I have a good thing…
I run a sports group on Facebook for fans of the Dallas Cowboys and Mavericks. Six years ago, I invited two dozen people to join the new group. Those people invited their friends, who invited some of their friends. It’s only 217 members currently, but it’s a solid group. If you need a place to debate whether Dak Prescott should earn franchise QB money or whether Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic are the future of the Mavs franchise, this is the place to be.
It’s fun. It’s entertaining. It’s a community. It’s a place to talk to people who enjoy some of the same things I enjoy. If you’re like me and your spouse doesn’t give a rip about anything sports other than the safety of those poor men’s brains on the football field, it’s a satisfying opportunity to “hang” with the guys and gals who get it.
This sports group is important to me. It meets a need. And with all the self-doubt and introspective wondering I endure about purpose and calling, I could have looked to my group or to sports writing to a “thing” for me to be all about.
Good ≠ Best
I COULD have gone all in on a sports blog and tried to carve a name for myself in the sports blog world, but each of the three times I started one and got into it, I had to ask myself if it was worth all the effort. If it was worth my time. And the answer was clear. Each time I knew that I didn’t want to do this as my primary thing for the rest of my life.
I didn’t want to be known for sports writing. I didn’t want all my spare time to be spent watching games and reading stats so I could make the most compelling arguments. That’s just not who I am. That life would bore me. And most likely end my marriage.
If I’m Being Honest…
I’m just a fan. I enjoy watching. I enjoy chatting. I enjoy a moderate amount of debate. But the thing that comes most easily to me is easy for a reason. It doesn’t demand much from me. I doesn’t draw greatness out of me. It doesn’t challenge me to face my greatest raw talents and fears and do something with them. It functions as a more creative version of tv watching – it simply entertains me.
While I love entertainment (and I mean LOVE), it serves a particular purpose in my life. It makes hard days more bearable. It gives me respite. It gives me an escape. It allows me to not get stuck in my own head when I can’t solve my problems instantly. Sports has value.
Sports aren’t my THING. And if I’m not careful, they’ll rob me of my THING. My distraction can easily sabotage my development – that very development that would lead me to my purpose – if I gorge myself on it without self-control. Then my hobby becomes my habit, and my habit sabotages my mission. I don’t even know the nuances of my mission, yet. But I do know I’ll never figure it out if I’m obsessing over sports talk.
Time to Self-Evaluate
And so I have to check myself (before I wreck myself! sorry, couldn’t resist). Maybe you can relate. Is there a hobby or easy activity that you get sucked into day after day? Think crosswords, Words with Friends, jigsaw puzzles, Instagram story making, Reddit headlines… there are an infinite number of possible distractions that CAN be useful, but aren’t necessarily the most efficient use of your life.
Is It Entertainment of Sabotage?
Sometimes I procrastinate on the big tasks. When I prioritize a To Do List, I sometimes push a handful of simpler tasks to the top so I can knock them out easily and feel a sense of accomplishment. Such a good feeling to get things done and feel closure.
But when the smaller, less-critical tasks are the only tasks getting done, life is out of balance. It’s time to recalibrate. It’s time to look at the big task as a group of smaller tasks. I break it up and accomplish baby steps – one at a time. Ultimately, it’s a matter of doing SOMETHING that gives me
You know that saying, “Good is the enemy of Best”? That’s a common cliche because there’s no end to the number of good things that can distract us from the BEST thing. They even distract us from discovering the best thing.
What is your best thing? Do you know? What good things are getting in the way of really investing yourself in the BEST?