Woody Allen once said that 90 percent of being successful in life is showing up (I'm actually not sure if he coined the phrase or refurbished it from someone else). This saying applies to everything in life.
I teach high school English in Nyack, New York. I teach seniors and I teach electives, courses that run half a year, taken either out of interest or the need to finish credit requirements to pass.
The courses are designed for students to be challenged, engaged, but also meet them where they are: high school seniors in the spring of their final year are usually checked out. Many have already been accepted to colleges. Others know they will be going to work somewhere. Still others are unsure. Or don't care.
And who can blame them? After two years of being shut down, teenagers became used toi uncertainty. Uncertainty became the only thing they could be certain of.
So, you're a teenager, you're told you need to show up to class to get credit - you need to show up to work to get paid - you need to show up to practice to play.
And then the world flips on you. School shuts down. Work shuts down. So you think, why do I have to show up at all?
Make sense, doesn't it?
And here's where the advice of a less than stellar ethical figure comes in handy. If you don't show up, you're guaranteed nothing. Guaranteed. But if you do show up...?
Possibilities. You see?
Michael Jordan is often credited with the phrase "You miss 100% of the shot you DON'T take."
So, my advice to those of you out there debating the point of it all? You can do that, spend your days wallowing in an existential fog of doubt.
Or you can show up to learn...
show up to work...
show up to help a friend...
show up to be a part of...
You can always return to that existential fog of doubt when you are done. Chances are, if you show up, you will likely find less to be doubtful of.
Of that you can be certain.
Hi. My name is Stephen Tesher. I am a novelist, screenwriter, educator, and father. I've authored three books, staged numerous plays and optioned screenplays, articles, and this blog.