.
Mostly I just sigh inwardly and look for an excuse to get the hell out of there.
Because I’ve got a LEGACY to create.
And I’m not going to find it watching television for three hours every night.
Face it — the clock is ticking.
For me and for you.
So please, I beg you: Go fall in love with something that matters. Give the precious hours of your life to that instead. Commit to it. Go all in.
Shut off the TV and decide to use that time instead to become amazing at something.
Do that, and you can’t begin to imagine how incredible your life will look a year from now.