The Single Biggest Thing You Can Do For Your Career: Show Up. Every. Day.
The Consistency Theory
When you see an amazing design, an awesome product, a great work of art, listen to a moving piece of music, or hear about an amazing person who has achieved greatness in any field, don’t assume that the creation or success came about randomly or easily.
It took commitment and consistency.
By showing up, you stop waiting passively for inspiration and do your best work every day.
You turn the act of doing your your best work into a daily routine.
A lot of people are afraid to make a commitment to show up.
- What if something really important comes up?
- What if I’m not motivated enough?
- What if I have nothing to say, share or do?
If you want is do something worth paying attention to, create something that means to you, or become the best version of yourself, you have make the commit to a higher purpose.
What is it that you want in life?
Identify it and build the most important routine of your life to help you achieve it.
Moving from 0 to 100 percent requires consistent habit.
Showing up everyday will set you up for long-term success.
- It will make you the money you need whilst you pursue an incredible life.
- It will build an audience who care about what you do, or write.
- It will solve most of your life and business problems.
- It will develop the tenacity/resilience you need need to thrive.
Seth Godin explains, “Some people show up when they need something. Some people show up before they need something, knowing that it will pay off later, when they need something. And some people merely show up. Not needing anything, not in anticipation of needing something, but merely because they can.”
Showing up every single day of your life is critical to success in every field of endeavour.
Champions, legends, and icons show up every day, whether that occurs on the field, in a studio, on the court, or in the boardroom.
Showing up can help you be one of them.
Showing up every day, providing value, and showing your work is one of the best ways to build a lasting career.
Quantity also breeds confidence.
After a few years of showing up every day to do the work, you’ll have invaluable experience and a great portfolio to share.
You’ll have a better story to tell about your work.
There’s no substitute for showing up every day
“Don’t ever, ever, believe anyone who tells you that you can just get by, by doing the easiest thing possible. Because there’s always somebody behind you who really wants to do what you’re doing. And they’re going to work harder than you if you’re not working hard.” — Maria Bartiromo
Greatness isn’t handed to anyone; it requires a lot of hard work. The best people in any field are those who devote the most hours to their crafts every day.
In his book, “Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE” Phil Knight, said this about working hard to achieve your dream:
“So that morning in 1962 I told myself: Let everyone else call your idea crazy . . . just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where “there” is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.”
Winston Churchill, one of the 20th century’s greatest orators, practiced his speeches compulsively.
Vladimir Horowitz supposedly said, “If I don’t practice for a day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, my wife knows it.
Michael Jordan practiced intensely beyond the already punishing team practices.
The all-time-great football receiver Jerry Rice — passed up by 15 teams because they considered him too slow — practiced so hard that other players would get sick trying to keep up.
Bill Gates saw the dawn of the PC and made a commitment put a computer on every desk.
John D. Rockefeller, too, saw ahead when the world-changing new industry was oil, took advantage, and committed to making the most of it.
Showing up everyday is challenging, painful and uncomfortable.
But it’s the only way to the top.
In fact, a major key to success is to learn to enjoy challenging work and to enjoy working hard at it.
For most people, work is hard enough without pushing even harder.
Those extra steps are so difficult and painful they almost never get done.
The good thing about working hard at your craft is that, it’s universal.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in — hard work can be used to achieve positive long-term results regardless of the specifics.
In the words of G. K. Nielson “Successful people are not gifted; they just work hard, then succeed on purpose.”
“Work hard, and you will earn good rewards. Work smart, and you will earn great rewards. Work hard and work smart, and you will earn extraordinary rewards,”says Matshona Dhliwayo.
You have probably heard this phrase a hundred times, “you have to work smart not hard to succeed”.
Being smart is about making the right choices.
Smart people move up the ladder real fast. But they also value the importance of showing up every day and getting real work done.
Your idols, heroes made important and calculated choices every day before they reaped the rewards of success.
As they reached the pinnacle of success, they grew more experienced, made less mistakes, improved their decision-making skills and made the most of selected opportunities.
And this resulted in something that saved them a lot of time, effort and energy. You can only give anything your best shot and work hard towards your goals.
Don’t see failure as an obstacle but be smart enough to learn from them. Jonah Engler once said “There are no short cuts to success — hard work is smart work.”
Showing up even when you are not in the mood is the “how” to achieve greatness
Don’t wait for opportunities, create them.
When you learn to embrace hard work instead of running from it, you gain the ability to execute on your big goals, no matter what it takes to achieve them.
You blast through obstacles that stop others who have less resolve.
But what is it that gets you to this point?
What gets you to embrace hard work? A truly successful man will keep trying and keep struggling until he perfects his art.
Thomas Edison failed approximately 10,000 times while he was working on the light bulb and yet he never dreamed of giving up — this is the hard work and the determination that marks a true success.
Picasso was exceptionally prolific throughout his long lifetime. The total number of artworks he produced has been estimated at 50,000, comprising 1,885 paintings; 1,228 sculptures; 2,880 ceramics, roughly 12,000 drawings, many thousands of prints, and numerous tapestries and rugs.
And there are about 870 paintings by Vincent van Gogh existing today. His earliest date from 1881 and the latest from July, 1890.
The greater your capacity for long-term commitment, the more rewards fall within your grasp.
If you’ve chosen a significant purpose for your life, it’s going to require hard work to get there — any meaningful purpose will require hard work.
If you are willing to show up everyday, you will make incremental progress
“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” — Thomas Edison
The power of progress is fundamental to human nature.
Most people completely neglect progress because they’re so focused on achievement. If you need to write, the main thing you need to do is just to sit down in front of your text editor and write.
It doesn’t even have to be a full page. Half a page or even less. Call that a success. What matters is that you make time to write, every day.
Value progress, no matter how small.
By showing up and working, you will make progress, every day.
If getting to the top was easy, it wouldn’t be rare.
Get over the initial hurdle by making that hurdle as low as possible, and then keep clearing really easy hurdles until you’re an unstoppable force of nature. That’s one way to approach putting in the hours to work on your life’s work.
The importance of being consistent is a timeless truth.
Rather than fight it, run with it and you will never be disappointed.
Your life will reach a whole new level when you stop avoiding and fearing committing time and effort into your craft and simply surrender to it.
Greatness and extraordinary success isn’t reserved for a preordained few.
It is available to you and to everyone. If you are willing to put in the work, your efforts will pay off.
Embrace and appreciate the process
You can easily attribute insane success to sheer luck.
But make not mistake, every incredible person who has walked the earth had a story to tell. And in each case, you will find love of work, grit and insane focus on one thing they cared about.
The ability to show up everyday even when you are not motivated to learn, create, make something is the most valuable trait you need to be a professional.
It doesn’t come easy but it’s a requirement to survive the process of creating something unique and remarkable.
I can only become a better writer if I stick to a writing schedule and show up everyday to share. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But it matters that I show up.
Robert Greene, Author of Mastery once said, “If we follow the mastery process long enough, inspired by a profound interest and curiosity we cannot fail to achieve something exceptional.”
Mastering anything usually involves exploration, adjustment, and improvisation. You can’t always know your destination in advance.
And that’s okay. But be prepared for constant average work to get better at mastering the skill you have chosen to master. Give yourself permission to screw up and move on when things don’t go as plans.
Genius can only show up in your work when you show up enough times to work through the average.
That’s what kept Thomas Edison sane.
He knew that every failure was a step closer to the right solution that will actual work. Edison went through thousands of prototypes before getting the electric light bulb right.
He became famous for saying “ I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
You can’t create a masterpiece without creative mess. Whatever you intend to master now or in the future, you need to prepare yourself for the long haul.
And that means hundreds of thousands of hours will be spent making mistakes and starting over. And that’s okay.
You will discover what works for you in the process.
Whatever it is, make it your own.
The work of the best creators isn’t dependent on staying motivated but it follows a set of routines and patterns and a lot hard work everyday.
If you are serious about honing in on your craft, you have to go through a volume of work, put in your best repetitions and show up over and over again. It’s the only way. Value the process.
There are no shortcuts to mastery. See your projects, even finished ones, as work-in-progress. It rules out the need to aim for perfection.
No single act will uncover more creative powers in you than forcing yourself today to start, do, create or make something you care about. And when you do, embrace the long process of mastery.
One of the greatest impediments to creativity is impatience. It pays to value and embrace the creative process. It’s the only way to master any skill.
Showing up means being prepared mentally and physically to put in the work, regardless of outside factors or obstacles, including your own naysaying mind.
It pays to show up.
Execute that project. Finish that book. Start a side-hustle. Share your creative pursuit. Sweat over your projects when you don’t feel like it.
Make progress, no matter how small!
The daily consistency helps you improve your skills and develop muscle memory.
Do everything you can and show up when it’s your turn. Give your ideas and your goals a fighting chance.
Showing up every day is the best thing you can do for your career.
Ready to start a life-changing habit?
I’m creating a habits mastery course to help you master the kaizen principles for starting and maintaining healthy life habits. Kaizen Habits will teach you how to make any change in life, one small habit at a time. Sign up to be notified when it launches.
You can also subscribe to Postanly Weekly (my free weekly digest of the best posts about behaviour change that affect health, wealth, and productivity). Join over 47,000 people on a mission to build a better life.