How To (Not) Show Up

Eighty percent of success is showing up.

There is more to this statement than meets the eye mind. It is pregnant with wisdom that is immediately, not apparent.

Therefore, this Woody Allen statement should not be vitiated with a literal interpretation.

Yes, you could show up, but

  • Late
  • In the wrong place
  • Shabby and sloppy
  • Unexcited (with a not-feeling-like-it mood)
  • Uninvited
  • Unfit
  • Unprepared and clueless etc

If you want a ‘how to’ for showing up foolish, the list above will work perfectly. However, there is no way showing up this way leads to success. Except in Happily Ever After fantasies.

On the other hand, showing up:

  • Punctual
  • At the right place
  • Smart and organised
  • Motivated (even if you don’t feel like it)
  • Invited
  • Capable
  • Prepared and informed

Sets you up for success.

Just showing up, is showing up, foolish.

Learn from the Boys Scouts. Be prepared! Always. Do your best to always show up prepared. Even if you experience failure. The failure and regret that results from a lack of preparation is deeper, by far, than the failure experienced even after preparation. I can relate.

Whatever it is you have decided to do, keep at it. Keep showing up, in spite of circumstances and feelings. You will see it will be worth it, in time.

The task may be insignificant; the person involved may seem unimportant; the cause may not seem worthwhile. Still show up.

It may not come naturally, yet make a habit of showing up. More often than not, it is a struggle for me to keep showing up on this blog with a post every week. I strive to keep at it because I know it is worth the effort.

But remember, just showing up, is showing up, foolish.

You make the most of any day when you show up prepared for that day.

Muse-worthy Quote: Arrogance of Success

Today, the level of technological advancement is such that innovations are churned out daily. Any product or idea short of revolutionary, will easily be stale tomorrow. Even revolutionary ideas are not guaranteed timeless shelf lives.

Everything new, does get old. In time.

Yesterday’s education is not sufficient for tomorrow’s challenges or opportunities. Just as meals eaten yesterday will not give you nourishment for the future.

That is just the way it is.

Every day brings opportunities, to grow, develop and improve. Take it.

Because things will never remain the same, you have to either evolve, adapt or make way for those who will.

To think that yesterday’s success will always remain relevant tomorrow is delusion.

It is arrogant.

Make the most of every day! Make the most of today!

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The Kernel That Blooms

I always marvel at it. Anytime I see it, I cannot help but consider the kernel it once was. The image that comes to mind is that of a flower in bloom.

I am talking about the fluffy white delight, that is arguably, the world’s oldest snack. Popcorn!

From my research for this article, I learnt that a kernel of popcorn contains water or moisture surrounded by soft starch. The starch is capsuled by the outer covering we see, called the hull. When popcorn is subjected to heat, the water within heats up. As temperature increases the water becomes steam and turns the starch into a gluey substance. Because of the hard hull, pressure mounts up inside the kernel. However, at 204 to 238 degrees Celsius, the hull bursts open spewing out the gluey starch which cools immediately to give us the funny petal-like shape we are familiar with.

The transformation of popcorn from seed to snack is fascinating.

Watch it in slow mo:

Wow! Amazing right.

From this wonder kernel that blooms, one can draw inspiration:

  • Popcorn needs heat to pop, or better still, bloom. Tough times are necessary for bringing out the best in us. ‘Aha’ moments usually come when we are in a quandary.  Take James’ advise,  Dear friends, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.” James 1:2-4 TLB
  • Popcorn in bloom is much bigger that its kernel. It is said that a kernel can swell to 40-50 times its original size. You may seem dwarfed by lack of money, heartbreak, poor self-esteem, academic failure, addiction of any kind., or handicapped in any form. Don’t belittle yourself. You are more than meets the eye. You are bigger than the difficulties you are facing.
  • There are four main types of corn, Dent corn, Sweet corn, Flint corn and Popcorn. Only popcorn pops. This is mainly because if its hull which helps the kernel withstand pressure of heat until the right moment. A moment too soon, there will be no bloom. Even for popcorn, when the temperature is too low, no popping; if it’s too high the kernel burns.
    In life people respond to difficulties differently. Some avoid problems or give in too soon, consequently they don’t bloom. Others, consciously or unconsciously, deny the reality of their situation and eventually get destroyed by it.

Life is imperfect. Difficulties are inescapable. Be glad for them. God has placed a great potential in you. Allow your challenges to pop them out. You will be the better for it; others will be beneficiaries of your invaluable contribution.

Whatever, you may be facing today, the best way to respond is to, ” Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)

How do you deal with difficulties?

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