Inspiration of the “aha!” sort is a capricious companion at best, and waiting for inspiration to strike before taking action leads to missed opportunities. Not feeling at all inspired by the task at hand? Here are nine reasons to “show up” and find a way to make meaning out of your work. Thanks to my many wise colleagues for adding their thoughts on why it’s important to show up, even if your muse is nowhere to be found.
Feel the fear and do it anyway: Taking a page from Winston Churchill’s famous phrase, Harvard Business Review blogger Whitney Johnson says always, always, always show up.
Make a difference: Becky Robinson, an entrepreneur who leads the Weaving Influence team, highlights how others miss out on your gifts when you don’t show up. “Someone needs the encouragement, wisdom, and expert advice that you are uniquely qualified to bring. When you opt-out of showing up, you miss out on the opportunity to make a bigger difference in the world.”
Take control of your life: Leadership consultant David Dye reminds us that “Most of life happens when we don’t feel like doing it.” Are you letting your life pass you by?
Be part of the solution: Roy Atkinson, senior writer and analyst for industry trade organization HDI, shared this quote with me: “Decisions are made by those who show up,” which he attributes to Aaron Sorkin, creator of the TV show The West Wing. Ouch! Are you being left of out the loop because you opted out?
Experience serendipity: Dana Theus, founder of the InPower Women blog, points to the serendipitous: “Surprises lie around every corner, assuming you go there.”
Be a cheerleader for someone else: Jane Anderson, author of the blog Talk Kindness to Me reminds us that choosing to not show up is akin to sulking in a corner. She says, “I want to be the cheerleader, to ignite progress through enthusiasm.”
Ignite a spark for someone: Don’t feel like showing up? Resist the urge to shrug your shoulders and walk away, says Jon Mertz, a vice president at healthcare software company. “It’s important to show up even when you don’t feel like it because you never know when a spark will happen within you or when you will create a spark for someone else.”
Turn a dud into a diamond: Ruth Walker of Due North Marketing Communications reminds us: “You never know what opportunities await. And often something that doesn’t sound particularly appealing turns out to far exceed your expectations.
And finally from Twitter, an exchange with Ryan Vaughn
Discussion time: what do you do to help you “show up” even when the muse has left the building?