For 24 years, I’ve driven the same way to work.
11 miles of the same telephone poles, the same asphalt, the same houses, and the same blades of grass.
Every year, the seasons change the colors, but the objects remain the same.
The wind swept fields, the rainy roads, the sunshine blessed treetops, all of it stands the test of time. I notice many of these things every day, during shorter days, longer nights, dark mornings and sun drenched afternoons, but they all stay the same.
The rainy days are just as grey as they were nearly a quarter of a century ago, when, at 22 years old, I decided to go and work for my dad after college. The job offers were many, all over the country, Chicago, Philly, Houston, but I decided to go home and work for the family business.
I could’ve done anything. I could’ve gone to Argentina to get my major in Spanish. I could’ve gone to a big city and rode out my 20’s in an exciting, albeit, broken world.
I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve, depending on who was asking. So why would a guy fresh out of college decide to work for the family business when he had a chance to make his mark on the world in other ways?
Because sometimes, it’s not about the glory and excitement of new avenues, it’s about the joy and satisfaction that comes from building something up and succeeding through long hours of toil.
As I traverse the multitude of left turns going to work, then the multitude of right turns coming home, it reminds me of the stability that I have had in my life.
It all stays the same, but it’s all wonderful to see for me everyday.
Boring? To you, maybe. To me, it’s the world I’ve helped build and it stands on my untiring effort everyday to chisel a world out of the world just for me.
Legacy is built one brick at a time, over time.
We crave stability, but we don’t crave what it takes to create or sustain it.
One of my favorite speakers this past year at CME (The Conference of Masculine Excellence) in Las Vegas was Hotep Jesus, who’s number one quote in his presentation was “Show up.”
He specifically talked about being the man who just showed up and made things happen. And when you show up, things happen.
Showing up is the start of consistency and gets you there 100% of the time when you’re present.
Out of these years I’ve been working at my own business, I’ve been absent less than .1% of the time. And it’s because I love my job and know that there are people that count on me daily to “show up”.
Which is how I’ve had to approach my life, especially recently. While I was showing up at work, I wasn’t showing up in my life.
I would be there for everything at work, but in my life, especially when I was married, I wasn’t there for my wife at the time, my kids, or myself.
My fitness cratered and I ballooned to 308 lbs. My wife and I divorced. My kids and I were distant, and I wasn’t showing up, I was merely a ghost, a place holder pretending to be a father, husband and man.
I was practicing consistency at work, but I wasn’t bringing it to my personal life, and it showed.
So, on my 40th birthday, sitting alone at a bar, drunk, I had to make a decision.
Nothing was working out in my personal life, but my career was going well.
I was tired of seeing success in one area and no success in everything else, because I wasn’t SHOWING UP in those other areas. So, I decided, each year, to add these areas to my consistent effort and get my weaknesses handled. I took one – two areas each year, for the last 5 years. My first goal was getting my weight down and getting better with women.
So I got 80 lbs off and I got decent with girls. It was the start of an amazing transformation that is still taking place to this day, in my life.
I found a passion, helping men through my own experiences, so the next year I decided to get my blog going, as well as be on Twitter and IG as a man who was living his journey and sharing his experiences with other men. And I have grown this blog and twitter to over 11k people.
The next year was traveling to meet people that I had met as well as getting out of my shell. I overdid this, traveling so much that I was neglecting time with my kids. But I consistently traveled and got better socially. But I realized I was drinking way too much, so I also decided to get sober, which I have now been for 2.5 years.
In 2020 and 2021, I used the pandemic to get consistent on the home front, getting my home in order and get closer to my kids, I needed to be a better father, but I wasn’t showing up with them as much as I needed to. I’ve been learning to be a better dad as well as understanding that my connection to my kids is extremely important to their health and well being. I’ve been working in the Fraternity of Excellence to get better as a father and a man.
And now, in 2022, I’m dialing my fitness into the next level. My fitness goal has been to always look sexy naked, and with my trainer Phil Foster, I am pushing myself and establishing new consistent boundaries on how I work out and how I look. And, mercifully, after a year, I will be getting my finances in order and will be debt free except the house in a little over a week of this writing. Then I get to pay myself and spend my money on savings, investment, and college for my children.
I’ve also brought my consistency to my relationships. I’m reaching out to old friends I left on hold. I’m learning how be better with women in my work with Dr Taylor Burrowes. Before it was just pickup and sex, now it’s something more I’m looking for. I’m learning to vet these women, consistently and with consistency in my own values, boundaries, and behaviors.
All of this, every aspect of my life, has been addressed. All because I decided to show up. Sure there are important things that take precedence at this moment, but in general, I’m raising the level of my life and as a result, the level of those around me. People can count on me again, because they know I’ll show up.
My meetings, I’m there. My kids, I’m there. My fitness, I’m there. My friends and family, I’m there.
There’s something to be said about knowing someone will always be there.
And, when you can look into the mirror and know that you are bringing it everyday, the most important person that knows you’ll be there is…well….YOU.
But I’ve hired good people to help me get there. When you have the people to help you and you are willing to “show up” and help yourself with their tutelage, the sky’s the limit.
Going into 2022, I had several resolutions that I had been working on since Sept of 21. Guys have asked me how the hell I can get behind all of these resolutions and, you know, actually “DO THEM” but it’s become so ingrained in my mind that I need to get better everyday that many of these resolutions have become commonplace.
In order to get to your goals, you must “show up”, so I started the First of the Month Challenge to motivate people to take the same steps I took, the same consistent baby steps to get to their goals.
One of the things many people have stated about me is that my consistency is top notch. It hasn’t always been that way, but the way that it started was through my New Year’s Resolutions. So, I took it upon myself to show folks through the first quarter of this year, that 30 days becomes a habit, 60 days becomes a pattern, and 90 days becomes a lifestyle. Whether it’s fitness or something else, it will behoove you to follow through and be consistent in your goals. Just do one thing, one, for that amount of time and watch as you are able to apply that to other aspects of your life.
You’ll become unstoppable because you bothered to “show up.”
The stat that really stood out to me was that after the first month 80% of people quit their resolutions.
And I see it every year. The gym is packed the first two weeks of January, then people leave in droves and it’s back to the usual folks in February.
But, as I’ve seen year after year, there are the 20% that show up when the gym opens or are there when it’s about to close. It’s the 20% that push themselves to be better by “showing up” every day to get to their goals. It’s time to increase that percentage and hold folks accountable for their proclamations. And to hold them accountable, I want to be there with them as they take these steps to break out of their own dead end cycles.
So, if you’re looking for the magic code to be consistent, it’s nothing else but showing up when no one else does.
And it’s certainly not magic, just a sense of personal discipline ingrained in yourself by yourself to forge ahead and get what you truly dream of in life.
The magic of consistency is created by the commonplace activity of attendance.
And being consistent will bring that dream to a reality.