Some days I wake up plain dog-tired. I lack the customary zest and zeal that characterizes most mornings, for no apparent cause or reason. If I had my druthers, I’d like nothing better than to roll back over and cozy up to my favorite pillow.
Instead, I drag the ol’ carcass into the kitchen to hunt up some comfort food, to see if I can incite a change of mood. Nothing like a cholesterol-laden plate of eggs buttressed by two slabs of butter-smothered toast to lighten the spirit—and contribute to my general malaise. Now, with a plump, full belly, I can add sluggish to my general state. Talk about a winning combination!
Unfortunately, as for most of us, life doesn’t grant me the luxury of lounging at will. Duty calls, as they say—the job, the kids, the deadline—whatever form that duty takes. I have to find some way of banishing that glorious image of a sloth clinging wistfully to a log into the recesses of my imagination and get a move on. Yuck!
Over the years, I’ve figured out a magic formula. Trick number one to shifting our brain out of neutral and into gear is actually quite simple: Just show up.
Find a way to drag your body to your station and man it. Once in place, take one tiny, reluctant step at a time and embark. In the absence of inspiration, nothing beats inertia faster than motion.
Much like the sun melts the daybreak dew, motion has a way of lifting the fog socked around the brain. Mental gears begin to engage, creative sockets begrudgingly open, we start to fire on more than one cylinder. As the fog turns to mist and evaporates, clarity takes hold. “Hey, I do have a purpose, today. Time to move in that direction.”
Not every day can be a championship day. More often than not, most of us take solace at even being on the playing field. Beware of berating yourself. Overachievers tend to ignore their humanity and underachievers crack the whip on their backs.
Give yourself a break. Let yourself be human. If it feels like a Krispy Kreme morning, have an extra cup of coffee to counteract the sugar.
When you pull out of your driveway, play your favorite song and play it really loud. Sing along. See if you can’t extract a hint of a smile from that scowl. When you get into motion the world moves with you.
Funny how some of my best days start out in a thick haze. The transition from “can’t get myself out of bed” to “okay, fine—one more day at the mill” to “wow, I think I’m liking what’s flowing” doesn’t always happen easily or painlessly. Some days it doesn’t happen at all.
I know that I give myself the best possible chance when I take that one fundamental requirement: I show up.
That’s A View From The Ridge…
The world is run by people who show up.
- Brad McClain
To bring oneself to a frame of mind and to the proper energy to accomplish things that require plain hard work continuously is the one big battle that everyone has. When this battle is won for all time, then everything is easy.
- Thomas A. Buckner
I look out the window and on some days I see the sun shining on all of us. On other days, it doesn't and it seems as though the gray, rain-filled clouds take their sweet time before dissipating.
The wind blows gently and it is so refreshing. The wind howls and the cold finds a way through the thickest of coats. The wind stops completely and an orange orb begins to bake us as we wish for the wind to pick back up.
So what? There are good days, funky days, and all sorts in between. Here's what I know.
The world is run by those who decide, despite the outward conditions and often despite the inward ones as well, to simply show up--show up for work, show up for duty, show up in their relationships, show up at the gym and sweat a little--even when they would rather be vegging out on a couch with a remote in hand.
Notice that I am not suggesting that they always feel like showing up or even want to--they just do it anyway, day after day, shift after shift.
Is this a guarantee of success? No, not by a long shot. It is merely the beginning. The opposite however, is most certainly a formula for failure. Try not showing up repeatedly for any task or endeavor and check your results. We all know what they will be.
This game called life is complicated enough in and of itself. If you want to play all out, at the very least you need to join the players on the field of practice.