The invisible

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—and so he insists the TV be tuned to soccer.  What else can a proud, soccer-obsessed dad do—but politely oblige?

This past weekend, though, in place of our usual match—we found a canned infomercial.  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.