I did not want to go to the gym today, or to the seminar, or market a product, or visit someone in that faraway place. I just did not want to. It seemed to be much too much.
There was light rain. My bed had spanking new, clean, crisp white sheets. I was in the middle, curled up, roused by the idea of just staying there, and not moving. In my mind, it had the makings of a perfect day.
It was a Monday.
A doubt clouded my brow, I know that lethargy will come, and that if I do not get off that bed, I would miss seeing the day reflected in the eyes of the people who I would meet, new friends and old friends, miss what they have to say, miss what I would have learned from what they had to say, miss an idea or doing a good deed, putting in an investment, a day laid in waste when I could have flexed that muscle and got a few calories off, miss writing about what I have learned and expanding a thought that would form words that would form ideas that would form a story that I could live in – again – for a moment.
I rouse myself, get out of bed and go out. Out. The idea of missing life terrifies me.
Okay, it does not work all the time.
But this is a game I play with myself – when I feel that life is a little too much (or when I am feeling lazy), a few days after the end of an extremely exhausting project (feeling extraordinarily lazy), when all I want to do is hide and be (still lazy). I do give in, sometimes, to the overpowering feeling of languidness. But, for some reason, I always regret it.
Always. A feeling akin to desperation and depression creeps in and it is a feeling that is not easily shaken off. The feeling that life is passing you by, because it has.
And there is no way to get it back.
We each have 525,600 minutes in one year. Bill Gates has come up with Windows 7, Carl Ocab has met with his mentor over Skype and sent his nth marketing letter, Anton Shekker has just called his programmer to make him a website that will start making him thirty cents a day (in dollars) that will, in a few months, balloon to thousands, Jay Castillo of Foreclosure Philippines has just checked out a foreclosed property and is about to make a downpayment for it.
What do you have to show for those minutes?
I am sure all people feel overwhelmed by what life is asking from them (or what they think life is asking of them), sometimes, that they just want to give up. But what makes some people more amazing than others is that day after day after day, they steer themselves and push themselves to do something.
They show up.
Take these writers for example. You can just imagine how hard it is to write and come up with new ideas, or even old ideas that sound new, everyday. But they do.
Dan Kennedy writes his marketing letters from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., sleepy or not, an idea percolating in his head or none. No excuses. Connie Veneracion of Pinoy Cook starts her mornings with sips of coffee and a good book that would stimulate her mind and then she writes. Abe Olandres of Yugatech scouts the freshest techie news in the wee hours of the morning and writes his reviews. Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love attributes her brilliance to the divinity that resides within that she evokes with her ooohhhhmmmms. Paulo Coelho had to go on a pilgrimage.
They have different ways of pushing themselves but whatever they think may be the outcome of their efforts, they show up. And it is as if the showing up in itself sets into motion the things and events that happen in their life, that putting their feet out into their chosen path urged them to complete what it is they set out to do.
So as much as possible, I panic and show up and participate in my life, heartened or disheartened, pepped or not. And the day almost always shines through.
Show up. It is the first step.
Article by Issa. Art by D. Copyright 2009.
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