The Importance of ‘Showing Up’ Every Single Day

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Fall is one of my favorite times of the year because my favorite sport is back in action: football. But this isn’t my favorite time of the year just because of all the incredible college and NFL games that will have millions of people glued to their TV sets, but because of all the potential football upsets.

We see a lot of these at the college level. At some point during the college football season, a highly ranked team will go down at the hands of an underdog team. That win will be the talk of the whole country, and everyone will be in shock as the highlights are replayed over and over on ESPN and other networks for the subsequent week.

These upsets during football season should remind us of the simple truth that applies to building businesses, organizations and whole cultures and ultimately becoming more as people: the importance of simply showing up every single day.

The reason why upsets happen in sports as well as business, the reason people fail to become their best version of themselves, is because people forget to “show up” every day. You will always have the number-one or the second-ranked team in the country being beaten by a smaller-division team because that top team forgot to show up that particular day.

Its members will have let their record, their past achievements and the praise heaped on them by the media get in the way of their executing and treating that specific game as if they were 0-0.

The same thing needs to happen when we build businesses, embark on massive goals or improve an area in our personal lives. Showing up every day and treating each new day, project and task as if your life depended on it is a surefire way to make sure you get better at what you do and move in the right direction to where you want and need to be.

Here are two ways to help you make sure you show up every single day.

1. Create a contract with yourself.

This piece of advice really works. I can attest that it has made a great difference in my own life by motivating me to show up and improve upon what I did the day before.

Have some fun with this: Craft a couple of paragraphs stating that you will show up and give everything you have. How you word it is up to you, but just the act alone of crafting a contract with yourself will have an incredible psychological effect. After you craft this contract, you should laminate it and put it somewhere where you’ll see it multiple times a day.

The real work will come at the end of each day, when you have to be 100 percent honest with yourself by looking at your contract to see if you’ve lived up to the words that you wrote down.

I have talked and written about this advice, but a book that I highly recommend for greater detail about creating a contract with yourself is the The One Day Contract: How to Add Value to Every Minute of Your Life, by Rick Pitino, head basketball coach at the University of Louisville (and cowriter Eric Crawford). It’s a phenomenal book that chronicles how Pitino started using a one-day contract for himself and his team before they won their national championship.

2. Pick one key area that you are going to get better at every single day.

When I was a former linebacker, in both college and the NFL, we would always pick one key area to focus on for that specific day. After a couple of months, I noticed what a great impact this was making on me in becoming a better player overall. I then adopted this same practice into my personal life. Every day, I would focus on one key area and put on my list whatever was that day’s focal point.

The results were phenomenal. So much so that I still maintain this habit even now that I am away from football. For example, if you’re in sales, maybe you are working on getting better with cold calls one day, and then the next day you are working on improving your communication or prospecting skills. Whatever you do for work, find one key area to get better at every day.

It’s amazing what can happen a year from now if you pick one thing to work on and get better at each and every day. Over time, you will notice a drastic difference, not only in the results you begin to see, but how you approach each new day.

The reason why this practice works is because it’s not overwhelming yourself with 1,000 different areas you need to work on, combined with your already hectic schedule.

Showing up every single day of your life is critical when it comes to the success of your business, organization and individual success. Just when you think you’ve made it or don’t have to work as hard, someone, somewhere is already gaining an advantage over you and working to surpass you.

Champions show up every day, whether that occurs on the field, on the court or in the boardroom. Showing up may help you be one of them.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Create a Binding Agreement With Yourself, Just for Today, and Defeat Complacency

Imagine how much you would be able to get done if you had an agreement with yourself that you had to produce to the best of your ability and give maximum effort — just for today. If you didn’t accomplish the core basis of what was in the agreement, that particular day counts as a big loss. No one likes to lose.

You see, so many people put off living their absolute best life and putting forth their best effort because there is always the thought of, “I always have tomorrow.” That mental attitude is a recipe for mediocrity.

Think about this for a second. Why is it that a professional athlete will get the big multi-million dollar contract and then lack urgency, focus and production compared to when he didn’t have the big payday? On the other side of the spectrum, why is it that a Wall Street broker approaches each and every day like it’s their last?

The reasoning is simple. When an athlete receives a big payday, more times than not, that money is guaranteed. That creates a sense of security. A Wall Street broker is only as good as their last trade. There is no guaranteed 10-year stay with a particular company. You have to produce every single day and maybe, just maybe, you might have a future with the same company. However, that’s only if you produce day in and day out.

A wonderful book I just finished reading is the One Day Contract by the University of Louisville’s well decorated basketball coach Rick Pitino. In the book, he describes a one-day contract he created for himself and his team before the start of their championship season last year. I thought the idea was terrific.

The whole purpose of the one-day contract is to add value to your life every minute of every day. Even though I don’t call it the one-day contract, I have been incorporating something similar into my own life for the past five years with the same concept in mind.

The benefit has been substantial. The binding agreement I have with myself is geared towards helping me to think about maximizing my potential and life just for today. When you truly begin to focus all of your energy, effort and focus into making this very day a masterpiece, the results will completely blow you away.

I see it all the time. I walk into a corporation and see employees slacking off, chatting with their colleagues, and surfing the Internet without a care in the world. There is no urgency. They have their salaries. They have health insurance. There is a sense of security for them that creates an atmosphere of complacency.

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t just happen in corporations. This happens in the government, school boards, professional sport teams and every job market you can think of. A very small percentage of people are approaching each new day with a mindset of “all or nothing.”

The binding agreement with yourself not only creates a fierce sense of urgency to spend your valuable time working on high-valued tasks, but takes motivation levels to a completely different level. Here is an example of a binding agreement with myself:

(Today’s date)

I, Matt Mayberry, abide by the terms of this contract. I vouch to give my very best towards everything I put my hands on. I will uplift and encourage everyone I encounter. My time will be spent wisely while directing all of my focus and energy on my most important tasks. Everything that is placed on my “things to do” for today will be done passionately and quickly. I will learn something new and grow somehow, someway. Just for today, I will be great.

Have some fun with yours. Mix things up and explore different methods. There is no right or wrong way of doing this. The only thing that matters is that you create something powerful for yourself that will prompt you to live like today is your last day here on earth.

Create a sense of urgency to get moving on creating the life of your dreams!

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com