Living the Overboard Life takes a lot of work. Obviously, if living a remarkable and fulfilling life was easy, everyone would be doing it. Brian Klemmer passed away a few years ago, and has written numerous books. One of them was entitled, “If How To’s Were Enough, We’d All Be Skinny, Rich and Happy.” It’s true.
While “How To’s” may not be enough for making a remarkable life become a reality, I thought I’d put together a list of “How Not To’s” if you want to sabotage your Overboard Life. This list comes from hours of personal research and application: I’ve tried all of these with great success at one point or another in my life (grrrr) so trust the research and avoid these five pitfalls to Overboard Living.
Pitfall #1: Make Netflix the most active app on your iPhone, iPad or AppleTV
I know a lot of people, like Traci and I, who have gotten rid of “regular TV” from their day-to-day lives. In fact, we haven’t had network, cable or satellite TV in our house for over 4 years now. However, in today’s digital on-demand age, “TV” has a lot of faces. Netflix is one of them, like Hulu, Amazon Prime, Red Box and several others.
Maybe you only watch one or two movies a week, and maybe you have just a couple of shows you enjoy, but it doesn’t take long for a small habit to turn into hours of time. So many people are “too busy” to live the Overboard Life and to take on the challenges that come with it, but they aren’t too busy to spend 8-10 hours a week with Netflix. It takes just two shows night to turn Netflix into a 10-hour a week habit. Add a movie or two and quickly your Overboard Life has lost 15 hours of productivity.
Yes, I still have Netflix. Yes, I still have TV show benders (c’mon…you know when you have to know what happens next?!?!) that keep me up later than I intend. But like anything -- reading, working out, sleeping, sports -- the Overboard Life must learn to regulate time consuming activities. “One More Episode” can lead to the death of the Overboard Life!
Pitfall #2: Quit reading quality books
There’s so much good literature out there, and so many books that are begging for your time. Living Overboard demands a habit of reading quality material, but it’s so easy to read too much of the wrong stuff! What are good Overboard books? They are the type of books that challenge your thinking, force you to evaluate your life, encourage you to build winning habits, or push you to set, achieve and evaluate your goals.
They could be novels, they could be business books, they could be books about music or history or sports. The point is, you’ve got to read and you’ve got to keep the habit of reading quality books a priority. Look at your book list, is it encouraging you toward the Overboard Life?
Pitfall #3: Leave your Bible on the shelf untouched
One of the quickest ways to derail your Overboard Life is to avoid reading your Bible. The playbook for Overboard living is the Bible. If you keep that book on the shelf, don’t expect to know God’s plans for your life, or know how to understand the circumstances you find yourself in.
And it’s not enough to just read the book, you need to memorize the Good Book, too. Right now I’m working with my pastor to memorize the precious words of Pslam 103. A regular dose of reading and memorizing the Scriptures is crucial for anyone following God’s path.
Pitfall #4: Live without close friends who are actively living the Overboard Life
I can’t think of single person in history who achieved anything significant without the help of others. When I look at the pages of the Bible I see the same story of those living the Overboard Life -- each of the men and women who chose the life of obedience did so in the context of relationships. The ones who tried to fly solo, almost always ended up in disaster.
In Judges, one of the best examples of a solo player is found in the story of Samson. Gifted with great strength and know-how, he failed to be the great leader God made him to be, largely because he chose to play by his own rules, regardless of how it affected others. On multiple occasions he had opportunities to listen to good counsel but he ignored it. Sadly, he did more conquering by dying, then he did by living.
Pitfall #5: Make a habit of living undisciplined in one area of your life
Discipline takes on a lot of different looks. Discipline with time, money, health, resources, relationships etc… When we allow any area of our lives to get out of discipline, we create the possibility for breakdown in other parts of our lives, too. For example, if the discipline you have about your money is lacking, it won’t take long before that spills over into other areas. If you can’t stop impulse buying, the junk food you keep munching on will ultimately impact your physical health.
I’ve found myself at times, struggling with discipline regarding the use of my free time (see Pitfall #1). It doesn’t take long for that lack of discipline to create a habit of leaving my Bible unread. And of course, when your Bible is unread, you don’t want to spend too much time with people living the Overboard Life….
There are other pitfalls, these are the ones that have hit closest to home for me. What about you? What pitfalls keep you from living the Overboard Life? My wife loves this saying: “living the extraordinary life is never easy…but it’s always worth it.” The Overboard Life can be tough, but I’ve never once regretted stepping out of the boat.
Go ahead and take the plunge…life is always better on the water!