Show up!

In the spirit of the season, I attended my nephew’s middle school awards ceremony recently, touted by his mother as middle school graduation.  It is as much a milestone for her as it is for him, as this former child has become a bright young man heading off to high school.

I am beyond proud of him for earning perfect attendance, not only for the current year, but for all three years of middle school.  It conjured up memories of a speech I heard years ago regarding 3 simple steps to success:   Show up, Stand up and Speak up.  Obviously, showing up is the first requisite to accomplishing anything and almost seems like a no brainer.  Standing up is something he has been good at for awhile, now towering over us all at nearly six feet tall.  Speaking up is something he continues to master as well,  and he demonstrated this non verbally as he anxiously eased himself to the back of the line when his name was not called in alphabetical order in the awards ceremony.   You could sense his awkwardness and confusion, which he conquered with confidence as he awaited his well-earned acknowledgement.

Show up:  Obviously we can’t accomplish much without showing up.  But how do you show up, where and why?  Who do you surround yourself with and what is your ultimate destination?  Where and how we invest ourselves in the world determines our destiny, which we navigate through daily choices.

Stand up:  ‘If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything’.  Know who you are and what you believe and surround yourself with others who share your core values.

Speak up:   It never hurts to ask for what you want, the worst you can hear is no.  Did you know the best way to get what you want is to ask for it?  It really is that simple, but not always easy.  Knowing what you want is a requisite for requesting it, and most folks don’t take time to figure that out.  Instead they let society make suggestions and follow the crowd in their quest.  What do you want?  And what are you willing to do to get it?

What if we all got perfect attendance in life?  What if we all show up, stand up and speak up for what we believe, and take action toward making our world a better place?  There is power in numbers, as we saw at the ceremony, with so many students taking academic honors, gaining recognition for their involvement and achievement in a variety of venues.

Just showing up is only the beginning; some situations require being our best, and sometimes good is good enough.  Standing up and speaking up take courage; clarity breeds courage and prepares us to do all three.  Where will you show up, stand up and speak up?

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