If we see the word UP as an acronym for “Unlimited Potential” or “Untapped Potential” it gives even more meaning to the phrase, “UP Only!”.
Each week I explore motivating ways to consider the word UP to increase our own UP Potential.
Woody Allen is credited for saying “80% of success in life is showing up.” I would say he is 80% right, but what about that other 20%? Think about it, many have dreams, but most don’t try. It seems that what Woody is saying is that just by showing up dressed and ready to get in the game you are 80% closer to achieving your goals.
Think of an example as simple as going to the gym. If you showed up to the gym today you are 80% of the way closer to a good workout. The hardest part is fighting the alarm clock in the morning or the couch after work, but if you actually got your gym clothes on and showed up at the gym you are well on your way.
But is showing up enough? For instance, there are many that show up to the gym in their spiffy workout gear and then spend the rest of the time taking selfies or chatting around equipment. You know the ones I am talking about!
There are millions that get up every day, get dressed, get coffee, sit in traffic and show up for work. They work hard, meet deadlines, take a lunch break, finish assignments before they leave the office, fight traffic and return home to sleep before repeating the same process the next day. These people certainly can argue that they are showing up.
While life may require showing up for work, don’t let it get in the way of showing up for your dreams, your goals and life pursuits outside of your “have-to’s”. Without mindful attention, one can easily spend their whole life making a living instead of designing a life.
So if 80% of success in life is showing up, then the bigger question might be: How?
In his own inarticulate way, Woody was trying to say that you actually have to do the work. If you want to accomplish something you can’t spend the time dawdling and putting it off. You must show up intentionally and put in the time to produce. If you want to write a screenplay, you must show up daily with rare discipline at your typewriter or keyboard. It’s not all about talent, degrees, or luck; it’s about showing up and applying yourself in daily deliberate pursuit of your goals.
Many may accuse those that have had some success as lucky or being in the right place at the right time, but the majority of those who enjoy long term success know the price they paid. They know they showed up daily when it was hard and when no one else believed. They showed up when it seemed it may never work and prepared and positioned themselves for future success. You can’t wait for the publisher to knock on your door and ask you to write a book. You have to show up and write it first.
John Wooden said, “When opportunity knocks, it is too late to prepare.”
Theodore Roosevelt has many exceptional quotes that motivate and compelling speeches that inspire, but this stirring selection known now as “The Man in the Arena Quote” taken from Citizenship in a Republic given in 1910, is a favorite of mine:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
According to Teddy Roosevelt, to try and to fail is a life far better lived than one without the experience of either. It is not enough to show up dressed for the game and remain a spectator. The other 20% comes from showing up dressed, ready to play, and with every intention of getting in the game no matter the cost.
Here are four suggestions to daringly Show UP in a way that will increase the odds in your favor:
- Show UP Deliberately: Decide now to always have a purpose in your efforts. If you are practicing a skill, be fully present, intentional and mindful in your endeavors. The results of deliberate, purposeful practice far outweigh those of mindless repetition.
- Show UP Consistently: Practice daily even when it’s hard or feels fruitless. If you want to learn a new language, practice it daily. If you want to play guitar, play daily. If you want more clients, network daily. Your daily efforts toward your goals should be non-negotiable daily habits.
- Show UP Differently: Be willing to try new ideas and develop different strategies. Embrace a growth mindset and be coachable. Accept failure as experience and an opportunity to discover better ways to achieve your goals. One of the most dangerous phases you could ever hear someone say is “I’ve always done it this way.”
- Show UP Imperfectly: Don’t wait until you know you will succeed. Be okay with imperfect results. If you want to write, be willing to write something that is not perfect. Remember your poorly written book is better than the one you never wrote and infinitely closer to your masterpiece. Each effort gets you closer to your goal and reaches deeper into your untapped potential.
In what areas of your life do you need to Show UP?
Take the four suggestions above and turn it into a 21-day challenge. Dare to Show UP Deliberately, Consistently, Differently and even Imperfectly in one area of your life for the next 21 days and see what happens!