The Art of Showing up
Wanna get something done? Show up to the task. Seems an important part of doing something is first thinking it. After we think it, we do it… or not. Why is it so hard to go from thinking to doing?
One of the best words of advice I got on this subject came from a webinar I attended with superstar motivational author, Brendon Burchard. He said something like: to get started with a new idea, first be okay with starting small, and then just get started.
At the time, I had been putting my love for writing, and my desire to share more of it, on the back burners for far too long. I had wanted to write children’s books for years; in fact, on my morning jogs, I had written, tweaked, and edited pages and pages of stories in my head. I had so many characters and scenarios running around in there, it was starting to get crowded. I really wanted to give them life in the real world. I wanted to let others enjoy them as much as I was.
I decided to just get started.
But how? Well, another favorite author of mine, Mary Baker Eddy, writes: “the devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible” (Science & Health with key to the scriptures). To me, that meant that just thinking it made the doing of it possible. So I thought about it. I mean, really thought about it. I thought about what kinds of stories I wanted to write. I thought about the ages and qualities of my characters. I thought who I wanted to write for. And then I thought about about other aspects of authorship, like illustrations, publishing, and marketing… about interacting with other authors and readers on social media sites and local groups. My achievement was taking form in my thought.
Then I remembered Woody Allen’s most valuable life lesson for achieving success: self-discipline. In fact, he’s famous for the familiar quote: 80 percent of life is showing up.
So, I did.
I showed up every day. And, sometimes I even worked on my book, LOL. I kinda knew what I needed to do, though, because I was already devoting thought to it. So, some days I sketched out pages over morning coffee in the Notes app on my phone, other days I worked at my computer. At times, I ran home faster from my jog so I could pound out ideas in my spiral notebook (yeah, I still love the feel of paper in my hands). And, yes, sometimes, I just looked and clicked around aimlessly feeling like I had no clue. But I showed up everyday.
I authored other things, too, like blogs, short stories, website pages, tweets, posts, wedding poems, tag lines, abstracts, bios, video scripts- whatever! I started getting a feel for the world of authorship. It’s awesome, by the way. So many interesting aspects and amazing people willing to share their pearls to help others be successful. I felt happy in that big bold world.
So, now, I am officially, totally, and joyfully (most of the time) all in!
And, I realized something very simple: the difference between people who want to do something and those who actually do, is the showing up. And when they do, they get to share, and be shared with, by others people who are showing up–which is also what happens to make the gig real… and more fun.
Next time you want to get something done, just suit up and show up.