I like to think of myself as a relatively well-rounded conversationalist. I can talk to you about a little bit of everything; history, science, philosophy, business. I even know a wee bit about sports. (Ugh, sports).
But there’s one thing I almost certainly know nothing about: TV shows. Ask me about the latest episode of The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, or whatever else half the world is raving about on social media, and I’ll be absolutely clueless.
Most people are even more shocked when I tell them that I stopped watching TV ten years ago. Not because I had anything against it, I just couldn’t afford it as a broke college kid. It didn’t take long to adjust to life without TV, especially if all I had to do was turn to the internet if I wanted to waste time.
Last year I wrote about why I got rid of my Xbox. The countless hours of Call of Duty were massively entertaining, but I always felt terrible after those long gaming sessions. Two or three hours a day over the course of a year might yield an impressive kill/death ratio, but investing those hours instead into building something I could be proud of seemed like the better choice.
Flash forward a little over a year since I wrote that post. I’ve doubled the traffic to my blog, my guide “Stop Dreaming and Start Doing: How to Actually Do What You Love” has been used in a university setting to help college students find their path, I’ve coached dozens of aspiring entrepreneurs one-on-one, and I’ve been invited to speak at local events about the importance of creativity and pursuing what you love. Not only that, I also started my photography business which has picked up quite a bit recently. I had never picked up a DSLR camera in my life prior to February of 2014, but I spent all last year working on learning as much as I could about photography. I’ve already been asked to do four weddings this year.
The point of this post isn’t to brag. It’s to highlight the amazing amount of things we can achieve when we invest our time properly. Last year, I took note of where I was in my life and where I wanted to be. The discrepancy was huge, and I knew the only way I was going to close that gap was by doing the work.
Am I saying you have to stop watching TV? Not necessarily. But I am saying you have to make some sacrifices. Take note of where you are now, then ask yourself where you want to be. What do you have to do to get there? What stands in your way of achieving it? Identify your biggest distractions and then either minimize them or cut them out completely.
Sure, it might suck for a while. But which is worse: refraining from an all-night Netflix binge, or being doomed to never achieve your dreams? When you think of it that way, your choice becomes crystal clear.