Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Showing up

A blog I was reading had the following quote:

"My dad had a great piece of advice for me once. 75% of completing anything is just showing up. Through the years, I’ve learned the value of this lesson over and over again, and it still holds true."

Truer words were never spoken-- except that they were. In the 2001 film Hardball, down-on-his-luck-deadbeat Conor O'Neill, goes all Bombay and coaches a softball team in the inner city. On one of the team's darker days (it involved a forfeit or a loss), Keanu gives this line:

Conor O'Neill: The most important thing in life is showing up I am blown away by your ability to show up.

Conor O'Neill, I am blown away by your ability to make words sing.

When I heard that in the movie, I was really not sold, and focused more on Keanu's trademark delivery. Thinking about it now, though, it's surprisingly true, particularly in regards to obligations a. It doesn't say too much to me about that remaining 25%, but it tends to have worked out for me lately.

Class: "Should I go to class?" A more complicated question than it would seem. But more often than not, when I've chosen to skip on class, in the end, it wasn't wholly necessary. At the very least, you just show up, and as long as you can stay awake (something not to be taken for granted), you're in good shape, and are in better standing with the professor than you would otherwise.

Library: I've recently found that without necessarily trying to be a good student or anything...I'll just go to the library. And even if I dawdle or facebook or whatever...I'll be there, and at some point, there really is no other alternative than to just put in some hours on work.

Work: After going out last night, I could have just stayed in and slept. But, unpleasant as it can be getting here and settling in...once I'm there, there's no other option, and now I'll have about $50 more than I would have otherwise.

Maybe what seems to make this seem like such a good idea is just because there's really no alternative once you get there. You arrive, and it's not like at that point you can just choose to leave at least work or class. You're kind of stuck there. The pessimist, perhaps, would be saying, it's not as much a positive thing about "showing up," as much as placing yourself in a position where you have no alternatives that might make you happier.