Today Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest reigning British monarch in history. Speaking of her accomplishments, the 89-year-old monarch said the title was “not one to which I have ever aspired.” Imagine serving as queen for 63 years.
So how did it happen? How did she become the longest reigning British monarch? The obvious answer is: she didn’t die. But there’s more to it. Face it. She could have abdicated her throne or become so entangled in scandal that she was squeezed out of office. And yet she has served for over six decades.
Historians point back to a speech she made to the Commonwealth on her 21st birthday. She promised “my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.” It is a promise kept.
Here’s the secret behind the success of Queen Elizabeth II: she showed up every day and did her duty.
How do we leverage this truth? It’s not reasonable to say you need to stick to the same job for the rest of your life. No. But there is a deeper application for every one of the example set by the Queen. Here it is:
Crawl out of bed every day and show up with the intent of doing what needs to be done.
Just show up. Can it really be as simple as that? Probably not. But how many people do you know who don’t show up? They’ve given up on life and pulled back. This is especially true of people who have navigated the planet for over 55 years. We’ve had our share of hurts, bumps, and bruises. By the time you get to my age the temptation is to pull into your shell and try to survive like a turtle parked in the middle of the highway.
But we all know what is going to happen to this turtle as it sits on the road. Unless it gets out of its shell and gets moving it is not going to make it. The comfort the turtle feels by withdrawing is only an illusion. It must show up.
This summer, as I walked through a field down by the lake, I saw a large turtle moving slowly through the grass. As I got closer I saw it had a huge gash sliced through its shell. Blood smeared down each side. I realized he had the misfortune of being hit by the blades of the large mower deck as the grass was cut. And yet in spite of being maimed and bloodied, he kept going, heading toward the lake. He didn’t give up. He showed up.
The key to making it in life is to show up every day. Roll out of bed every morning and show up. Do what needs to be done. Don’t be one of those people who suffer from the wounds of life and give up. They pull back. They throw in the towel. They just park in the middle of life’s road and hope for the best.
Just. Show. Up.
Draw inspiration from Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrates her milestone. Don’t give up. Show up and do what needs to be done this day.
What keeps you showing up every day?
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