The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch. – Jim Rohn
What does that mean?
I find this is an interesting quote, as in my life I have been both a doer and a watcher. And when I was a doing things, I could feel the envy of those who were simply watching.
Similarly, I knew the feelings of envy when I saw others out doing and achieving and reaping their rewards. I imagine most of us have been on both sides of the quote at some point in our lives.
The point is that there are usually far more people in the bleachers, watching, than there are people on the field, doing. The sports analogy tends to fall apart as the fans tend to be rooting for the people on the field, but I think you understand the premise.
But the implication of the quote, if I may be so bold, is that we can be the person who is doing things, instead of those just watching.
Why is being a ‘do’ person important?
To start with, if you don’t do the things you want to do, who will? If you want a promotion or a better job, will you be a person who does things to gain it, or will you simply be envious of those who do? That’s a choice we all face at some point in our lives. If someone does better, and gets what we wanted, we learn to be better next time.
But if we do nothing, how do we get what we want? Some wait for the winning lottery ticket to find them, and others simply give up doing anything besides being envious. But neither of those methods or strategies will get you very far, at least in my experience. How well has it worked in yours?
That said, no one can do everything all the time. But people of action, the doers in life, tend to get more out of life because they’re putting more into it. Whether you call it determination, effort, action, stick-to-it-ive-ness or any other word, it still ends the same way. They tend to get more.
The flip side of the quote doesn’t have to be true. You don’t have to be envious, but you do have to accept reality. If you do very little, you will get very little. That’s just the way the world works. Unless you have connections or a great deal of luck, if you want to get ahead, you’re going to have to do something.
Where can I apply this in my life?
That would depend on where in your life you want to either become a ‘do’ type person or improve how much, or what, you do. You will have to focus on what part of your life you want more out of in order to get more out of it. That seems pretty obvious, but I am constantly amazed how many people do just a little and expect a big return.
If you want small results, do small things. If you want big results, you generally have to do big things. However if you want exceptional results, you are going to have to do exceptional things. Doing small things and expecting great results is not a sound plan, but far too many people seem to think it works that way.
One thing I try to do is to keep track of my envy. When I feel the little green monster (ie green with envy), I try to figure out what they are doing, and how I can do more, so that I can get the results they are getting. It could work for you, if you can keep track of your feelings, and channel them to your advantage.
So where in your life do you want to get more of something? In order to get more, you usually have to do more, right? What are others doing to get more? Can you do those things? Can you find a mentor to help you? Can you find ideas or helpful hints online, in a magazine or book? Do you already know, but haven’t started yet (for whatever reason)?
If you aren’t willing to do what it takes to accomplish the things in your life you desire, can you at least work on being less envious? Can you, like I mentioned in the sports team analogy, be supportive of those who are out there doing thing? Can you cheer for them and applaud them for their efforts?
We all have options in our life. Not everyone wants to do the same things, and it tends to be easier to not be envious of someone who is doing something we don’t want to do. But for the things you desire, you will have to do more if you want to get more. And whether you get it or not, everyone will be happier if you can keep your envy at bay.
So, what do you want more of, and what are you willing to do to make it happen? Of course, remember to be honest and ethical in the process. But do it, and keep doing it, until you get what you want.