Tony Robbins was in Dubai yesterday, and my social media feed had a bunch of people waxing poetic about the experience. In my library audiobook collection was Zig Ziglar, the grandfather of pep talkers. So I listened to him on the metro instead of playing a game. One thing he keeps repeating is the phrase “Are you a wandering generality, or a meaningful specific.” He must have repeated that phrase 20 times over 10 minutes. True to his marketing roots, a message is only heard, if you make sure people heard it. No better way to ensure they heard it than repeating it after every anecdote. What can I say, it worked.
He opened that audiobook, which is an amalgamation of his talks in front of audiences, by asking the audience whether they’d travel to Acapulco, all expenses paid, if the only catch was that they had to leave home for their tropical destination by 8 am the following morning. They just had to drop everything and leave. He then walked them through all the reasons a person wouldn’t be able to walk away, and the excuses they create for themselves.
He shared his journey to credibility, because as someone who is meant to help people move to action, he needed to look the part. So he got serious about looking the part as well. His argument was, how credible would I look, if I was telling you that you could be anything you wanted, if I looked like I could barely breathe walking back and forth on this stage. He likened it to taking advice from a doctor that encourages you to quit smoking, who you then see smoking.
This made me think of the game I absentmindedly play sometimes. For the quiet moments, when I’m transitioning from one state to another. It requires just enough skill that it’s not swipe zombie material. It’s free, and any payments you can make are cosmetic in nature. No, it’s not Fortnite. I enjoyed it because it didn’t require interaction with Fortnite type kids. No audio interaction, 4 minutes long. Just the kind of thing I thought I could put down.
Some time has passed since I first tried that game, and I noticed that I leveled up most of the characters to their maximum. Out of curiosity, I checked my statistics. They stated that I won 5,463 games. A quick calculation and I’d spent just over 15 complete days playing this game.
Here’s the thing, I’m pretty sure I won one game for every five I lost. So I’ve probably spent a ridiculous 76.86 days or ~2.5 months of my lifespan over the past 2 years click clacking away at this game that's supposed to be all of five minutes long at most. The last time I spent that much time on a game was on the 90s when I played civilizations 2 for a whole summer.
I've paid the cost of making excuses for things that don't help me. I'm going to start tracking the excuses I make, for the things that need effort, like being healthy. It's like Zig said, "you don't pay the cost of getting healthy, you enjoy the benefits."