“Success in life is 99% just showing up” – Woody Allen
This attitude has been banded about for a while now. The thought that the hardest part is just showing up and the rest will just follow on. In some areas of life that is probably true. Catching a bus for example, you have to show up at the bus stop and eventually the bus will turn up.
But I don’t buy into this thinking. I do agree that for many of us, getting going or “showing up” is one of the hardest parts. Actually moving from the “I am going to do this” phase to the “I am doing this phase” can take tremendous energy and will power. Getting off the sofa of life, turning off the TV, deciding to walk up the escalator instead of ride up it can be a big mental challenge.
But once you have started on the journey, made the first move, got yourself off the sofa of life the first part of the journey can seem not too bad, maybe even relatively easy. “What was the fuss all about” might cross your mind, or “This isn’t as bad as I imagined”, or maybe even “I can do this”. You may see results and improvements early on that encourage you as well.
But after the initial honeymoon period has passed, it can often happen that old habits or ways creep back in slowly. “I’ll just skip that session”, “I’m too tired today”, “I’ll eat this because it is quicker and easier”, “I don’t have the energy to be that kind and understanding today”, “I deserve a day off or a treat” and so on. Whilst there is nothing wrong with giving yourself a break for a day it is these moments where the battle begins to be lost. I can turn up to my training session and get on my bike. I can ride my bike for an hour, or two or whatever was planned but unless I am focussed on the session and the success of that session I will not be moving myself towards my greater goal in the best way. And I am in danger of letting myself, my standards and my progress slip. If my plan says I need to ride for an hour at 25mph at a certain effort and I allow myself to drift along at 20mph that day I have just allowed myself to slip and next time it will be even easier to let myself slip. If I allow myself to not be kind and compassionate because it feels difficult today, the next time it is easier to justify not being kind and compassionate. When you reach this place you are putting your overall goal into jeopardy. You may have time to recover but the longer this attitude residues, the higher the risks of not achieving your goal is.
To say that success is all about the journey is 100% true. You don’t achieve success on the final day. You achieve success in the preceding days, weeks, months as you are working towards your ultimate goal. You focus on the small successes day in and day out that are serving your bigger goal. Each day, each step forward is success and should be approached and treated with the same attitude. Those small building blocks take you forward and set you up to achieve your over-all goal.
So don’t get complacent. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t take your foot off the gas. Success is what you do every day. It builds on what you did yesterday and it moves you towards your goal. Stay focussed. It will be worth it!