This is an excerpt from Dan’s book, Attempts.
In 1996 in my administration newsletter, I wrote my three-point success formula:
1. Show up.
2. Don’t quit.
3. Ask questions.
I always liked to think I invented it, but, like anything valuable in life, I had it handed down to me. This truth hit me in the face when I buried my brother, Phil. The San Francisco Chronicle published a lovely tribute to him and his volunteer work written by Lizzie Johnson. She writes:
“How much of Phil’s death can be attributed to the trauma of the fire, no one knows. But many people can’t imagine Paradise without him.
“That’s, in part, because Phil could be conned into anything—collecting cash at the ticket window before high school football games, dyeing his hair silver for his roles in the spring ballet, volunteering his time or his car or his movie collection. He did it, he said, because he loved his town. He would mutter and complain, so you knew it was a sacrifice, but he always showed up.
“If you committed to something, you followed through. Phil believed in that.”
I come from people who showed up. When their country called, they volunteered. When the neighbors had a project, “we” had a project.
I swear half my victories come from the fact that I “showed up” and competed.
It’s easy to say “Show up” or post or make a meme of it. In real life, though, it can be hard to do. Showing up means you get out of your comfy bed and spend a day pushing, pulling and hauling loads and loads of stuff up and down flights of stairs like my friends have done for me over and over. Chris Long and I used to joke we were Dumb and Dumber Moving Company long before there was a movie by that name.
You show up. Friends show up. Families show up.
And, if you’re like my brother Phil, when you die, a thousand people show up to your Celebration of Life.
Because that’s what good people do. They show up.
This was an excerpt from Dan’s book, Attempts.
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