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.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand & Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.