by Darrin Schenck

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by Darrin Schenck

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Yeah, think about that, are you really living your life to the fullest? In case you needed a reminder:

Life is a participation sport

How do you start your day?  Do you wake up each day and look at your phone immediately to see what you’ve missed out on?  Are you looking to see if your friends posted something fun they were doing, only to realize that no one invited you to join them?  Do you follow a bunch of people through social media that you do not know personally, but wish you did?  Are you comparing their “glamorous life” to the dull and uneventful existence you are living?  Please, trust me when I say:  GET OVER IT.  Until very recently, no one knew what everyone else was up to all day every day, and I think the world may have been for it.

As a reminder of the mind poison that social media can be, I am going to rehash the same ideas I and plenty of others have before.  But it bears repeating, as too many of us forget this from time to time, so here is your refresher course on the reasons for breaking free from the matrix of social media:

  1.  People Lie, Embellish, Fluff and Edit – We are all guilty of it to some degree.  Some use filters to make themselves look better, others sneak a pic leaning on a G Wagon to make it look like it is theirs.  Regardless of the depth of the lie, it is still a non-truth that someone is trying to pull of to get more likes, attention, whatever.  And for what?  Yes, there is the vague possibility of monetizing your life if you hit a million followers, but think about it, do you have better odds winning the lottery?  Most people are trying their best to create a highlight reel of things they do so they can add it to their socials and wait for the likes to flow in.  The need for validation runs deep in many of us, I get it.  There is need for a human to be seen by other humans, and acknowledged for something.  It’s why people ride loud Harley Davidson motorcycles or buy a Louis Vuitton limited edition purse, most of that is the desire for attention.  I am speaking from a highly experienced position, I was a competitive athlete for a long time, and I lived for the cheers and the attention.  Leaving that behind was hard, and I fully understand why people in that position linger far past when they should have retired.
  2. None of us are running the same race – You need to understand that none of us start from the exact same place, and none of us are running the same race.  If the race is to get rich, what does that mean?  Who defines how much money in your bank account means your rich?  Does it have to be in cash?  Is it based on overall wealth portfolio, despite not having stacks of cash sitting around the house?  And do you really want to be famous?  I realize your EGO does, but do you want to deal with people recognizing you everywhere you go, taking pics without your permission?  Or worse, interrupting whatever it is that you are doing to get a selfie with you?  That would be an awful existence when you really think about it.  Personally, I want financial freedom and anonymity, not celebrity status.  Remember, nobody cancels someone that is a face in the crowd…
  3. What is your REAL purpose? – When you look back at the origins of social media and how people got famous because of it, this really can be traced back to two particular people:  Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.  Both had sex tapes released, and profited from them.  Kim Kardashian’s mom oversaw the distribution of the her daughter’s sex tape, and made tons of money off of it.  That is sick and twisted to a whole new level.  Paris Hilton was born as an heiress to the Hilton Hotel empire, and she was, in many cases “famous for being famous”.  She was a party girl from an ultra-wealthy family and played the role to critical acclaim.  Paris was the quintessential vapid, useless party girl in those days, and everyone was enthralled with her life for some reason.  She is not as dumb as she pretended to be during that run of dominating the tabloids, and both she and Kim K had done some very good things with the platforms they have built for themselves.  But do you really want a camera crew in your house all day every day, following you around through good times and bad, recording your every thought and emotion?

If you have fallen victim to living your life through others, it is time to address this and break free.  You have value and worth on your own, but you also have a responsibility to flourish as a human being.  Yes, I meant what I said there…I do believe that all of us have a responsibility to maximize our talent(s) and serve the world in some positive way while you are walking the planet.  I heard a great quote recently directly addressing this, and it went something like:

Imagine dying and going to Heaven, and God sits down with you are the table to review your life.  He slides your life’s resume across the table to you, sits back and sighs, and asks you one difficult question:  What Happened?   “I gave you everything you needed to develop and flourish.  I tested you, I pushed you, I gave you wins and I gave you losses.  And this is all you did?”  I am sorry, but somehow I (as God) have failed you.  You were meant for so much more…

If I would have read this when I was 18 or even 28, I may have laughed it off, but trust me when I tell you that at this stage of my life, it hits different.  REALLY DIFFERENT.  I have seen and done and been through some stuff, and now much of it seems to have led me to a role of service to others.  The rest is just details, fading as the years pass.  What am I going to do to really leave an impact or legacy?  Is my name on the AZ State Racquetball Champions trophy going to mean anything to anyone?  No, it is not, and this is my point.  While my life didn’t have me born into an ultra-wealthy family, I still feel like most of the things I have done have brought me to where I am today, and that I must fulfill the goal of leaving a mark.  A real mark, one that keeps giving by influencing others and sharing my experiences so others can learn and grow from my mistakes and triumphs.  Ideally, one that people can pinpoint in their lives and say “I heard a guy once say.., and it changed the way I think about life.”

No one can really maximize their own lives if they are more concerned about what others are doing.  You need to focus on what you are doing and where you are headed.  Forget playing the comparison game, you don’t know the real story behind the series of pics and videos on a social media app.  Don’t get suckered into the matrix of social media, focus on what you need to do to achieve the things you want for yourself.  Live your life, and enjoy social media for what it is…entertainment.  Or in a more morbid comparison, it is like driving past a car crash on the freeway, you want to look and see what happened, but once you see it, you speed up and get back to what you were doing in the first place.  Let it be a passing curiosity and nothing more.  The crash didn’t change your life, it merely added two minutes of delay to your arrival time at your destination.  Use it like this and you will be free to live your own life of happiness and occasionally peak into the socials to see what others are up to as well.

I have to assume this will get worse before it gets better, so be part of the movement that helps bring the world back to the days before cell phones and social media apps, where people actually look up to see the world around them.  A place where people make eye contact and see others for who they are, as fellow human beings, instead of someone with a comment or stance on a social media app that “deserves” your snarky response and a bunch of back and forth fighting over a topic (like politics) that neither of you have the full story on.  It is a huge waste of time and a divisive tactic that is definitely having a big impact on the world we live in.  We are better than this, but we better swing things back the other direction soon, otherwise it will be too late to reverse course.

As always, I wish you luck in your endeavors.  Now stop reading my blog and go live your life!  :-)

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