“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages…”
– William Shakespeare
Have you ever had a desire to become an actor?
To be on stage, in a movie, or just maybe be on a reality show?
Well whether you like it or not I’d like you to consider that you’ve always been an actor, and you always will be one.
I came to that “reality” for myself when my daughter Jennifer and I had the amazing good fortune to be chosen out of 250,000+ people to be contestants on NBC’s hit reality show Biggest Loser.
As you might imagine people ask me all kinds of questions about what it was like to be on a reality show. To have your emotions, vulnerabilities and challenges displayed each week in front of 15,000,000 viewers.
“Is it real, was it as hard as it seems to be or are you just kind of acting?”
Well the answer is really “yes” and “no.”
Yes, it was real, very real. Yes it was hard, very hard. And no, we weren’t acting; we were all the real deal.
But as I’ve had a chance to reflect back on my time on the show I realize I was an “actor.” In fact it was my “act” that got me on the show. It was the “role” I was playing for the 53 years up to that point that gave me everything I needed to have the producers and the NBC executives say “this guy has just what we need for this season, he and his daughter Jennifer have just what we’re looking for.”
I’m not sharing this egotistically, because when all of this was going on I was totally clueless at the time that my life had been an “act” up to that point. In fact that “aha” probably has only occurred to me in the last few months.
You see I never had any desire to be on Biggest Loser, yes I needed to lose a ton of weight, my top weight was 435lbs and I needed to get healthy. But it was my daughters dream and desire to get on the show. She so wanted to get on the show that she auditioned for Season 9 and didn’t make it, she auditioned for Season 10 and didn’t make it, and then when the Season 11 auditions came around she asked me if I’d audition with her as it was going to be a season of couples.
Of course I said yes, how could a dad deny his daughter, especially when I knew that it was me, my “act” that had modeled for Jenny that it was perfectly normal to live life large. That it was ok to make every meal a celebration, to let lose and indulge with wild abandon. I’m not kidding, that was the stage of unhealthiness I set for Jennifer, my son Matthew and my wife Kim. We all knew in our hearts and minds it was unhealthy to live that way. We weren’t clueless, it’s just that unless you consider adopting or writing a new script for your life, it’s just so much easier to play a role you know, and we knew that role well, ok, not so “well.”
As I’m sharing this I’m realizing that this whole “act” idea is really worth doing some more exploration, a deeper dive of insights and reflections, so you can count on seeing more posts along this line.
But for now let’s close this one up with the “act” I’m playing now, and I’d like to leave you with some questions to consider and ponder for the act you may be playing now. I’m going to ask you to consider the prospect of not only auditioning for a new role, but creating and living one that you choose, not one that may have been given to you by your mom or dad, your siblings, your friends, your culture.
So the new role I’ve chosen, that I’m creating and practicing, is that of an “actor” who’s “why” is to “live the rest of my life as the best of my life” because I want to, and I know I can. To live what I call my “Personal Best” in all of the areas of my life that matter most to me.
Losing weight and getting healthy is important, but for what.
Without a clearly defined “why”, a role you want to play chances are you’ll live a life of less… less health, less possibilities, less joy, less life. Just because you “should” do something certainly doesn’t inspire most of us to live that way, or stay that way. Usually all “should” thinking does for us is causes us to “should all over ourselves.”
So I’d like you to consider a new way of thinking, a new way of acting.
Start to think about a role you’d like to play for the rest of your life, a role that through your “act”ions is a role you want to wake up to everyday. A role you enjoy living everyday, a role that is a model for those you love to be inspired to create their own inspired script to live as well.
So what’s a way you can start to think through, create and write a new script for your life?
With one of my favorite tools… questions.
Think deeply on these 3 questions. Write out what comes to you without judgment, editing.
What is the life I’m missing by the current “act”, the role I’m playing?
What is the role of a lifetime I would live if I thought I could play it?
What’s something I can do today to start to create that role?
And then… start ACTING! And remember all actors PRACTICE! Some times their performance is better than others, but its never PERFECT.
I hope something I’ve shared here really has caused you to consider creating a new role for yourself if the one you’re currently playing isn’t one you love. And I invite you to become a subscriber and a frequent commenter throughout the site because I’ve learned that others observations are gifts for us all. Don’t hold back what you may be thinking, in this case ACT OUT and share what you’re thinking, you never know who really needed to hear what you just shared.
#tagyoureit love your comments, and please feel free to share with your peeps if you think this article will inspire them to take on a new role.
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