Showing Up For Your Life

by Bolanle Shote

A wise man once said – Ok, it was an old wizened rocker who had probably fried his brains on drugs, but his logic is sound – “90% of life is Showing Up” and I believe truer words were never spoken.

Being exactly where you said you’ll be, when you said you’ll be there, that’s Showing Up for your life. If you can manage to do that, I seriously believe that you won’t need to be a genius or a criminal to become a serious success.

Being at your wife’s side, as she labours to present you with your first born son, wiping her brow, reciting every Psalm you know and praying not to fall over in a dead faint, instead of contriving to be away in Tokyo on business, that’s Showing Up.

Being at your best friend’s engagement party on time instead of shamelessly showing up 2 hours later full of lame excuses, that’s Showing Up. Even something as simple as being at your table at the office when you should be, instead of calling in sick once every other week so you shop all day or run your personal errands is Showing Up.

By showing up, you keep parents, relations, friends, girlfriends, teachers, bosses and God happy and they’ll be so pleased with you that they’ll never be able to refuse you anything; Whether it’s a sports car when you’re 16 (the fact that you wont be able to drive it till you are 18, is a minor inconsequential detail) or that executive position in your firm after only 6 months. Honestly, people will find themselves giving you stuff, simply because you’re always there reliable, steady and PRESENT.

The importance of Showing Up really came home to me during my first semester in university. After cutting LIT 101 classes almost the entire semester, I figured that as long as I read the relevant text books, or better yet, those little books which summarized the whole of the Merchant of Venice in 10 pages, (“Literature for Dummies Who Believe They Can Pass Without Reading The Book” I think they were called) I could totally ace the exam. Imagine my shock when I finally got round to reading the course outline, (borrowed from a more studious friend, I mean who actually keeps the course outline?) and discovered that attendance and continuous assessment made up 40% of total scores every semester. So, I had to score 50% out of 60% in the exam if I was to pass. Of course I didn’t have a prayer.

I suspect that if a person shows up exactly on his mom’s EDD, starts nursery at the right time and stays on course through primary, secondary and university, it wouldn’t matter if he’d been just an average student all through. One day, he will be a top manager at a bank, oil company or Telco without having to resort to extraordinary feats of hard work or studiousness.

But, if becoming an icon of your generation is your goal, simply Showing Up will not do it for you. For that, you must possess real talent for hard work or be a criminal genius.

And if all else fails, there’s always politics or good old Nepotism.

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Joseph March 6, 2009 - 9:05 pm

Sign me up for good ol’ nepotism. 🙂

Mobola Bello July 19, 2007 - 9:17 am

Well Written!! Life in itself is a show. Guess who is watching? You! Showing up requires consistency and integrity. These two words cannot be divorced from each other if an individual is to make an impact and a difference to his/her life and the lives of others around him/her

olori99 July 18, 2007 - 8:33 am

Consistent, 'showing up': seemingly easy to do yet soo hard. Agree totally with the principle but can someone tell me how you remain 'consistent'. My default switch is set to 'not on'

Oh by the way, please throw in a magic formula to ward off procrastination…

violet Nath - Okoduwa July 18, 2007 - 7:43 am

The only way to the top is through dint of hard work. Unfortunately our youth do not even remember this because they see people who have amassed so much wealth by being in the right political circle

Sola Macaulay July 17, 2007 - 3:32 am

So true!

Shooting stars dazzle and ride up high but within a short while they come crashing. Yet, the consistent ones keep the universe aglow.

Isn't it amazing that the success to greatness is so simple?

A good reminder to us all. Thank you for sharing.

Lola Babalola July 16, 2007 - 10:01 pm

Boring as it might sound, it is a time-tested formula. It beats 'otumopo', nepotism and clowns out the genius who cant be bothered to work hard because he feels all he needs to do is flash that occasional show of brilliance and all is forgiven. Trust me, plain ol' consistency is the stuff that REAL SUCCESS (and drudgery, unfortunately) is made of. Took me a while to learn it (I was of the flash-the-brilliance-and-all-is-righted school for a loooong time, then one day I realized the boring consistent guys got all the opportunities to prove themselves – sigh). So preach it!!

Tawanda July 16, 2007 - 6:15 pm

Preaching to the converted here….!!!!now if only men could get with the program and start showing up for their life…..that would be a serious human achievement!!!!

Rosie July 16, 2007 - 4:54 pm

True. Word.

Zaza July 16, 2007 - 3:39 pm

Now I am truly ashamed! Why? Because I call in sick every once in a while…surely God will forgive that??


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