speaker, consultant, coach

Showing up

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favour freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” -- Frederick Douglass


There’s a definite tension between planning our lives and living in and for the moment.


In one sense, we’ve no need for planning -- how can we possibly predict what’s going to happen in the future? -- but, then again, we know, based on past behaviour, if we don’t plan very often things don’t happen.


In my case, I don’t know how long I’ve left to live. With my medical history, I could live for another 40 years or, god forbid, it might end much sooner. (I’ve always assumed that this day could be my last.) Whatever happens though I’m determined to make the most of my life.


Right now, I know that my original plans (from leaving law in 2010) have been modified to the extent that what was predicated on words -- spoken or written -- has turned largely into work of a different kind (law to business development). However, I’m determined not to lose sight of the fact that I want to develop a body of creative work.


But I’ve no goals.


If I’ve a methodology, though, to create, it can be summed up in two words: show up.


That’s all I try to do.


Same place.

Same time.

Same output.


What I’ve noticed is that done long enough, I quickly form habits. (To be clear, it’s just as easy to lose a habit by dint of not showing up, as it is to acquire one.)


I hope in the future to spend less time on business development and more on my creative endeavours; but, for now, I’m happy with where I am. It’s not easy though, trying to find the time, energy and space to create but even if I only write for five minutes a day, I know it will keep me in the game.


PS. If we are our work, then make sure you’re doing something that brings you fully to life, and not something that leaves you bereft of energy, light and creative spirit.