You spend your life showing up. Showing up to class. Showing up to parties. You show up at your best friend’s piano recital, even if classical music makes you fall asleep. You show up to doctors appointments. You show up to pick up dry cleaning. You show up.
You seem very good at showing up until you have to show up for yourself. The procrastination, the living in auto-pilot, the zombie trend-following, the diving into the black hole of social media. The acceptance of thoughts and standards without previously reflecting on them. The leaving stuff for “tomorrow”.
In Mexican culture, there is a magic word called mañana. It is as delicious as it is dangerous. Mañana vemos will be a polite way to tell you to stop disturbing; that you will figure it out tomorrow. But only you won’t.
Mañana is an abstract concept that lingers between tomorrow and never at all. Mañana is that time that you didn’t go to the gym because your friends invited you to the movies. Mañana is the time you went to bed without removing your make up because you were too tired. Mañana is the piling up of clothes in the corner of the bedroom.
There exists a darker, more evil, second-cousin of mañana. Its name is ahorita. Ahorita is literally translated into right now. But in reality, it means everything but that.
When someone says ahorita vemos they most certainly do not mean they will figure it out right now. They probably mean they will figure it out sometime in the distant future between someday and never.
And it is just like that, between the mañanas and the ahoritas, that life slips between your fingers. Mañana is the trip you never took and the dancing lessons you always wanted but never signed up for. It is the pair of roller skates accumulating dust in the closet.
However, there exists a mystical and powerful antidote for these poisonous diseases. When you find yourself being infected with mañanas and ahoritas, you need to look in the cabinet for a specific cure: purpose.
Because when there is purpose there is light. Light that guides the way and makes the mañanas and ahoritas obsolete. When the purpose is clear, the motivation gets ignited and you become unstoppable. It is only when we get distracted from our purpose that we stumble and fall.
World records were not achieved by doing things mañana. And you won’t achieve your goals by leaving things for ahorita.
The reality is difficult though. Every day, you are distracted from your purpose. You are flooded with information all the time, swamped in Ads and publicity of things you neither want nor need. Your attention is constantly being redirected elsewhere.
Like those Instagram profiles of lives and bodies so perfect, you wonder why your life looks so much different. By constantly craving something you don’t have is how you become miserable. While all along you could be focusing on what you do have and feel grateful about it.
There is also the issue of living in auto-pilot. No one actually questions the beliefs in which they are raised, and if they do, they are considered rebellious and misfits. You follow trend after trend, going so fast you can’t keep up. The new season of this, the new collection of that. The new revolutionary diet. The new iPhone. It’s like they took out your brain and replaced it with Jell-O.
With this zombie-like existence and constant overflow of irrelevant information, we have been conditioned to living in constant disappointment. The disgust that comes from the feeling of failing and not being enough. But failing at what? Not being enough of what?
Make a pause. Stop. Reflect on every decision you make every day. Every thought that crosses your head. What is rightfully aligned with your purpose? What is it that you truly want?
First and foremost, define your purpose. What ignites your soul? What makes you so deliciously tired that you fall asleep with a smile on your face and a tender feeling at the pit of your stomach. What triggers you?
Whatever the answer: that is the way. There is your path. If it seems unachievable and crazy congratulations, you are on the right track.
Outstanding people did not achieve outstanding results by aiming for ordinary things.
When your intuition speaks, listen. And listen closely. It might be telling you to pursue a completely eclectic path than the one you are on right now. And that is okay. The only thing separating you from that dream is yourself.
No magic was born out of comfort. And no rockets were sent to space because someone decided to sit snugly at their desk and settle. They dreamed, they worked, they succeeded.
They showed up for themselves. At the yoga mat, at the running track, at the swimming pool, at the everyday appreciation routine. At letting go of that toxic relationship. At signing up for that guitar lesson, at practicing the chords every day.
The secret is to always keep the purpose in eyesight. If you are hitting the pavement on airplane mode the miles will seem longer and the habit of running will easily be broken. Everything will seem like a task instead of a blessing. It is not a matter of consistent discipline without a purpose that makes greatness. After all, you are not a robot. The fuel that kindles the flame is called intention. Purpose. If you forget the intention you forget the path.
So take your life in your hands and show up.
Show up for yourself like you would show up for your closest friend. You would never let her down and you would certainly never let her give up on her dreams. You would never leave her alone in the dark. You would show up to her photo exhibit, you would share the new song she just released on Spotify on all your social media platforms. You would sign up for her yoga retreat. You would cheer her on. You would clap her out. You would show up.
So show up for yourself. Stop leaving things for mañana. Things are either done or not. Tests are either passed or failed. Lives are either lived or wasted. Time is either spent wisely or mindlessly scrolling. Be your own cheerleader and show up.
Lacking inspiration? Outsource it.
Find yourself distracted? Block out the noise.
Shifted your purpose along the way? Analyze. Recalibrate. Change. Adjust accordingly.
After all, the only constant of life is change and the only thing certain is death. So live today and make the most out of it. Because even if you’d like to leave things for mañana, mañana is not always guaranteed. You don’t have spare ahoritas bouncing around in your pocket. So stop acting like you do.
Because you matter.
Because you are worth it.