148. You can’t win the game if you’re not in the game.

148. You can’t win the game if you’re not in the game.

Boy, did he ever look different. He had changed so much in the months since I’d last seen him that I had to look at him really long and hard before I recognized him for being him.

Six months ago we had sat in my office and I had listened as he poured out his sadness about the direction his life had been taking.

Now today he looked healthy, prosperous, and he had the kind of expression on his face that is reserved for those who know they have the world by the tail.

So naturally I asked him what happened, what had so caused him to change from the unhappy, unhealthy person of six months ago to this vibrant, excited person sitting across from me today.

He summed it up in just a few words. He said “I made a decision. I decided to stop playing at the game and to get in the game. I chose to stop being an observer and to become a player. Every day.

He went on to explain to me what he meant by that. He told me that he’d spent years and years of his life playing at his business, playing at getting healthy, playing at doing things that he wanted to accomplish

He said he had spent years playing at, not playing in, getting in shape, building his business and many other things in his life that were not providing him with the results that he wanted..

I asked him to explain to me what this meant and his answer helped me realize how big a difference a simple choice can make in our lives.

He reminded me that six months ago he had been complaining about how difficult and challenging his life had become.

He remembered “whining” about his struggle to get into shape and stick with a routine program that would get him there and keeping him there.

He had talked about how his business moved from mediocre to mediocre and never seemed to move to any level beyond that.

And he told me he’d gone home and spent that evening in serious introspection.

And as he honestly evaluated his behavior, his approach to getting in shape, his approach to running his business, his approach to everything else, he came to the sad but truthful realization that he was the sole cause of his not realizing any of his dreams and ambitions.

And he told me that the epiphany occurred when he realized that he was only playing at these things. He was, at best, a part-time participant in his get-in-shape program and a part-time contributor to the success of his business.

He was a part-time actor in the play that was his life.

And he decided there and then that he was going to become a full-time actor.

And he rewrote the entire script.

And put himself in the starring role.

And starting the very next day when he left home to go to work, he went to work. He changed the word “work” into a verb and he decided that being at work meant he was there to do work. And to do the work that really mattered. The work that consistently edged him closer and closer to where he wanted to be.

And he stopped taking an hour each morning to go out for breakfast because, after all he was at work to work.

And he stopped keeping himself occupied with “busy work” – those things that were comfortable to do but did not produce results for his company.

And he forced himself each day to do the very things they he should have been doing day after day after day for the past many years.

And he was now in the game. As a full-time player.

And the results began to show.

And his business took off like a rocket because he was piloting the business all the times and not  pretending to be a pilot for a few minutes here and a few minutes there.

And he did the same thing with his personal life. And he stopped playing at getting into shape and he got into the business of getting himself in shape.

And he was in that game two. As a full-time player.

And the results began to show.

And he realized that prior to getting in the game he had spent years mastering the art of rationalization.

He had excelled at rationalizing why it was ok to miss a workout when he didn’t feel like doing one, why it was ok to enjoy three hour lunches with his friends when he should have been building his business, why it was ok to eat that chocolate bar because “everything in moderation” was a really good substitute for the discipline of saying no.

And he concluded that rationalization is nothing more than the theft of progress.

And by consistently being in the game his life had climbed to levels of happiness he had only previously dreamed of.

In only a short six months.

And he concluded by saying that the only difference between your dreams becoming reality or remaining wishful thinking is a small thing called total commitment.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Till we read again.

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