I’m old; I’m fat; I’m out of shape; I’ve lost my edge.
At least those were the stories I began to tell myself.
I pushed on. Turned out it was just an off day.
Some days are like that: Some days, it feels as if someone has poured cement into my running shoes. On other days, I flow like the wind.
All of us have days when it flows; and days when it doesn’t.
The problem is that, when it doesn’t flow, we tend to think that it “means” something; that something’s wrong; that’s something’s broken; that the magic has vanished. We get dark and despondent. We think it will last forever. We get discouraged. We want to quit.
The truth is: Some days it just doesn’t flow.
And it doesn’t mean a thing.
This is true in writing, in business, in finance, in relationships, in art, in music. I’m fairly certain it’s true in everything.
Some days, it's just a bad hair day.
Thankfully, there’s a remedy: Show up the next day; and the next. Pretty soon it will flow again. Just as long as you haven’t given up.
I recently heard an audience member ask best selling author Theresa Ragan what the secret to her success was, what her secret was for being so prolific. She said that she showed up every day, “put her butt in the chair,” and wrote.
Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way said that our only job as creatives is to “show up on the page;” to be present on the canvas.
George Leonard who wrote the book Mastery using the metaphor of his Aikido practice said that our only job on the path to mastery (in anything) is just “to show up on the mat.”
This means showing up in the practice room, the board room, the laundry room, the bedroom; this means showing up in the classroom, on the track, in the studio, no matter what happened yesterday; or the day before; or the day before that.
Whether it flowed brilliantly; or not.
The judging, the evaluating, the questioning, the hand wringing, the self-deprecation: they’re all just distractions; they’re all just a waste of time and energy.
Our job - our only job - is to show up and do the work.
The rest will take care of itself.
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