The Spectator’s Chance

There is a common dream that people have where they are a spectator at a sporting event or musical performance.  Suddenly something happens and it becomes necessary for them to become part of the game or performance.  Inevitably in this dream state, the dreamer is successful in this unlikely circumstance and then they wake up.

Personally I’ve had different versions of this dream in the past.  The only part that I dislike is the waking up.  It’s obviously a spectacular fantasy with no basis in reality.  Especially at my age, I’ll never make it as a professional soccer player and I don’t even play an instrument.  The allure comes from the sudden and unexpected success.  To go from zero to hero in the blink of an eyes is the dream of many.

The question that I have for myself today is “what if the waking up is the best part?”  Maybe by waking up after that glimpse of impossible hope we could take a step forward in the real world.  I’m never going to make it as a pro soccer player, this is true.  However there are many other dreams that my inner spectator can move toward right now.  But it’s not going to be a zero to hero moment.  Very few things in life ever are and why should that be the goal to begin with?  Most lottery winners end up bankrupt because they can’t handle the transition.

The spectator’s chance is in the waking up!  Realizing that it won’t happen in a moment.  And DOING IT ANYWAY!



The Rocky Steps (Part I)

IMG_0589The Philadelphia Museum of Art and its steps are iconic but not completely for the art inside the building. The steps are known to Philadelphia visitors as “The Rocky Steps.” Many runners follow in the footsteps of Sylvester Stallone’s underdog character every day. During my recent visit to Philadelphia, I ran from my hotel to the Rocky Steps in order to climb them and take the iconic victory pose. It’s a beautiful run with a long distance view of your destination.

Although the steps are a victory, they are not THE victory. They are really more of a milestone. The steps and the pose are a place to forecast the future. Rocky did not win the title at the top of those steps. However from that higher plain, he was able to see himself victorious for a moment despite his very long odds. It is something we all need at times. The moment of clarity that allows us to see ourselves at our absolute best possible moment. In your daily life it is easy to get swept up in all of the reasons why you can’t achieve something. You’re too lazy, too slow, too dumb, too poor, too ugly… The Rocky Steps can be a place to rise above all of that because it is a place where underdogs can feel hopeful.

Based on what I saw, dozens of people climb those steps every day. They are looking for that same small victory, to forecast their future success. But they don’t need the steps; they need the vision. The steps are just a nice background for the moment. You can get that clarity right now, wherever you are. You don’t need to go to Philadelphia and run the steps to get that vision. It’s somewhere within you now.