“80% of life is showing up”
~ Woody Allen
Woody Allen is famous for that quote. It was 1977, a dual interview with Marshall Brickman, the co-author of the oscar-winning screenplay Annie Hall. It’d morphed to 80% of ‘success’ is showing up when it came on my radar. The legend that he was talking about luck.
In a 1989 interview, Woody Allen reflected on it:
“I made the statement years ago which is often quoted that 80 percent of life is showing up.
People used to always say to me that they wanted to write a play, they wanted to write a movie,
they wanted to write a novel, and the couple of people that did it
were 80 percent of the way to having something happen.”
I admit I’m a purpose & wonder driven person. It carries me when it’s hard doing things that don’t make sense in the web of my known world. Or I have things to accomplish I don’t want to do. This doesn’t mean I need a reason for everything. It means I know what expands my Universe, gives me the Yes I need to move forward.
See for yourself what I mean. Take 30 seconds (really, that’s it!). You don’t need to go anywhere. Put on music, or turn the phone off. Just get present for 30 short seconds, and close your eyes if it feels easier.
- Think of something you agreed to do that you didn’t want to do. A definite No if you felt you had a choice.
Where do you feel it inside your body?
How does it feel?
What about in your mind? What emotions come up?
- Now, do the same thing with something you felt a Yes to.
How does that feel inside your body?
Where do you feel it?
What does your mind do with a Yes? What emotions are there?
- Write down what you felt. Interesting, eh?
I write about doing what answers Yes in The Writer’s Block Myth because Yes expands everything about you. Your insides. Your experience. Your creativity. And No contracts.
In life, we constantly dancie with creativity, no matter what we’re doing. Expand the dance floor, and expand our definition of what creative means. Do what answers Yes.
The tulips in the picture above never opened like I wanted them to. But they’ve shown up perky and bright yellow every minute for a week. Haven’t faded or wilted. A vibrant reminder for so many things, including letting go of expectations. Another thing I write about, because it’s a biggie.
Show up to your writing, your art, your work, your life. Find the thing you respond to, that carries you thru the hard times. The thing that answers Yes when you’re in doubt. For me, it’s purpose & wonder. What is it for you?
And if you’re interested in the progression of the quote, here’s a great site, The Quote Investigator. I have it bookmarked for others.
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