“Some people make things happen. Some people watch things happen. Some people wonder what happened.”  – Anonymous.  The last group does not count.  They are not engaged, aware nor effective.  They achieve little because they are clueless to opportunity.  The middle group are spectators.  They cheer, they boo, they comment but they do not affect the outcome.  At a professional football game, these people proudly wear their favorite team’s uniform.  But make no mistake, they are not members of the team. However, the first group is doing something.  Their participation provides them the opportunity to compete, to achieve, to win!

To be clear, participation is not a reward.  It is a prerequisite.  Participation is permission to launch toward a goal and it means work.  The privilege to participate is a direct result of preparation and effort.  In the executive suite, the decision is made for a new product launch.  One executive returns to her office and begins making sales calls to push the new product into the marketplace.  That is participation.  Another executive from the same meeting returns to his office and merely puts the next new product meeting on his calendar.  He is a spectator.  Targeted activity is the price required to participate.  Passively being there does not contribute.  Individuals who are not willing to prepare and exert effort have not earned the right to participate.  They are spectators and add nothing.

Life requires action.  Individuals are urged to participate in their life, their career, their education, their future, their destiny. Participation requires an investment in success.  It carries an expectation of accomplishment.  People who work eight hours, come home and watch television until returning to work the next day are oriented to believe that problems are solved in 22 minute episodes.  On the other hand, pay attention to the professional who leaves work, networks with colleagues, engages in their community, then comes home to exchange the latest developments and ideas with family members.  Anyone who asks, “who really lives like that?” should probably look at someone who has a more fulfilling life.

Participation is not a singular event.  It is a recurring choice.  It is a decision that a fulfilling day will lead towards a fulfilling destiny.  Participation, while not limited to the sports world, does mean that one is “in the game“.  Winning the game is something else.  Winning reflects an additional level of commitment.  Winning is achieving a pursued outcome by participating in the beginning. Consequently, participation is the common thread that begins at preparation and ends with victory.  Deciding to simply watch forfeits the privilege to be part of this process.  You are not participating.  Participation requires preparing and competing, which leads to a result of winning.  It requires effort and all winners better be ready!

-The Voice


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