‘So what?’ you might say.
Well, if you have already read the link above, you’ll know that he had 25,000 followers by the time he decided to call it a day. And no, he wasn’t a celebrity, just a ‘normal’ bloke who happened to master the art of entertainment in 140 characters or less.
Giving up that type of following would have been very tough.
Ask any person who has a fixation, a love, a dependence or a pattern of immersion in something and they will tell you that ‘it’s not an obsession’. We convince ourselves that the time and energy – mental and physical – that we devote to our passion is reasonable. ‘No one’s getting hurt,’ ‘I don’t ask for much, I just really enjoy this,’ ‘There are people who are far more into it than I am.’ True, but irrelevant.
We need to take more personal responsibility for our actions.
I loved it when Larry Carlat admitted that tweeting was an obsession – ‘And like most obsessions, no good came of it.’
What good came out of my obsession with sport? Well, there is one, which I will re-engage with once May 24 swings around – the get togethers with my mates. Not having that for almost 6 months has been genuinely hard. There is no replacement.
Sides from that, I managed to become an expert in many levels of meaningless crap.
Player stats, team records, potential trades, coach movements; you name it, I’ve been across it … for countless hours.
The lateral thinkers
I am always encouraged by people who ‘think big’ and are prepared to make sacrifices. I know people who have gone a year without beer (Feb Fast was well and truly enough for me), not had a tv on for 6 months or bought any fashion related products like clothes or accessories for a whole year and kept it to themselves – possibly a more respectful feat. I could go on.
Giving up something seemingly irreplaceable goes against every message we’re being relentlessly sold – ‘You need this’, ‘You deserve it’, ‘This will make you happy’, ‘Buy me now if you want to be as cool as those around you … cooler, even,’ and my pet hate – ‘For the most important person in the world – you.’ (Of course, who else?!) It’s pathetic and haunting and we for the most part eat up every little white lie we are sold. It’s shown in our diabolical consumerist behaviours, reflected in our incredibly high personal and national debts.
I would say that almost everyone has their ‘Twitter’ – their one crutch that life seemingly just can’t do without. When confronted with the option of denying ourselves something, we look at it in the wrong light. Our enormous sense of entitlement rises to the fore and we ask, ‘Well why should I?’
And of course, it’s the wrong question.
In our self righteousness, we fail to glance out to face the alternative and see the positive ramifications, most of them bleedingly obvious.
Depending on what floats your boat, the benefits could be less time in front of the computer, better eating habits, more responsible spending patterns, less binge drinking, more time with the family, more exercise, less exercise!
I played one of the worst basketball grand finals in history many years ago. We were undefeated all season, and our opponents decided that in the ultimate game of the season, their strategy would be to stand still in front of half-court and simply dribble the ball. It was horrible, to play and to watch.
I distinctly remember a good friend, blog reader and basketball aficionado calling out during the game, ‘DO some-thing!’
(We somehow eked out a terrible 23-21 victory on the back of about 17 missed free throws in the second half. None of them by yours truly!)
The point? Education without action is pointless.
What good are inspirations if they lead to zero action?
So, for the first time in 40+ blog pieces and 178 days, I’m going to ask you to ‘do something’!
Go to your significant other, whoever that may be – wife, girlfriend, mate, and ask them, without motive or agenda, ‘If I could give up anything for 6 or 12 months or even indefinitely, what would it be?’
And when they give their answer, do not refute what they say. Simply listen, smile, nod, and if need be, walk away.
To be fair, I’ll do the same thing. (Please God make her tell me to stop watching sport…)
It won’t be the end of the world
I’m not saying you have to do what is suggested to you, but at at the very least, consider it. Throw away your self-pity about what you may deserve and give yourself enough time to seriously ponder the alternative.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be forever. This blog is not titled, ‘My Life Without Sport.’
(After publishing my ‘cricket’ post last week, Australia set a new low, being bowled out for 47 and losing the first test. I said that runs against Steyn would be hard to come by, but that was ridiculous…)