It’s how you show up when things get rough that define you.
A while back when I was working out, doing the CrossFit Hero WOD named after Lieutenant Michael “Murph” Murphy, one of the Navy SEALs who sacrificed their lives for their team and their country in Afghanistan in 2005, I was thinking about something I wanted to talk to y’all about. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” But what does that mean? So, while I was doing the Hero WOD and thinking about that saying, it occurred to me that what it really means, to me at least, is that how we show up when things are hard, when things in life and business get challenging, however we show up during those times determines how we are going to show up when things are good, too. Because however we do anything is how we ultimately are going to do everything.
Just think about it for a minute. It’s really about how we show up in these moments when we don’t want to. And trust me, we all have times like that. Times where we’d rather not have to step up or deal with something that’s going on with family, or friends, or clients. But we know we need to. We know that if we want to accomplish the big things we’ve aimed for, the goals we have set for ourselves, we need to show up and do the work. We’ve committed to doing this work, and that means we still do it even when things are hard, or less than pleasant. And it’s in these trying times when we’re trying to negotiate with ourselves to find a way out of having to deal with it, trying to fool ourselves into believing that we can just skip out on that WOD, or just ignore that argument with our partner, or that complication with a client or in our business that it’s important to remember: However it is that we show up and do anything is how, ultimately, we are going to show up and do everything in our life.
We’ve committed to doing this work, and that means even when things are hard, or less than pleasant.
Earlier that day, before I left for the gym, I was doing some work in the garden in preparation for my wife to do the planting, and the thought popped into my head that it would be okay if I just skipped my workout this time. I could justify staying home to do yard work and a few other jobs around the house, but I knew that I had committed to do Murph. You see, I know that how I do anything is how I do everything. And if it’s easy to break the small commitments to myself, it becomes easy to break the big ones. And so, I went to the gym, and I did the WOD. And it was not easy. But I knew that I needed to show up and do the things that I said I would do.
I know I need to do the things that I don’t necessarily want to do in that moment. I know that showing up in those times that are hard, those times that I could give myself a pass, those times where everyone else around me might even help me justify my choice, are the times that I MUST show up and do the work. However, the people who help you justify backing down are most likely doing that because they’re not willing to show up and do the work in their own lives. But remember, how they do anything is how they do everything. Allowing yourself not to do the work, to not show up, becomes a habit. One that is not easy to break.
I know that showing up in those times that are hard…are the times that I MUST show up and do the work.
And so, when I showed up to the WOD, it proved to me that whatever I’m willing to do now, I can do and I will also be willing to do it later. But here’s the catch: you’ve got to continue to do that, to show up, because next time around, you’ll have another decision to make. So, are you going to continue to show up every time and do the work? Are you going to keep stepping up in spite of the thoughts, the feelings and the emotions that you’ve got going on in your head? Or, are you not going to do something because of the stories that you have in your head, or because of what we think someone else might say or think?
How we do anything is how we do everything in life. If you truly believe that and put it into practice in your life, think of the things that you can go out and accomplish. If you make stepping into the difficult parts of your life a habit, you can start to knock off these things in your life that you’ve been saying you’ve wanted to do for such a long time, but haven’t been able to figure out how to do. It’s that simple. It’s showing up and doing the work on a daily basis, even if you don’t necessarily want to.
It feels good to be able to say that I did the work.
It feels good to be done with the Murph. There was a little bit of fear or hesitation on my part, for sure, but I showed up because I knew it was necessary. I showed up because I’d committed to being there. And because I know that how I do anything is how I do everything.
Remember, the business, the family, the life you want…it all starts with the person you create yourself to be.
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