Recently professional football player DeAngelo Williams caused a stir when he had his daughter return her participation ribbon. Williams followed up with a video explaining why he had his daughter return the ribbon (video link). I meet people all the time that are living a participation ribbon lifestyle just hoping that their life will produce what they are dreaming for. How can you tell if you are living a participation ribbon life? If any of these sound familiar you could be living a participation ribbon life.
- You are waiting for a lucky break or fate to change your direction. If you want to have an abundant life you have to actually work towards your goals.
- You look at other’s lifestyles thinking that their success is due to some magical potion that allows them to have their life.
- Complaining about how unfair life is, you are always the victim or being wronged.
- You think failure is a sign of your value or worth.
- You say how important something/someone is, but fail to make space for them. You try to instead make time for them.
- You fail to make decisions because you don’t want to make the “wrong” choice.
I see it all the time people want their greatness, but refuse to act because of fear, lack of motivation or some other reason to do any of the work to achieve their greatness. They put up roadblocks to their goals, finding every reason why they shouldn’t pursue their dreams. Listen closely you can hear the roadblocks; I don’t have the money, there just isn’t enough time, they got there because they were born into money, I don’t want to make a mistake, I should have gotten that job, it’s not fair, why can’t I be happy. These statements all debit your wellness bank account and will not help build a joy filled life.
So what can you do?
- If you spend all your time comparing your joy to what makes someone else happy you are living a participation ribbon lifestyle. Stop comparing how happy you are based off what makes someone else happy. If you keep comparing lifestyles your wellness bank account will never have enough deposits to find joy. Find what makes YOU truly happy
- When you think that you are owed something without doing the work you are robbing yourself of valuable lessons that you need to be successful. You cannot control most things in life, but being present and active in your life is a choice. How you react to joy, pain and disappointment is a choice, decide wisely.
- Living YOUR 1st place ribbon lifestyle doesn’t preclude you from the bumps, scars and bruises that go with building it. The world might be unfair, but your life doesn’t have to be. Your life is what YOU make it, adding to your wellness bank account is up to you. Surround yourself with people who will not allow you to live a participation ribbon lifestyle. Those who challenge you with love, compassion and collaboration. Get a team of people who want to see you be amazing.
- Become active in some form of exercise. Start running, yoga, swimming, biking, hiking, etc. Being active provides balance when you are working towards the life you want. I firmly believe that we are not meant to be sedentary, screen looking, text having creatures, we are meant to find a form of physical activity that suits us.
- Feed your spiritual needs. Whatever that looks like for you, make sure to leave space to connect with things that are larger then you. Connect with a purpose, passion and mission that will nourish your soul.
- Be ready to leap into your life and be ready to fail and when you do fail forward.
These are just a few things that you can do to move towards living YOUR 1st place life. The key in my opinion is that you have to be active in your own life. Trying to clone someone else’s life is a fool’s errand. Yes, you should learn from people around you and yes take their advice and apply their knowledge, but understand you still have to build YOUR life. We were created for a reason with a purpose in mind, each piece unique and part of a larger puzzle, your piece is needed for the next person’s to fit just right.