One lovely tradition my son and I share is watching a bit of soccer on Saturday mornings.
I don’t want to overstate this “tradition”. After all, my son is a mere two years of age and has the attention span of a napping beagle. However, he knows what he wants, and—on Saturday mornings—he insists the TV be tuned to soccer. What else can a proud, soccer-obsessed dad do—but politely oblige?
This past weekend, though, we found a canned infomercial in place of our usual match. A let-down, to be sure. My son immediately scampered off to a world of imagination. But before I could follow, I was trapped. Trapped in the clutches of the infomercial tractor beam. 15 minutes later, I had watched the remainder of the presentation.
Let me start off by saying that I didn’t buy anything: product or hype. However, that’s not to say my world wasn’t rocked by those few moments in the glow of the tube.
This particular promotion was about a fitness program. There were a series of personal testimonials, each one more remarkable than the last. It was encouraging and inspiring–just about all you can ask from a paid commercial presentation. By design, I found myself considering how my story compares.
“It worked for me, it can work for you,” said the voice on the big screen.
“He’s probably right,” I thought. “But there are so many other things I am more passionate about.”
So I turned off the TV and was left to my thoughts. That’s where the can of worms got opened up big-time.
Ok, fine. So let’s say I don’t make this specific commitment. But what are these “other things” I am willing to make an unwavering, relentless commitment to? Or put another way: what part of my life is nurtured, sculpted, and cultivated with the type of perseverance found in lives that are engaged in meaningful transformation?
Big questions for a guy who just wanted to watch ninety minutes of soccer with his two-year-old.
I like to think of myself as a man of many passions. A carpe-diem, sans-regret type of fellow. Not a bad way to think of yourself (if it’s true). But in that moment, I realized that I was buying into my own hype. I had created my own personal infomercial. But the payoff wasn’t there. There was no “it-worked-for me-it-can-work-for-you” reality.
My many so-called passions, left unchecked, were like a shelf full of fantastically interesting half-read books.
A stark realization, but a needed moment of self-examination.
That morning was a needed reminder that what we do matters most. What we claim to believe is empty without follow-through.
The time is always now to take inspiration and cultivate transformation.
I don’t seek perfection. In fact, even success is secondary. But I believe to live sans regret means to pursue the invisible. The pursuit of something greater than my current capacity. A place out of view from where I stand now—the only place where the invisible takes form.
Life sans regret occurs while on the journey, not at the finish line.
The journey begins today.