I didn’t want to get out of bed today. My body was tired from running. I have spent the last several weeks training for a half-marathon, and I’m exhausted.
Every morning, I hear a voice telling me to sleep in. This voice is familiar and calm. It speaks rationally and seems to make sense. But I know it’s a liar. I heard it this morning, and I refused to believe it.
Despite how I felt, I got up anyway. I showed up. And you know what? I survived. Not only that, I created something meaningful — all as a result of being present.
Despite how tired and emotionally drained I was, I forced myself to get out of bed. Then, I made it successfully to the couch (which doubles as my office) and began working.
Sometimes, making a difference means simply getting out of bed.
I know of no great writer or leader who ever achieved greatness by taking naps. I know nothing of a successful general or president who was renowned for his sleeping schedule. I am ignorant of any great actor or artist who was made famous by her sloth.
Making a difference always begins with waking up, turning on the coffee maker, and starting your work.
This is especially difficult for artists, I’ve found. Artists, by nature, are emotional creatures. They’re sensitive, empathetic, and fickle. Their feelings are their greatest source of inspiration, but also their greatest block to creativity.
Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how you feel. You just need to do it. (Insert Nike swoosh here.)
But many times, I’ve found tremendous inspiration that I didn’t think was there in the simple act of getting up. Reading The War of Art taught me this. Unparalleled fruit comes from the discipline of doing what you know you need to do.
But you must get out of bed.
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*Photo credit: Meredith Farmer (Creative Commons)