This weekend, I skipped watching the NBA All-Star Game. I am a basketball player and I love the game of basketball. I didn’t watch the Superbowl either. That may have been because the blizzard cut out my cable service but I am sure I still would not have watched it had I had cable service. Something has clicked in me this year, however, that has made me shift my time paradigm.
I have decided to make a deliberate effort to not spend more time watching people who have already achieved their greatness while I’m still working on my own. Now this is a fine line to walk. See, if I’m watching Oprah, listening to Zig Ziglar, watching a movie with my favorite actor, or even watching the NBA because I want to see how these individuals perfect their craft and how I can emulate some of their successes in my own life then I can watch them consistently. Or maybe you watched the Super Bowl because you needed a “feel good” pick-you-up type of story. We all need those on occasion. Unfortunately, most of us do not do that. Most of us (and I have been guilty of it myself) watch TV and lament over how better the lives are of the people we are watching than ours.
Have you ever said something to the effect of: “Wow, Janet Jackson is so beautiful” or “I wish I looked like Julia Roberts” or “Lebron James’ mansion is so large” or “I can never sing and dance like Usher”? You see, many of us may get high for a moment watching television, but when the TV gets turned off, we actually get more depressed because we look at our lives and get frustrated over what we don’t have. A friend once told me about a study which said that we are more depressed now than we were during the Great Depression. The reason is that during the Depression, people didn’t have the Internet and cable TV to constantly remind them of what they didn’t have.
In the 80s, there were shows like “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” to remind us of what we didn’t have materially but now that show has been replaced by shows like “MTV Cribs” or “Real Housewives”. Let me be clear: if you are watching the NBA because you are making a deliberate effort to study greatness, watch on. Maybe you’re a baller so you have to study it. If you are really interested in how to live your best life and you are watching Oprah not to be jealous of her jewelry but to see what you can do to take yourself to the next level then go for it.
I spent the weekend with family and at a convention working on my dreams. I watched highlights of the game after I was done working on my dream for the day. What I am saying is that you have to be intentional about your reasons for turning on your television. If you are not, you are turning something that can be a great ally to your personal development into your worst enemy. Be careful because you ARE what you THINK!