I had an ‘aha’ moment this morning that I think can potentially help a lot of people. Most of my days begin between 4- 5 am…planned and willing (mostly). Yesterday, Colorado had one of those Spring snowstorms that shuts down major highways, international airports, and causes mass hysteria on all local news outlets telling people to stay home. The next morning, there’s always a good chance that local businesses and schools have delayed starts. On a typical Thursday morning I go to CrossFit for the 5 am class and then I meet with a men’s group at 6:30 am.
With the knowledge that most people (the ones I workout with and the guys from the men’s group) are going to roll out of bed a little later than normal and there’s potential for icy roads that could still be a bit hazardous, there’s an internal dilemma. Should I still get up early or create a lazy morning?
The #1 Thing That Impacts Your Health
The ‘aha’ was that the changes and success I have made and been able to sustain in my own personal health, my career, and other proud moments in life is that my strength is in the consistency of just showing up. I’ve never been the most talented. I’ve never been the smartest. I’ve never had an abundant of resources. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I have failed too many times to count.
But when you show up a lot more times than not, there’s a chance you get ahead of the curve. Showing up that day doesn’t mean you will have a win that day or be greatly rewarded. It means you showed up. There’s a lot of things that I show up for that I still really suck at. But I’m still going to show up. Eventually, I will suck a little less at it.
The more you show up to do something about your health, the more impact you will create in your outcomes. Keep showing up.
Why don’t people show up? They let their emotions and feelings get in the way. I know we’re in a post modern society where experience and emotion are more valued than information, but experience and emotion are the constant variable in the showing up equation. Information is abundant. Your lack of health success is rarely due to a “I didn’t know” factor.
As Gary Vaynerchuck says, “Nobody cares about your feelings, bro. You need to stop crying and adjust.” The amazing thing about emotions is that you can choose how to express them. In light of ‘just showing up,’ there’s one question that you need to ask yourself that will revolutionize your ability to keep showing up. It’s complex yet simple; logical yet emotional.
Whenever you have to decide if you should show up, just start your internal conversation with this one mind-blowing question. Ready? Here it is.
Should I show up?
Pretty anti-climactic, right? At first glance it is, but as you dialogue with yourself, the answer usually becomes self evident in a broader context of life than a simple yes or no based on how you feel.
There’s a few layers to this self assessment. These are inspired by Andy Stanley’s book called Ask It. Click the link to read chapter 1.
The layers that make your question, ‘Should I show up?’ more impactful has to do with your past, your present, and your future. By answering these questions, it takes your feelings out of the equation.
Put your ultimate question about showing up in context of your past experiences. “In light of my past successes and failures, should I show up?” I hear a form of this story daily. I get a client that has a health problem that she has been tackling the past 5 years. The people she always goes to for advice and guidance are traditionally trained doctors. The problem is that she wants answers and action steps regarding a more natural and non-drug option, in which they aren’t and can’t provide. She keeps showing up but keeps showing up to a trail head that leads her down a path that she doesn’t want to take. In this circumstance, I would say stop showing up. In light of your past experiences, going that route hasn’t gotten you one inch closer to your desired health outcomes.
The flip side is that I have many that have told stories of lifestyle changes in the past that helped them feel and function fantastic but stopped doing it for various reasons. In light of past experiences, should that person show up? Absolutely. Success leaves clues.
In light of your present circumstances, should you show up? I was recently invited to listen to an exciting speaker. The dilemma is that the event was a Friday evening. In light of my present circumstances, should I show up? Present circumstances are that my wife stays home full time with our 3 boys of 4, 2, and 3 months. By the time Friday night rolls around, she’s ready and deserves a much needed break. It could be just taking a long bath while watching Gilmore Girls or going out with some friends. For me to head out and be gone another evening of the week, would not serve my wife or my kids well in our present circumstance. Should I show up? Probably not. In the future, when circumstances change, that decision is likely to change.
In light of your future hopes and dreams, should you show up? I think this is the one that drives me the most personally. My future hopes and dreams involve me being active, attractive, and alert until the day I die. By showing up to things like my early morning WOD to keep me fit and recharge my brain and the men’s group to gain accountability and soak in wisdom, my future hopes and dreams of being active, attractive, and alert have a foundation. Not every session will be successful but in light of my past experiences, I’ve never regretted showing up. Therefore in light of my future hopes and dreams, I will show up, even if it’s the day after a monster snow storm.
If you need help on figuring out the right things to show up for, you know how to find me. But you have to show up.