Woody Allen was right when he said “eighty percent of success is showing up”.
Showing up can mean a lot of things. In the literal sense it can mean waking up everyday despite not always feeling like we want to face the world. It means turning up to work, appointments, attending family events, exercising regularly, being there physically, in person so that we can take advantage of the opportunities on offer.
What’s great about showing up in person is that most of the work actually takes care of itself. For example, if you simply show up to work, your boss will likely assign you your tasks for the day, for appointments all you have is show up to have your dentist check your teeth, to nurture a relationship you need to show up to spend time with your partner, to exercise you have show up to the gym or show up to putting on your running shoes.
There is often resistance in the mind to just getting started (AKA showing up), but often what we find is that once we are there we are actually quite able, capable and willing to follow through.
The next step is to show up cerebrally. With our thoughts, emotions, intentions and attention.
At work we have to show up with our attention to those tasks, at appointments we need to show up mindfully to treat others with respect, with our partner we need to show up emotionally and not be afraid to speak honestly, for exercise we need to show up with our intention to get fitter.
Showing up leads to success. How? You only have to look at the opposite. Not showing up. Mindlessly working through tasks at work, skipping appointments, being on your phone in the company of others, staying in bed instead of exercising.
Showing up is a process and that process is success. The other twenty percent is down to luck, the whims and decisions of others.
In our society we treat results as a success. How much money we earn, how many friends we have, exam results, how many awards someone has. But the problem is that results are subject to the law of impermanence and will never last. Money will always be spent, friendships will always change, exams results don’t always reflect knowledge and awards reflect an opinion in time.
If you want to be a successful writer, keep showing up to the page. If you want to be a successful athlete, keep showing up to training. If you want to be a successful partner, parent or friend, keep showing up with all yourself (warts and all).
The process of showing up endures and that is true success.