Get up. Show up. Never give up!

There are more cheesy expressions, motivational quips and clichés in our language than you can wave a stick at. Lots seem to end up on social media by people with nothing original to say and who are desperate for attention. I saw one of them recently, and though I hate to admit it, I really liked it: ‘Get up, Show up, Never give up!’

Whilst many of these irritating motivational quips are vacuous, some have very real underlying value if you examine them, carefully, and then identify and activate the learning.

Woody Allen once said that 80% of success was ‘showing up’.

Think about it. It’s amazing the value in showing up. I wonder how many rehearsals and gigs the Beatles showed up at before they were deemed successful, or how many running races Usain Bolt attended before becoming a superstar? And Ian Woosnam, a well-known British Golfer, spent many years trying to qualify for the European Tour travelling to events and living in a camper van, eating baked beans to save money, before he eventually won the Swiss Open in the summer of 1982. It is said he accumulated upwards of £30m from his winnings in the 80’s and 90’s.

Let’s explore Get up. Show up. Never give up!
There are physical and mental connotations to this that go deep. ‘Get up’, is not just physically getting up, but mentally getting up and preparing self for the journey. Likewise getting dressed for success is as much about the mental ‘dressing’ we go through, as much as it is about wearing the right clothes. There is something wonderfully simple about the ‘get up’ notion. If you want a job, and stay in bed all day, then it just won’t happen! If you want to get fit, you need to get up, dress up – in your trainers – and get your backside to the gym, pool or running track. Simple. I have noticed it is much easier to go for a jog if I get up and put my trainers on. Weird!

Now let’s look at ‘Show up’ and what that might mean.
Well, it’s very difficult to get a job if you forget to attend the interview and it’s difficult to pass an examination if you fail to turn up for the test. I talk to the Olympic Sailors I coach about ‘showing up’ at the start line and the first mark in racing. But again, it goes deeper doesn’t it. If you fail to show up, or if you show up without you – the best you – then success is harder to come by. How often have you seen people turn up to a meeting, football match or conference, but not really show up? I can think of countless sporting events where individuals and teams have turned up – they are there, they exist – but simply never ‘showed up’ in the bigger the sense, and I can think of classes and conferences I have been to where participants were there in body, but they were mentally absent – they never showed up! How you show up (your presence) is critical to such things as relationships and influencing others.

Sadly, I admit there are some occasions where I have turned up, but not really showed up? What about you?

Notice the themes and connections. What can you learn? Notice where and when your successes and disappointments or failures came from. If I think of times I have succeeded – not just for my benefit, but for others, too – I have been really present and showed up as the best ‘me’ I can be, but when I have failed or underachieved, so often I was just not there.

Finally, let’s think about ‘Never Give Up’.
If you know what you want, and why you want it, I support the purpose to go for your dream. But let’s add a word of warning, whilst driving for the goal, remember it’s a journey, so enjoy the view, and remember to stay flexible and agile. Sometimes routes become blocked or even turn out to be the wrong route. By remaining aware and mindful, we increase the chances of seeing opportunities, altering course if applicable and achieving our purpose.

How many people do you know who very nearly reached their goal, but somehow fall short. I see this in all manner of examples from chums who set a ‘weight’ goal and then give up when the going gets tough, to process improvement programmes that are never fully delivered, seen through to the end and activated in businesses.

Spend a moment and write down a few times when you have and have not really shown up.

What’s the cost of never quite achieving your goals?
What message do you send out to self and others if you get near, but never quite finish anything off? Imagine telling a young child who has tried many times to stand up and walk, not to bother, because they fell over in the process of trying! Parents encourage and support their children through hundreds, if not thousands of attempts at standing and walking. So, let’s take a lesson from babies and children. Or consider champions such as Michael Watson – who has just turned 54 – brain damaged in a near fatal incident in 1991 during a world class fight with Chris Eubank. Having been told he would never walk again, Michael completed the 2003 London Marathon in 6 days, walking two hours a day.

The story is well documented so check it out. I wonder where Michael Watson sits on the Get up, Show up, Never give up scale.

So, Get up. Show up. Never give up. Believe in yourself, because as L’Oreal says ‘you’re worth it!’

PJ Stevens