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Stop Being a Spectator

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not perfect. I’ve made regretful life decisions, acted in ways I wish I hadn’t, and said things I wish I could take back. But if there’s one thing I don’t regret about my life, it’s this:

I’m always the one making the decisions.

Since I was in middle school, I realized the world wasn’t broken into categories like “popular kids versus unpopular kids” or “dumb kids versus smart kids.” Even back then, I realized that stuff wasn’t as important as this: there are kids making the decisions versus the kids spectating others’ decisions.

It wasn’t some profound insight. It was pretty easy to see the divide. Look at any sports game: there are those playing and those watching. Look at any middle school dance: there are those dancing and those standing around. Listen to any cafeteria conversation: there are those talking about others and those doing stuff that others will later talk about.

That was around the time I lost all interest in professional sports, stopped watching television, and make an effort to avoid “gossip.” All that stuff seemed so mediocre: people sitting around applauding or criticizing other people. Fucking. Lame.

As I grew older, the opportunities for spectatorship only became worse. Mind-altering chemicals that numb reality became more commonplace. Porn became less taboo and more accessible. Leisure time was less about playing sports and activities as it was about “kickin’ back and relaxing.”

Worse yet, attitudes toward spectatorship became more encouraged. When you’re a kid, parents are always saying, “Why don’t you go outside and play!” They encourage their children to lead active lifestyles, play instruments, and be “well-rounded.” However, when you get into high school, parents care less and less about making sure you’re “getting involved” in activities. And certainly most peer groups don’t thrive on activity; they actually thrive on just the opposite—basking in mediocrity.

How sad is it that most groups of “friends” are really just support networks of emasculated guys who feel less bad about themselves when others are just as lazy and passive as they are? Surround yourself with other guys who love to drink beer, chow down on hot wings, watch the big game, lie around, and yet, somehow feel like they accomplished something because they did it with “friends.”

Fast forward to adulthood where yesterday’s lazy habits become today’s spectator lifestyle. Look at most men’s day-to-day existence. Wake up dreading the day…going to a job they hate and only do for a paycheck…eating food for instant gratification …getting sexual satisfaction through masturbation and porn…using alcohol to ease the “stress” of the day…and so on. It’s a nice, comfortable, spectator existence.

If you’re honest, how much of your day is probably spent in spectatorship? How much do you feel like you’re really “deciding” your fate, and how much do you feel as if you’re having your fate decided? Exactly.

I don’t mean to sound like some condescending jerk, preaching some holier-than-thou-lifestyle. Beer, sports, entertainment, masturbation, and even porn are all fine in their place, once and a while, when used as an enhancement, not a distraction. I’m not here to criticize anything other than the lifestyle of the spectator.

Because there has to come a point in every spectator’s life where he wakes up and realizes he’s wasted his entire life watching, and never acting. Maybe you’ve already had the moment, where you think to yourself, “I fucking hate my job,” or, “I fucking hate how I’m not waking up next to the girl(s) I want.” Hopefully you have that moment before it’s too late…because that moment marks the beginning.

It’s the beginning of turning yourself from a spectator into a man of action. I began this article stating that I’m not perfect, and I’ve made PLENTY of regretful life decisions…and yet what I’ll never regret is my decision TO make those decisions. At least I’ll never have to worry about waking up one day and realizing I’ve spent my entire life in spectatorship.

>>>To Learn More From Rob, Check Out “The 4 Elements of Game” where he breaks down game into four simple adjustments.

About Rob Judge

Rob J. is a writer and dating instructor in New York City. Themes that resonate in both his teaching and writing are masculinity, genuineness, rational self-interest, and general awesomeness.

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