You see it all the time, people who go through life as spectators, never getting off the sidelines to participate in the game of life. They are content to watch the progress of others, contributing little more than their own commentary when they need to take action.

It is difficult to understand for some, leaving them scratching their heads at the inaction of others. But I understand it completely. You will get out what you put in, and when you have little skin in the game, well, what can I say?

Many have fallen into the spectator role unintentionally, but one of the consequences of remaining there is that this becomes a habit, a way of life. We are all creatures of habit and when we get comfortable doing something, we tend to stay put.

Are you a spectator?

Now I’m not here to beat up anyone, particularly if you’re reading this and it brings a little discomfort. I hope to point out the fact that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Look, we’ve all had our moments. Those times when we wish we had done better or taken another route. But you’re still alive, so grab some real life before the game is over.

Get off the sidelines!

Just look at the impact of inaction. Nothing really happens, other than the calendar flipping with each passing day. Today will be much like yesterday and tomorrow, well, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life. Yeah, I know it sounds hokey and corny and all of that, but is it not true?

We watch sports because we enjoy seeing others perform and reach or score a goal. That’s big time fun and we enjoy it. We often wish we could get out there and participate as well and many of us do.

But life is a little different. Sure we like to see others succeed and enjoy success, but it’s not as much fun when you are making little if any progress yourself.

So what is the number one reason you are not scoring in life?

Hint: You’re not in the game!

You can never score if you’re not in the game; you have to get off the sidelines. Grab the ball and run with it, and don’t worry about fumbling because you surely will, but just pick it up and run some more.

To truly find success in life you have to do more than talk a good game, you have to play a good game as well.

Be Brave and Adventurous, Like a Child

Remember when we were mere tikes?

We were brave and adventurous, taking chances at every opportunity. We saw others riding a bike and we wanted to ride too. So we’d get on one and give it a go.

Yes, we often came home with scraped up knees, elbows and maybe even a missing tooth. But hey, we took a chance and learned from the experience, making ourselves better. You can probably still ride today, no?

But something happened on the way to becoming an adult. Some of us lost a measure of that courage. You see, many people want no part of taking a chance with something that could cause failure. They would rather stay safe on a job that underpays and underwhelms, for 30 years and with little real security. But that’s a topic for another day.

You may need to reach down within and grab some of the childhood courage and apply it to today’s situation. Don’t be afraid to fail, that’s part of the game.

If you participated in sports during your school years you can surely remember how fear nearly paralyzed you the first time or two you entered the game. It was one of those OMG moments where you were so focused on not failing that you probably did. But then things settled down and you went on to contribute like you knew you were capable of doing. In the end it was better to have played and lost than to have not played at all, leaving you to wonder what if.

It’s game time

No matter how old or young you are or what your status in life may be, it’s game time. Suit up and get ready to compete for your position in life and get off of the sidelines. You’ve been a loyal spectator but now it’s time to let someone else have that seat, and there are plenty of takers. :-)

Yeah I know, there is always a little what if that crosses our minds when we get ready to leave that comfort zone, but focus on the positive what if scenario. What if you actually succeed and reach your goals? Would that be a life changer for you?

Life is not a spectator sport, get out there and “take it to em”.

I’ll close by simply repeating one true statement; you can’t score if you’re not in the game.

Stay Productive!

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23 Responses to Life Is Not a Spectator Sport

  1. Evelyn says:

    Hey Jimi,

    I love this post!

    Just the swift kick I needed. :) Well, I needed the nudge. Sometimes I get fearful of failing, but hey, we never know until we try. How can I play the game if I never ever get out there and show ‘em what I got?

    I remember every time I had a tennis match in high school, I was scared to death, but once I got warmed up, I was good to go. Life is just like tennis, it builds character. And we’re the only ones who can do it

    Take care,


    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hi Evelyn.

      LOL – I know what you mean about those high school sports challenges. Man, I was terrified the first time I played basketball. Too busy worrying about what others would think if I messed up somehow, which I did. :-) But once the butterflies are gone, you just settle in and do what you have to do.

      Life is no different.

      Glad you like the post.
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..How to Make a Fresh Start in Life

  2. This is so much in harmony with one of my favorite quotes, “Life is like a piano, what you get out of it depends on how you play it.”
    On the other hand, if you are not playing it you won’t get anything.
    Anne Sales | Coupon Codes´s last blog post ..GotoMeeting Promo Code

  3. Jimi,

    I love the analogy, and it is so true. It is important to get out there and participate in life. I think fear of failure or not doing well holds a lot of people back. But the fact of the matter is that failure, though it does happen, gives valuable lessons. Every failure gives great indications on “how to succeed”

    Most great successes have had some catastrophic failures, but without the lessons learned by trying and failing they never would have achieved success.

    The chance of failure should never hold you book, nor should the opportunity for success be the the only reason people, “play the game” the REAL reason should be that when you get out there and play… it is simply more fun than being a spectator in life.
    Steve@Lifestyle Design´s last blog post ..I’ve Quit Blogging…

  4. Hey Jimi,

    Great article with some solid points man! The spectator metaphor you have used there is really great. Unfortunately these days a lot of people have taken that position. Let’s face it – being a spectator is far more easier than being in front of the spectators.

    In my opinion many people just don’t understand that being in the lights is uncomfortable in the beginning only. Then you just slowly start getting used to it. It is worth taking the plunge, diving into the unknown and seeing the benefits.
    Daniel Sharkov´s last blog post ..Boring Articles – What to Do and What not to Do with Them

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Hey Daniel.

      Yeah, spectating is easy, getting out there and making things happen is what so many find difficult to even start.

      Funny how we find ourselves nearly terrified of some things, only to find out later that it wasn’t that bas after all. :-)

      Getting started is often the toughest step.
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..10 Ways to Motivate Yourself

  5. Jimmi, you have written an encouraging post. Yes, We should play the game to make scores. And most of all I like your example of a child who is brave to learn anything new.
    Keep writing!
    nazimwarriach´s last blog post ..Hostgator Coupon Code

  6. Wow, wow, wow Jimi! I can truly say that reading this gave me goose bumps… which rarely happens.

    I absolutely love your spirit and your commitment to be a stand for other people living the life they love. It’s inspirational and heart warming.

    You’ve gone above and beyond with this one. OK next Synergy series, THIS is the article to submit!! ;-)
    Michele Welch´s last blog post ..How To Create An Inactive Link In WordPress

  7. I spent a lot of the last few years not asking myself questions, not dreaming, not seeking something new because I knew that to do anything like that would require action. I am an “action” kind of person, but in taking action, I took a risk (in my mind) of not being the parent I love being to my daughter.
    Monday (Happy V-day) I learned that later this year the job I currently hold will not exist. I need to explore my options as they aren’t sure that there will be something for me after that point.
    I find myself excited! It is time to take action again! I would have preferred to stay settled for another 2 years to see my daughter into her Jr High and her new life, but it isn’t going to work like that.
    So I am dreaming… I am attempting to find ways to energize my résumé such that it reflects the creative and innovative me; and I am “manifesting” a wonderful job that will allow me to be as involved with my daughter as I am now for the rest of her elementary career!! Anything is possible!
    When I told a friend that I want to go into corporate responsibility, she said that it was a dead end – she wouldn’t bank on that direction/job. First, I think that the position would be perfect for me, but second… “Why not try??” I am visually disabled and yet have lived around the world, traveled extensively, and am a fabulous single parent and person… There is nothing that isn’t possible if I take action and create!

    (Thank you for the post and the space to write!)

    • Jimi Jones says:

      Having that strong sense of commitment to your family is powerful. That alone can often serve to motivate.

      Never stop dreaming, my friend. I’m a big dreamer for sure, within reason. I always try to find the positive side of things and there usually is one.

      You have a great attitude and outlook. That’s what it takes to keep pressing ahead in life, regardless of what others may say. Your daughter is very fortunate to have someone behind her like that.

      Thanks for your visit and wonderful comment.
      Jimi Jones´s last blog post ..How to Make a Fresh Start in Life

  8. Taking action is the only way things can happen. If I want to change my life I HAVE to take action. Standing on the sidelines just means everything stays the same.

    We are both thinking along the same lines Jimi. I have just published a post on New Year resolutions call “Embrace Failure”. As you said if we take action we risk failure, but tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life. We should try, and if we don’t succeed try, and try again.

    We have a childhood story here in the UK about a spider building a web that keeps getting broken, but the spider trys, and trys, and trys until eventually the web is complete.

    Thinking I’m Peter Parker in Leamington Spa, England
    John McNally@Blogging for Pleasure and Profit´s last blog post ..Google &amp Alexa TRAFFIC Update

  9. Ezra says:

    Hey Jim,

    Thanks for the insight. Keep up the good work!


  10. Henway says:

    Great post. I reached an epiphany a few weeks ago where I realized I was really a witness in life. I was watching ppl accomplish their dreams, pursue business ideas and tackle on exciting projects in life, while I was dreaming and wishing. But no more. Life is too short to be a spectator. Gotta make it your lobster and bend it to thy will!
    Henway´s last blog post ..Doing a Salt Water Flush

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