Sometimes Showing up is HARD. But Those Times Often Give the Best Results. So Just. Show. Up.

Sometimes you lack motivation or inspiration, energy and drive. You just don’t want to DO. So what? Show up, put in your time, and be amazed how good your results are.

In 1989 I was in first year, and was a white belt in karate. It was mid semester; assignments, tests and mid terms were coming thick and fast and I was exhausted.

One night, I lay down for a rest and conked out, as in REM sleep, and I woke up about 15 minutes before karate class started. The gym was a 10 minute run across campus and I did not want to go. I did anyway.

I grabbed my gi, and ran full tilt across campus, making it just in time. I was still sleepy, tired and out of breath for the run, and in absolutely no mood for karate that night, and proceeded to have one of my best classes, ever.

I had;

  • a goal, get my black belt.
  • a system, show up to every class, no matter what.
  • a habit, show up for every class, no matter what.

And I applied it. I don’t think I missed a class all term (and rarely missed one for the rest of university).

Right now I’m having some trouble. I have goals, I have systems, and I’m trying to develop them into habits, but a few days ago I took a pretty hard knock and depression is trying to derail me. I feel the tug of the grey mist, and I just don’t want to do…anything.

Except, like that night in first year, I’m ignoring the reasons not to show up.  I’m reinforcing the good habits. I’m doing.

I thing about this now because I learned a lesson: I kept up those habits, and I did get my black belt.