I was talking to my friend SF the other day about things we say to our kids.  One of my favorites is “90% of success is showing up.”  I honestly don’t know who said this first, but it really doesn’t matter.  What matters is, it’s a pretty accurate statement.  But what does it mean?

Obviously, the literal meaning is true.  If you want to do/win something, you must be physically present where the event is taking place.  You can’t win a tennis match if you’re home watching TV- you need to be on the court. (yes- I realize that thanks to the internet you can be at home and win/participate in things, but you’re still “virtually present.”  The internet does allow a little leeway on what constitutes as physical. You still need to “show up” to whatever internet portal is necessary)

So, however you look at it, you must be somewhere to even have the chance at success.

The most important part of showing up though, is the mentally showing up.  What does that mean?  It means giving your attention and focus to whatever you’re trying to do.  If you are in class, you need to pay attention to what the teacher is saying.  You need to do the homework.  You need to study the material.  Sure, you can show up every day, be physically present, but if you just lean back in your chair and draw doodles on the side on your notebook (like we did in the seventies) or play on your phone, you’re probably not going to do well.

Engagement.  If you want to do well at something, if you want to succeed, you must be engaged in the activity at hand.

Now, apply this to your resolutions/goals if you made any.  I’m assuming if you made one or more of these, your goal is to succeed.

Are you present?

Are you engaged?

Let’s use weight loss as an example.  If your goal is to lose weight:

  1. Have you done a food diary to see what you are actually eating every day?
  2. Have you figured out what your biggest eating mistake is? (potions too large, too many carbs vs veggies, too many processed foods, etc.)
  3. Have you figured out a way to correct eating mistake?
  4. Have you rid your home of foods that aren’t as healthy?
  5. Have you consulted a physician or weight loss specialist to make sure you are on the right path?

All of the above, as well as a host of others, are ways of engaging yourself in your weight loss journey.  You are becoming an active participant in weight loss, you are showing up mentally to succeed at your goal of losing weight.  If you focus your energy and attention, you will lose weight.

How do you show up?

  1. Visualize your goal
  2. Figure out what is needed to achieve it (this might require research)
  3. Write a success plan of the steps necessary
  4. Realistically incorporate these steps into your life
  5. Do what is necessary (if this requires formal education, just do it.  There is no work around for needed/required degrees or certificates)
  6. Work on your goal every day, even if some days it’s just a little
  7. Focus on your goal

Success isn’t easy. That’s sort of why we applaud people who succeed at something, because we know it takes hard work and determination. But it all starts with showing up. You won’t succeed if you don’t show up.

16 thoughts on “Just Show Up

  1. They teach this in youth sports, and it’s a lesson my kids have heard often. For example, my 12yo is on a competitive hockey team and if they play against a lower ranking team the coaches tell them to show up. They mean it in a mental sense. Say my kid’s team is in 4th place out of 12 teams and they’re playing the 2nd last team, and the final score is a 2-2 tie, it can be said our team ‘didn’t show up’ in mental terms.

    I didn’t grow up knowing this, but it’s a mantra in my family now, and not just with the kids’ sports.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like the second assignment for the Instructional Design Course I am taking although your description sounds like more fun. I have to use graphs and math. I will get it done but meanwhile the practical every day is so much easier to interpret. Why can’t we be simply stating things?

    Liked by 2 people

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