There’s a quote I heard decades ago:
“80 percent of success is just showing up.”
When I first heard that quote, it seemed overly simplistic to the point that I dismissed it. However, with a few decades of perspective, I’ve changed my mind on this point of view.
I’ve come to deeply appreciate how much of getting anything you want in life is largely driven by your… attendance.
If you want to get good at a sport, show up at practice each and every day.
If you want to be in a great romantic relationship, show up and engage in every difficult conversation (it’s easy to show up when things are fun and easy… much, much harder when things are difficult and uncomfortable).
If you want to excel in your career, show up for every single professional development opportunity available to you. This means finding the resources relevant to you and then reading every article, attending every class, and showing up for office hours to ask questions.
When I look at the most successful people I know, they are constantly learning.
I recently did a survey of some of my friends: “How often do you use a dictionary or Google a word you don’t know?” Amongst the most accomplished, the consensus was daily.
Those who show up regularly to use a dictionary are either expanding their vocabulary, learning new concepts with unfamiliar terminology, or both. Those who show up to learn… not surprisingly… learn.
It’s not rocket science.
It’s actually just attendance.
There are two ways to show up. The first is to physically be there but mentally be elsewhere. The second is to physically show up and be 100% mentally engaged.
If you want to be a good parent, show up physically and mentally with your kids.
If you want to learn a foreign language, show up physically (even if virtually) and mentally when around opportunities to practice.
If you want to advance your career more quickly, then show up physically and mentally for professional development opportunities.
The key to getting promoted at an accelerated rate is to acquire new, relevant skills at an even more accelerated rate.
If showing up is 80% of success, then the other 20% is being selective regarding for what and for whom you’ll show up.
Showing up takes a lot of energy. You can’t show up for an unlimited number of people, commitments, and goals. You have to pick and choose.
For which people will you always pick up the phone? Which commitments will you honor above all others? Which goals will you prioritize above all else?
That 20% is about being strategic.
If you want to be an outlier in your field… it requires you to be strategic… and for those things you choose to be strategic about, it requires showing up consistently.
If you can be extremely strategic and show up consistently, the results will very often take care of themselves.
I’ll share one resource for you to consider in your career planning. Every month, I write a print newsletter called the Strategic Outlier™. It’s a letter that I physically mail to all of the individuals in my Inner Circle mentorship program.
My Inner Circle is closed to new members roughly 350 days out of the year. There’s a very short new member enrollment window coming up for this program. If you’d like to learn more about it and be notified when the brief open enrollment period begins, submit the form below.
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