I’m just going to level with you: I’m really struggling right now. I’m feeling exhausted.

I told Cory, “Don’t edit any of this.” We’re just doing one camera, and one take. I’m just going to be real: I’m struggling today. I’m exhausted. It’s been a long night—I worked really late, I won’t bore you with the details.

It’s been a long week and I’m fatigued. I’m tired. By the time you see this, I will have already gone on sabbatical but as of now, this is the last episode I’m recording before I go on my sabbatical. So I’m just really tired and definitely looking forward to the break.

Today, I’m just struggling. I’m staring at this list of 30 topics that I can do shows on—things I’ve prepared for—and I’m just not feeling any of them. I’m not feeling motivated at all.

Criticism

You know, people criticize me. Especially this week. When it rains it pours. I get emails and I hear people saying things. People say I’m an idealistic, I’m optimistic, I’m unrealistic. They say, “You don’t know how it is in the real world,” or “You’re over positive,” if there is such a thing. “Real people have real struggles and you’re not speaking to that.”

Obviously, those people don’t listen to my podcast. They don’t go back and listen to the episodes because I’ve been real. I’ve been real on my podcast and I’ve shared my struggles. If you listen, you know I’ve told you stories of how my wife and I have a no-debt lifestyle—that’s a choice that we made—which meant not going into debt to get a second car for my wife to drive because she couldn’t drive my manual car. We sat on the floor when we didn’t have a couch. Our mattress was on the ground. We were living paycheck to paycheck just barely getting by. We were struggling.

I’m Still Human

I’m not superhuman. I’m doing the best I can to help people like you with the expertise that I have, and the experience I have, and the successes that I have, and I’m doing that in the best way I know possible but I’m still human. I still get tired. I still get spent. I still get exhausted and I think people easily forget that.

People like me are putting ourselves out there. We’re being vulnerable. We’re being real. It’s kind of scary sometimes. I’m trying to save you time so we edit this show. We prepare it beforehand. We script it. We make it worth your while. I think that extra polish often makes people forget that there’s a real human behind all this.

“Just Show Up and Be Real”

Today, I was struggling. I had all these topics and I just wasn’t feeling it. So I went into the Community chat room and I said, “Guys, I’m just spent today. I don’t think I have it in me. The cameras are up, the lights are up, Cory’s here ready to produce the show, and I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if I have it in me.” Mat, who had just just joined the Community literally 40 minutes ago, says, “Just show up and talk about this. Talk about this emotion. Talk about this struggle right now. Just be real.”

So here I am. I said, “Alright, let’s do this! Don’t take anything down. Just leave it up. We’re not doing multiple cameras, this is just one take. Don’t edit.” Here I am—and that’s not to say that breaks aren’t important. Breaks are very important. I’m very much looking forward to my sabbatical at the time of this recording, but there’s something about just showing up and the commitment to show up and letting that be your starting point—not the motivation.

Once Mat said, “Just show up and be real,” I felt a spark inside of me. I felt this energy. This motivation to do the show. I was about to tell Cory to forget it since we had so many pre-recorded episodes and I could have caught up later, but I said, “No, we’re doing this. I’m showing up. I’m making a commitment to show up every single day and be here and do this show for you.” So I said, “Alright, I’m doing this.”

If we wait for the motivation to come, it’s never going to come.

It doesn’t start with motivation. You have to start with a commitment to showing up.

  • You can’t just podcast when you’re motivated.
  • You can’t just shoot a video when you’re motivated.
  • You can’t just write when you’re motivated.
  • You have to start with a commitment to show up and that’s what I’m starting with today.

The Struggle Is Worth It

Every day, I struggle. Every single time I have to show up it’s a struggle. Right now, you’re seeing the real side of it. Usually I cut out the beginning and it’s not this raw all the time. It’s a struggle every single time, but rather than wait for the motivation, choose to start by committing to show up. The motivation is going to come after that.

I wrote a newsletter about this earlier this summer, and one email I got back from someone really drove it home for me:

“Because you chose to show up today, I got something that I needed.”

That was better than I could’ve ever hope for.

That’s my hope for showing up today. Maybe this inspires you, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe this content doesn’t even inspire you but the fact that I’m here showing up today—maybe that inspires you.