Fulfilling Other People’s Dreams

Posted on September 25, 2017 by Kurt Borne

Cincinnati Bengals Vs. New England Patriots At Gillette Stadium
Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Image

No matter your opinion on the current NFL Players vs. National Anthem debate, I think the far bigger question is, “Why do we spend so many hours helping to fulfill the dreams of others?” Those others being the overpaid players and coaches living their dreams on the field, as well as the owners, the network moguls, and the commercial sponsors of the teams and events. We spend hours and dollars every weekend helping to fulfill their dreams when we spend money at the gate or provide ratings from our couch. And if we’re participating in the fantasy side of sports, well, then we’re talking about significant amounts of time devoted each week.

Now, I’m not naïve to what the original intent of sports was and still is for some, which is to escape from our daily worries and enjoy a leisure activity with friends and family. But somewhere along the line this whole thing got blown way out of proportion. It went from a purely fun activity to what I would call a dream-killing waste of time.

We escape our humdrum lives by spending time and money enjoying our favorite sports teams and celebrities. We join fantasy leagues to make it more fun. We buy jerseys and gather at bars and tailgate parties prior to the games, all to make it more exciting. We spend our weeks talking about the past weekend’s results or the upcoming week’s match ups. We listen to the TV and radio experts give their expert analysis, to the point that we fancy ourselves to be expert analysts.

I get it, I really do. I also participated for many years. I understand the fun, the camaraderie, and the escape it gives us.

But thankfully for me, middle age settled in, and with it came a few eye openers. I started asking myself questions like, “So is this it? Is this what my life will be? Working 40+ years at a job or career that I barely like (although I’ve convinced myself that I love). And the only recompense I allow myself for this wasted life is to live vicariously through athletes I don’t even know. That’s it? I’m going to do this year after year, football season after football season, basketball season after basketball season, until I die?” Yikes!

This realization started sounding a little too “grim reaperly” for me. It was difficult to break myself of the sports routine, partly because it had been ingrained in me since childhood, but also because binge-watching sports is just what everybody does on weekends, right?

It has taken the past several years to break myself of the unhealthy addiction. I’ve had to take the extreme measures of dropping cable TV, because if it’s just a click away the temptation is too strong. And the task that’s been equally challenging is that of filling my sports void with the revival of my own dreams, and having the discipline and determination to get moving on them.

One thing’s for certain: my goals and dreams would still be on the shelf collecting dust if I hadn’t removed sports and other wasteful endeavors (i.e. TV) from my weekly routine. You can’t chase your dreams while at the same time sitting on the couch.

So let me ask you, “What big life goals and dreams did you shelve away so many years ago? What did you want to be when you grew up? Can you even remember?” It’s never too late to dust off those dreams and get at it! (I won’t reveal my age, but believe me, it’s never too late.)

I would just ask you to consider what’s at stake. Do you want your adult life to be spent in a job or career that you don’t really like, while rooting for other people to fulfill their dreams? Or would you rather get to work on your own dreams? I firmly believe that we all have a unique purpose for why we are here on Earth, and I’m pretty sure that that purpose is not to sit on a couch fulfilling other people’s dreams.

Please share your thoughts!

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