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There is something truly powerful about simply showing up. And I’m not just referring to whether or not you decide to attend an event. I’m talking about the repetitive act of being somewhere every day and making yourself do the same things over and over.
It sounds monotonous, and truthfully, that’s how it is a lot of the time. But there is a lot of power in the ability to “show up” day after day. Because in the long run, it has been your showing up every day that has gotten you to where you are now.
When people set a goal, a lot of the time what they actually want is not a goal, but a habit. You want to buy a new car? What you really want is the habit of saving money every paycheck. You want to lose weight? What you really want is a habit of healthy dieting. You want to be a better public speaker? What you really want is a habit of being more engaging with your audience.
Setting a goal can sometimes give a false sense of accomplishment and lead you to think that it’s as simple as checking it off your to-do list. Instead, if you keep yourself in the mindset of achieving habits, it’s easier to grasp the fact that it is your consistent and daily effort that will bring you to that goal.
You may have heard the theory of 10,000 hours. Basically, it states that it takes about 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything. 10,000 hours of study, practice, and showing up.
To a lot of people, that can sound discouraging. We all would love to discover some hidden natural talent that we had in us all along and skip the whole practicing phase. While that would be great, the truth of the matter is that the key to any talent is repetition. The more you do it, the better you are at it. It’s just that simple!
Too often we are led to believe that the big things are what make real changes in the world. We see Einstein and his amazing discoveries, Shakespeare and his great works, and Beethoven and his incredible symphonies and we think, “There is no way I will be able to accomplish anything so grand.”
What we don’t see are Einstein’s elementary school math tests, Shakespeare’s rough drafts, and Beethoven’s piano scales. Their great accomplishments were made up of their simple, everyday habits.
Everyone has to follow this same pattern, without exception! Like my becoming a physician. I couldn’t have just walked up the steps to Wayne State University and asked for a diploma. It was days, weeks, and years of studying and practice that earned me a medical degree. It is the small things in life that make up the big things.
It is the simple power of showing up every day that will bring you to your habits, and your goals. So when you’re tired and discouraged after weeks and weeks of saving your pennies, attending the gym, or practicing speeches in the mirror, just remember that your showing up today is a powerful link in the chain of your success.