Participation: What does it really mean to you?

john McGrath Blog - Participation: What does it really mean to you?
Sep 28, 2016

Participation: What does it really mean to you?


After the emergency back operation that I had on the 6th of August 2016 the recovery process has been tough to say the least but it still isn’t over. Because of my controlling nature, naturally, I want the recovery to happen faster. This got me thinking…

“The game of life has two participants, spectators, and players. Pick one.” - Unknown

I have heard this saying many times before but I never knew the meaning up until recently. While I am still in the process of my recovery, with quite a long way to go until I get back into the normal swing of things, I am not going to give others the control over my recovery – I am the player, not the spectator.

I go to my chiropractor, physiotherapist, osteopath, participate in yoga and pilates and then I go home sore and tired. No, I don’t go home to relax, even though I have worked hard and done what the doctors have told me to do. What I do when I get home is “participate”. I refuse to let go of the control that I have over my recovery, strength, and body, I don’t just lie there and let the doctors do their bit and then it’s over. In three words I can sum up something that I have learned about life: IT GOES ON!

“You cannot fail without your consent. You cannot succeed without your participation.” – Rob Thomas

When I get home I do more exercises, I make sure that I eat right, I do extra movements and I make sure that I make the maximum effort to help my recovery along. When your body is sore you have to make a decision; am I giving up or am I pushing through. Yes, your body is sore but if your body is not sore then it won’t be able to build and repair which essentially is what physical recovery is about.

The same principles can apply to everyday life. Do you participate in your life or are you just part of the “rat race”, the “9 to 5”, the “zombie era”, a spectator of your life? Do you have hopes, goals, and dreams or are you an empty vessel. Well, I hope not.

The first thing you should do is make the right decision, whatever is best for you. Write down your goals and dreams and strive to fulfill them. It is going to take time and you will have to grind but it will be worth it. Chase your dreams even if it means getting home and not lying in front of the television but rather working on what you want to achieve. You need to participate in your life at all hours of the day not only when you feel like it.

“If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.”

If you want to reach a certain physical goal – go out and train and if you want to reach a personal or work-related goal – start working on it. No one else is going to do the “dirty” work for you rather just do it and get going. It is also important to find the balance and not overwork yourself. Balance is key and once you have mastered the technique you will thrive.

Don’t give your control over to the people around you, the government, the conditions, the state of your mind when down and out – take the control back and make the right decisions to get you closer to achieving your goals and eventually your dreams. Never stop chasing your dreams. Here are some very true words from a legendary man:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by DOGMA – which is living with the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

So I say this to you: wake up, participate and be the leading role in your life. The only time is the present.