A couple nights ago, Tay and I made the two hour drive up north to watch two teams play a game. We were not playing, mind you, simply spectating. We were spectators. Lebron James, Steph Curry, and their teams were the show. It was fun to watch elite performers performing near the limits of their capacity. Tay and I were mesmerized, smiled, high fived, and hugged, seemingly throughout the show. We were surrounded by fellow spectators, some 23,000 of them who were here, well, to spectate as Tay and I were.
However, as the night wore on in the lower bowl of Quicken Loans Arena, it became clear to me that the masses were not here to observe excellence in action on the court. Beyoncé, seated directly across the court from us, didn’t seem to care anything about the game. The bejeweled young athlete sitting next to Tay, barely made it to his seat before halftime. The 70 something businessman with his 30 something mistress/girlfriend barely noticed there was even a game going on. Most spectators in the lower bowel, it appeared, were here to be seen – spectators, if you will, attempting to be the spectacle.
As I turned and talked to Tay throughout the night, I was inspired by the greatness he and I saw on a court just a few feet away. Very cool. Very inspiring. As we drove home and continued the conversation, I reminded Tay as I am reminding you, dear reader. We go to great games between great competitors, to see greatness. To observe. To celebrate. To applaud. To watch. To make memories. And, to learn. So, when we go back to whatever court we play and perform upon, in front of whomever is our audience, we will remember Curry, James, and their respective teams and push ourselves alongside our teammates, to the pinnacle of performance.
Do not live your life, friend, distracted as a mere spectator. Do not live your life attempting to be the center of attention during another’s freakin’ magic moment on the stage. Do not make yourself into some kinda spectacle. Live your life, friend, so, in front of your audience, especially your audience of one, you will perform with strength and honor, to the best of your abilities, and it will be good. You are special. You are made for greatness. You can’t get from spectator to spectacular without loving your court, however. And, you’re gonna have to get comfortable with putting in the practice when nobody sees. You can’t produce greatness without putting in the work and lots of it. You gotta keep working, keep working, and keep working some more.
A couple nights ago, Tay and I watched greatness. We both left inspired. We are special and far from spectacular. I’m putting in the practice and mastering my craft. Not many notice. I know growth is slow and greatness doesn’t ensure popularity. So, I simply show up and keep getting after it. How ’bout you? Spectator? Spectacle? Something special? Spectacular?
You choose. Your choices have consequences. Good…