October 26, 2020
Do you remember how you felt when your friends came over to celebrate your birthday or when they were there to lend you a shoulder when you were heartbroken?
Do you remember how you felt when you passed a subject because you came to class just in time for a pop quiz?
Or do you remember what it felt like when your parents attended your graduation day and you saw them cheering for you from their seats as you went up on the stage to receive your diploma?
Or maybe you don’t, because on the day of your birthday, your friends didn’t come; or when you were lonely, your friends who were with you during good times weren’t there anymore.
Maybe you failed a class because of a surprise quiz that you missed. Or maybe your parents didn’t come on your graduation day.
There is power in showing up. Your mere presence can be a game-changer, whether in your own personal development or in the lives of others. For instance, how many opportunities have you missed just because you didn’t show up? On the contrary, how many wonderful things have you experienced in life just because you showed up?
In leadership, presence is a crucial component that we ought to consider in leading oneself and others. A leader’s presence (or absence) makes a lot of difference, which is why we need to understand the power of this simple principle if we want to grow more as leaders and individuals.
How can we put this into practice?
Show up where you need to show up—whether that’s in a class that you’re enrolled in, a responsibility that you committed yourself to, or an event that could add value to you.
When we show up, we position ourselves to receive new learning, explore new opportunities, and even meet new people. At the same time, we make ourselves available to give of ourselves to others and add value to them.
However, don’t just be there. BE there.
Showing up is more than just being physically present. We may be physically present yet emotionally and mentally disconnected because we’re busy with our smartphones.
Showing up means being mentally and emotionally present and actively engaging with the people that you’re with. Being there means paying attention to what’s happening at the moment and making an effort to connect with the people around you.
Showing up doesn’t mean spreading yourself too thinly, being all over the place, or trying to be in different places at the same time. That’s not humanly possible, and you could end up frustrated or burnt out.
In order to avoid this, choose where to commit yourself by clarifying what matters most to you. When your values and priorities are clear, making decisions becomes easier.
For example, when you love what you’re doing, going to class, attending meetings, or hanging out with friends are more of a delight than a duty. When you see the value of something, it is much easier to show up even when it’s difficult.
After clarifying your personal values, assess yourself. Am I valuing the right things? Do I put high value on things that are truly important? Or am I investing my time on things that have less or no value?
Resolve to only show up to things that have high value—things that will help you grow and will add value to other people as well.
Whenever you show up, you communicate to others that they matter to you or that you share their values.
We don’t just show up because we’re focused on what we can gain. We show up because we value people and recognize that our presence can mean a lot to them.
Who are the people that matter to you? Who are the people that value your presence in their lives? Celebrate milestones with them. Grieve with them in difficult times. Build memories with them. Invest time with them.
Ultimately, the best place to be is wherever God wants us to be. He is the author of our lives, and His will for our lives is good, pleasing, and perfect. When we allow God to direct our path, we position ourselves at the very center of His will where our lives can have the greatest impact and where we can experience the best things in life.
The power of showing up is not just in what we gain, but on who we become in the process—the masterpiece that God intends us to be.