“Ninety percent of life is showing up.”
Mick would tell me this often when I worked at the country club. I was usually hungover, running on five hours of sleep and coffee, and it was 90 degrees and humid before 6:30 a.m. I could feel myself sweat out the dozen or so beers I had imbibed the night before. Most of all, me and everyone around could smell it. But I got paid that day and didn’t get fired because I came to work anyway.
It’s true, though. By some accounts, the quote “X percent of life is showing up” is often 80, but I guess Mickey gave more credit to physically being there than others. Similar to “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” if you’re physically there, human ingenuity will usually fill in for the remaining percentages. How many times in life have I gotten lucky just because I showed up? A lot of times.
I remember back sometime back in winter 2015. I had been reading this site for a few years and decided to submit an article about shitting myself at work. Shit happens, but I never thought they’d accept an article about it. To be completely honest, I thought I’d have run out of articles by now, but now I’ve been at it for a year and a half. I’ve come a long way since writing about the various unfortunate personal incidents and general disdain for children. To get lucky, you gotta show up.
People are sometimes scared to show up. Whether it be a date, a new group/class/hobby, making new friends or even catching up with old friends. Ever run into someone you haven’t seen in a while, stop and chat for a bit, and then comes the age old “we should hang out sometime” but then nothing happens? I realized a long time ago, that people actually want to do something, yet we’re hesitant. No one really wants to put themselves out there for a similar reason people don’t want to try and date: it leaves a chance to be let down. No one likes to be let down or be given the short end of the stick.
I am a man of my word: If I say it, I mean it. I will certainly follow up with someone and schedule a time to meet for beers or something. If you can’t nail a date down after two, the onus is on the other person. If you put the effort in to meet up, people notice. I know a lot of people struggle to start new friendships as adults because like any relationship, it takes a concerted effort and coordination. In college, it was easy to make and break friendships, but as adults, just trying often means a lot to people.
Life is about experiences. If you don’t show up, you don’t get to experience life. Ask anyone getting older- sure they regret things they’ve done, but I’d say they regret not doing things more. Just by showing up, you’ve already accomplished the hardest part. In today’s globalized society, you might not even have to physically be there. Maybe Mick was a bit overzealous with his “90 percent of life is showing up” due to living in a time when you were able to get a job with a handshake, but I think after being able to put yourself out there, showing up and at least faking it, 90 percent of the time, you’ll end up on top..
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