Up until I was about 27, this mantra was all that I needed:

Life is all about showing up.

This statement is true, but it’s only half-true in some situations.

“Showing up” every day is important. Persistence and consistency in pursuing your goals will undoubtedly cause you to accomplish what you set out to do. Being present and intentional no matter where you are makes a difference.

But then I entered real life as I got a little older. Over the past couple years, showing up hasn’t been enough. I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t remember everything that I want and need to do. I can’t accomplish everything that I set out to do if I set my goals in an ad hoc fashion.

You can call this revelation maturity or common sense (how humbling for me to admit). I’m assuming that a lot of people either get this or don’t. I’ve refused to believe that I can’t do everything. I’ve suffered a lot of grief as a result. I’ve been guilty of missing deadlines, dropping promises, and neglecting relationships.

Now I’ve changed my mantra because my life is much more complex than it was at 25 (and I suspect that it will only get more complex as I move forward with some of my goals):

Life is about choosing your priorities and then showing up.

Oh how the subtle details make a difference. With clarity in what I need to show up for, everything becomes quite a bit easier to manage.

I hope that I can detect the difference when I enter the next stage of my life, whatever that may be.