Break free from living vicariously through others and craft your own hero’s journey.
Joe is sitting on the edge of his seat as the clock counts down for the last few seconds and the team he’s a devoted fan of has one last chance to kick a game-tying field goal.
His palms are sweating, heart racing a mile a minute and he’s pacing around the room, living in that moment between anxiousness and excitement.
The team lines up to for the kick and he stares intensely and with extreme focus as the ball is snapped and the kick is up in the air in what seems like slow motion.
As the football goes through the uprights, he roars in delight — feeling free, powerful and on top of the world — his favorite team won.
His wife notices and plays along, smiling, a few high fives but deep down thinks to herself:
Wow, I haven’t seen that passion for life in years and years.
Inspiration Through Pixels
Joe’s story is quite common and most people can relate to an instance similar to the above.
That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with viewing sports — but the question becomes:
Do you live vicariously through sports, celebrities and politics?
Many of us feel a lack on a day to day basis, we’ve been conditioned that certain things will make us happy — jobs, cars, relationships, you know — external objects.
And we work our asses off for these things while experiencing the true joys of life on the side, almost a byproduct of our striving to accumulate the above.
This constant pursuit of the external is so imbedded as the fabric of our culture that we bypass and willfully ignore practices, insights and the journey of going within.
After years and years, we get there and then realize, wow — it feels good for moments, but overall, it’s a fleeting feeling.
It’s not what we expected … and that can crush us, leading to questions such as:
This is what I gave up everything for?
Let’s look at why this happens.
Aristotle described the two types of happiness:
→ Momentary happiness, experienced through a large sum of cash, a cold beer, headed to a vacation, sex, adventure, etc.
→ Long term happiness, experienced through pursuing a chief aim in line with one’s values, contribution, working on oneself, longevity.
There’s clear distinctions between these two and most people spend their days trying to fill their cup with momentary happiness because of what it does to our brains.
Long term happiness is that deep fulfillment that wakes us up inspired and grounded with a sense that we’re contributing to this experience called life.
The former is the hollow feeling of knowing that can’t last, leaving us to cling on to the feeling and rationalize why we don’t feel as good as we thought we would.
So we get back to the point of living through other people’s dreams.
We internalize a sports team or an athlete’s journey, their own Hero’s Journey and make it our own because we lack that passion, fire and pursuit of what Napoleon Hill called a chief aim in our own lives.
We cling to celebrity stories and shocking break-ups.
We get high off sports teams victories and get crushed at losses.
We identify with political campaigns and a us vs. them mentality.
…all because we’re filling a void that must be filled.
A universal law states that nature will fill a vacuum, so where there’s space — something will go in.
If your life’s purpose can’t be identified, or you’re simply going through the motions — something is going to fill it and the lowest denominator are things like sports, gossip, reality TV and politics because you need to feel like you’re living a dream, even if it’s someone else’s.
Wherever You Are, Be There
I was in Sedona with my girlfriend recently and we were in the beginning stages of our awesome relationship.
Sedona is a spiritual mecca of sorts — a work of beauty and a place where people go to achieve higher levels of consciousness, unplug or do some type of adventure or retreat.
We’re sitting at a quaint, typical Sedona wine bar — full of culture and glorious people watching, and of course, some deep conversation.
The wine is flowing and we’re having an absolute blast.
Out of nowhere, a table of 15 people roar, hands flailing in the air — many stand up and everyone’s looking in our direction.
“We’re cool, but not that cool…”, I thought — wondering what this could be.
We both turn around and there’s a tiny, low definition television playing a March Madness basketball game, you know — where 19 year olds are playing out their dreams.
We glance for a second, shrug — and go back to our conversation.
To me, this was a fantastic sign of having a deeper connection and a mindset alignment with someone but it also taught me a valuable lesson on purpose.
It was shocking to me how much energy was created in that moment towards a 19 year old kid living out his dream thousands of miles away.
Breaking Free From The Matrix
This post may sound like it’s coming from judgement, but it’s not.
See, like many others, I used to live the life above — spending countless hours consuming information with stuff that really didn’t fucking matter.
I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with sports, hell, I’ve learned some amazing lessons from athletes as I grew up about work ethic, passion and being a pro.
But if you ask yourself the question others aren’t willing to, such as:
Is consuming this information serving me, i.e. getting me closer to what I want or not serving me, i.e. getting me further away to what I want?
If you answer truthfully and the answer is no, then you’ve got to make a decision.
We talk a lot about the nutrition we fuel our bodies with but rarely mention the information that you know, shapes our brains.
It’s no surprise that we live in a culture based on fear — because even if we’re not consciously consuming it, this information is rewiring our brains to operate from that place.
It begins with a choice of understanding that you can create a new reality for yourself right now — this moment.
Here are 3 powerful practical exercises that can move you towards your deeper purpose and help you live a more inspired life on a daily basis.
Create a vision and visualize every last detail.
Wake up 10 years from now in 2026 and imagine you’ve achieved your wildest dreams, don’t hold back. Imagine what it’s like to wake up in this place, who you’re with, what you’re thinking and doing and the environment that surrounds you. Write everything down that comes to mind without judgement or feelings of “I can’t do that…”
Write a letter to yourself.
Write yourself a letter from the place above. Imagine telling the you right now all the lessons, experiences, opportunities, hardships that you encountered along the way and how fulfilling it feels to have lived your vision out loud.
Take one tiny step, and then another.
Every single day, take one action that moves you closer to the above. If you’ve crafted a vision (which puts you in the 5%) then you have a dot on the map you can move towards, which is 100x more powerful than winging it and all it takes is one step to build massive amounts of momentum.
The 30 Day Challenge
I’ll admit it, the above isn’t easy.
It wasn’t until I was moving apartments that I looked at my TV on the ground and thought to myself…
Should I even hang that up?
I didn’t — and the next 9 months were the most immersive, rewarding and chock full of learning that I had ever experienced.
So, if you’re ready — I urge you to take the 30 day challenge which entails no TV for 30 days.
It’s going to be hard at first but once you go a week without and see who you’re becoming — you’ll never look back.