As the NFL season is upon us I thought this would be a good opportunity to discuss how television can inhibit a life of no regrets. How many of you watched more football games than only your hometown or favorite team last season? I have to admit that I watched a couple more than I should have. That is precious time that I am never going to be able to reclaim. I would be willing to wager that you cannot remember virtually anything from those games except maybe a play or two in the playoffs or Super Bowl that you could have easily seen during a highlights segment. How many college football games did you watch, reality series, etc? I think you see where I am going.
What else could you have been doing instead? Maybe reading one of those books that you thought was so interesting when you purchased it but have yet to crack it open. Did you know that the average American reads one book per year? Maybe you could have begun or increased your exercise program. Over 60% of American adults are not regularly active. Twelve to sixteen ounce curls do count. I am not trying to make you feel bad about yourself. We can all utilize our time more wisely. The point is that it is easy to take the passive role and watch television. Here is the most worrisome statistic, the average American watches television 4 hours and 35 minutes a day (or 1,672 hours a year). That equates to 41.8 forty-hour workweeks. Can you even begin to imagine what you could learn, accomplish or enjoy in just half of that time.
One of my favorite statements that I read a few years back is that people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year but underestimate what they can accomplish in a decade. I am finding this to be very true if you work towards your goals every day, even if only for 10 minutes a day.
It is difficult to sum up our purpose as human individuals but one good answer is that we should try and live up to our human potential. To do this requires activity on our part. You must make an effort at every opportunity to improve in all areas of our life. You cannot live up to your potential if you take a passive role in life.
I was listening to Hillary Clintons autobiography A Living History recently. A person asked Mrs. Clinton how she managed to get up in the morning. This was shortly after her husbands infidelity incident. Mrs. Clinton answered that she felt she needed to help make our society a better place to live because she had seen so much disease, poverty, and injustice that she knew we as a society could do better. No matter what your opinion of Mrs. Clinton this was a noble answer to a simple but insightful question.
Why do you bother to get up in the morning? The reason needs to be more than to go to work in return for income to the pay the bills so when you finally get a moment to do what you would most like to do that you turn on the television to watch football or any other passive, mindless programming. Please do not misinterpret me. I enjoy watching a football game like many however it comes back to the virtue of temperance (moderation or balance). There is a time for leisure and relaxation but do not overindulge. If you do, you are neglecting some other area of your life that is limiting your potential and will most likely cause you pain and regret at some point in your life.
How do you begin to actively pursue a life that will lead you to your human potential? Begin by asking yourself meaningful questions in the morning and evening. Here are a few examples for the morning: What am I most happy or excited about today? What am I going to do today to move me towards my goals? What am I going to do today to improve myself? What am I going to do for myself today? How am I going to improve my relationship with (someone you love)? Asking questions similar to these every morning will help ensure that you focus some of your time on the important areas of your life and lead you towards your potential.
Then in the evening ask yourself questions like the following: What have I learned today? What have I accomplished towards my goals today? What have I enjoyed today? If you are able to provide concrete answers to these questions then you are indeed living a good life. And yes sometimes the answer to what have I enjoyed today can be watching your favorite football team. But hopefully it is not the same answer for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
So turn off the television and live your life with no regrets starting today!
Originally published on October 31, 2012 by SpeakerMatch Speakers Bureau