I went for coffee the other week with a friend and talk turned to his work.
“Are you still enjoying it?”
I asked and watched him shrug.
“I’m still showing up every day…which I guess is the same thing.”
This rattled in my head for a while. I’m all for showing up. Showing up repeatedly takes discipline, it’s hard work and sometimes the rewards aren’t always clear. The more I thought about it however, the more I wondered how many of us just “show up” without consciously thinking about why and what it is we’re doing.
I know I do it.
Every day I sit at my computer, I check emails, write articles, get in touch with clients, write content, day dream, scratch my head, work on new ideas, eat a Jaffa Cake, and drink an obscene amount of tea and coffee.
For the most part, I love what I do, (especially the tea and coffee) but sometimes I still show up for things which are completely unrelated to my vision of “success” and which I don’t always enjoy.
Sometimes there is a necessary reward. I am having my wisdom teeth out. Despite my dentist’s assurances, I don’t really believe that they just “pop” out. I believe it will be as fun as sucking on a sand covered sponge soaked in chilli sauce. However, a healthy mouth will make me happy.
But what about things we show up for where there is no real “happiness” reward? For example:
- Work we don’t enjoy
- Recreational activities we don’t enjoy
- People we don’t enjoy
There are a number of complex reasons why we show up for these things: apathy, peer pressure, perceived obligations, money needs etc.
These are not trivial things, but in a world where we’re only here once, neither are your dreams or your joy. Don’t underestimate the energy it takes to show up for these things, energy that might be used for something that will make you happy.
All I want you to do today is ask yourself:
“Are you showing up for your dreams, or are you just showing up?”