Successful Habit #1

So we have talked about a lot of things on Dream Big, but no other topic has been more important as it relates to “designing your life” (Chris Reed, Beachbody Coach, Texas).  For the habits that we will be discussing please read Habits of Successful People.

The first habit on the list: Successful people watch less than an hour of television per day.  I have written about this in the past, but I will not be going back to that post as I want to provide some fresh information and perspective.  And to stay with the times I am grouping ‘gaming’ in with watching television, which is a life-habit I do not consider productive, unless it is your occupation!

The one tidbit I will share with you is that in the United States, a person that lives to the age of 70 will have spent 15 years, or 127,400 hours, of his/her life watching television (Nielsen Ratings).  Yes, you read that correctly, 15, fifteen, one-five, or just under 22% of one’s life.  And that is on average!  Some will be higher than 22%.

I will be honest and say that there are times I enjoy sitting and vegging out; just doing nothing.  But mostly I do this at night and watch Netflix.  There are lots of issues I have with watching television, but the one that immediately comes to mind is watching television is simply a waste of valuable time.  I guard two things with fervor: my time and my money.  Pay television is an assault on both of these valuable resources.

As you can imagine I have become very good at overcoming objections.  People protest and make excuses when I challenge their health, habits and level of success.  One of the most common is…you guessed it, “I don’t have time!”  And when I hear this I ask them how much time they spend watching television.  The go to answer is an hour or two much like “officer I’ve only had 2 beers.”  When I hear an hour or two I double it to 2-4 hours.

Here are a few of the problems I have with television:

  • Television is a waste of time
  • Television is a waste of money
  • Keeps you from being productive
  • Reduces your mental capacity
  • Keeps you fat and lethargic
  • Stifles creativity
  • Encourages poor health habits via snacking
  • Kills valuable family conversation
  • Takes away from family time
  • Teaches children poor habits

Things to do instead of watching television

  • Go to night school
  • Develop a plan for life
  • Go for a walk/exercise
  • Spend time networking
  • Enjoy family time
  • Self-educate
  • Learn a new language
  • Use the cable bill money to pay down debt**********
  • Take your family to the park
  • Teach your kids how to use their time more effectively
  • Learn to cook healthier meals
  • Take up a fun hobby
  • Enjoy the great outdoors
  • Read a self-help or history book
  • Spend time with friends

So why do successful people not watch much television?  Is it that they are successful because they don’t watch the tube or that their success doesn’t permit the time to dedicate to watching television.  The chicken or the egg?  Instead of assuming I know everything I reached out to a couple guys I know that are very successful and asked them about their T.V. habits.

Both quickly answered that they did not watch much television and both admitted that any television they watch is usually via DVR when they have time, which is not often.  During my conversations I found it of particular interest that both of them admitted that they specifically decided years ago to eliminate television from their lives and assign the time to more productive activities, namely family and education/reading!

Is it coincidence that their attitude towards television fits perfectly into my premise?  I don’t think so.  I submit the theory that successful people are successful, in part, because they do not watch television.  I believe that what separates the “normal” from the wealthy is the dedication to life habits that specifically aim one in the direction of success.  As one reader explained “chance favors the prepared mind.”

If you stopped watching your 5 hours of television per day (average according to Nielsen) you could prepare yourself to be successful by reading, education, paying off debt, exercising and losing weight or developing a life plan!  Decide today to adopt a specific set of habits that will aim you in the direction of more success or goal attainment!  I did it and I am here to testify that this formula works!!

The next time you start to use the “I don’t have time” excuse, remember, you do have time you just waste it watching television.

Big Dreamer


28 thoughts on “Successful Habit #1

  1. I stopped watching television when I went back to college several years ago. I do have the live streaming on Amazon, but don’t use it much. I used to tell my son television was mind numbing. You’re right, it takes up time.

  2. I agree, I honestly take time for myself to watch T.V. now and again. however, I do not make it my life. This is why I have Netflix. I block my time focusing on what is most important to me. Then I allow myself downtime. The point is you need to figure out what you want out of life. You have to give some things up that only take away your time to be successful and make your dreams come true otherwise you are only watching others succeed in their dreams.-Angela K. Crandall

  3. Interesting to read. I haven’t had a televiision for many years and my life is function very well without it. I feel, that I have spent more than enough time infront of a TV and be inactive in same time.
    I use my internet, but not for looking at a televion, networking, blogging and take care of my business this way.
    I have a big dog, who demands exercise for hours per day, which help me to get out in the nature and enjoy here and it is healthy too.

  4. I agree–too much TV can take us away from our other pursuits. I watch 1-2 hours at the end of the night to unwind if my writing for the day is done (and no need to double that, because I never stay up late enough to make it beyond that!). My day is just too busy for it to be on other than the news or Dr. Phil when I make dinner. But I find it a great way to shut down my brain at the end of the night. Reading does that too, of course.

    1. I guess my point is that the 1-2 hours of TV would be better spent reading something that will benefit your mind. But to each their own…I appreciate you reading and leaving us with your thoughts!

  5. Very thoughtful post. This is something I have struggled with for years. I watch far less television now than in the past and my husband rarely watches. But I am unable to go cold turkey…
    Thanks for following my blog. Best of luck with your inspirational blog. Well done!

  6. This was a good find. Definitely got through a lot of Jerry Mander’s book about the elimination of television. What I see now isn’t so much people watching TV but we’re wasting a ton of time on social networks looking through memes and share-files, so many people thinking they’re changing the world or expressing themselves with someone else’s greeting cards, but to the point of overload. Correspondence has really gone downhill and a lot of people feel that way. I keep wondering how to find the people who want community again. It could happen on a social network and does on uncommon to rare occasions but, wow, people also argue against that, too, oddly enough.

      1. Would be fruits too, but unfortunately the bad storm we had closed down most businesses due to no electric and there were very few non-perishables available. Maybe next week.

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