You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Present

In a 1980 column, the famous composer Richard Rogers said in his column in the Boston Globe that “Showing up is 80 percent of life.” Later on, Woody Allen adjusted this – and got the credit for the more memorable version of this quote – saying, “Eighty percent of life is showing up.”

We all strive for perfection at times in our lives and oftentimes wait to show up until we’re perfect, but the reality is we just have to be ourselves in the condition we are in right now and go, do and be in the world.

When I came back to NYC in September after my horrific medical experience, I was not 100% – in fact, far from it. However, my huge desire and goal I set to show up and be in the room again with everyone here was so strong and so compelling that showing up – even if I had to take the elevator to get down to and up and out from the meeting – was a success.

Well, if showing up is 80%, have you ever thought about what the other 20% is? You may have a bunch of ideas. I’d like to share what pops to the top for me – and that’s community.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon wrote in the well-known song by The Beatles – “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Community is about the friends you make and colleagues you have who support you with reaching your goals. All you have to do is tell them what your goals are and clarify what you need help with to reach them – and your community will do whatever it can to show up for you to help you get what you said you wanted. In this scenario, YOU are the 20%, you see. You define the goals you want to achieve and the course you set. Then you inform your community about them and ask them to show up, kind of like asking for the specific referral you’d like to meet each week here. All you need is your community’s 80% to help you along.

This NYC group and community, present and past, has continued to show up for me as I have been living through this unimaginable health experience. With your generosity of spirit and support inside and outside this room, I have continued to reach my goals I have set.

Once I reached my goal of getting here, I set a new goal. That’s what we do – we keep moving forward and keep moving the ball down the field. My BIG goal here became the stairwell to get down to the meeting and to get up and out to the street after it ends.

I informed particular members of our NYC community that today I am going to attempt to ascend the stairwell after this meeting and walk out of this building without using the elevator at all for the first time. And now I’m informing all of you.

This has been a HUGE goal of mine since I got out of the hospital. I have done my 20% and worked very hard and very patiently to do this today. I have informed my community. I have asked for them to show up and they are here to do so. I’m scared but excited to reach this goal now – and know that I’ve got my community with me for this.

So I ask you: what is your “set of stairs” and the goals you have set, big or small? Where is it in your business and also your life that you have been waiting to show up until you’re perfect for yourself and your goals or someone else and theirs? Or maybe you have your goals set but you have been waiting to tell members of your community about them and had the courage to ask them to show up for you?

As the saying goes, 80 percent of life is showing up, so get up and go show up – for yourself and others – and let others know what you want and need so you can reach your goals with a little help from your friends and community.

Happy Thanksgiving to our NYC 62 community – and all of yours beyond these walls!

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