Can you remember how excited you were the first time you went to Disneyland? Or how excited you were for Christmas morning as a child? Maybe you can remember the feeling you had of going to a highly anticipated movie? For myself, I can remember being on my best behavior because I didn’t want any reason to exist that could stop me for these events. Whether it was making sure I did my chores, or cleaning up after myself, or going to bed on time, or helping my wife with the kids and babysitter, or helping with the dishes, I was going to do anything (appropriate) to make sure I wasn’t going to miss it.
Can you also remember going to school for 13 to 18 years? Do you remember how each class took role to verify attendance? Can you remember entering the workforce, and instead of saying “here”, you logged into a time clock? Most people make a good effort to show up to their classes and to show up to work on time. But I think we can all agree it isn’t the same type of effort like we do in making sure we make it to Disneyland, Christmas morning, or a great movie.
Therein exists an interesting form of conditioning that we all go through in life. In our minds, we eventually associate both with the term attendance. But one example illustrates what attendance truly means and the other illustrates the antithesis of attendance. This conditioning and paradigm now flows to all things that require our attendance. School, work, community projects, volunteer efforts, religious activities, time with our spouse, children, and family.
What does “attendance” mean?
It means “to care for”. It comes from the same origin as the word attend, which means “to be present at”, and “to take care of; devote one’s service to”. In the two different types of events, we can see that the way in which we attend is quite different. In the “Disneyland group of events”, we can even go as far to say we are passionate about participating in the activity. (Passion means “willingness to suffer”. And if you’ve ever taken kids to Disneyland, you know all about the suffering part.) We can also say that in the “school and work group of events” we are much less passionate about participating. These are the types of events where we are just showing up.
The challenge is, from a pure quantity comparison, we participate in the less appealing events (like school and work) much more often than the events we can become passionate about. What this means is that we begin to lose sight of what it means to be in attendance. We can easily become complacent and get in the habit of just showing up to be physically present.
Let’s look at the three step model of attendance using the correct meaning of “to care for”.
- Step one: Be in the right place at the right time. Simply stated, engage in the activities and tasks you are supposed to engage in.
- Step Two: Attend to tasks, obligations, and duties. In other words, care for the tasks, obligations, and duties you participate in. Don’t just show up. Engage in, care for, devote one’s service, and be present.
- Step Three: Attend to the call of values. Values are the things for which you stand.
How much more could you achieve if you were truly in attendance everywhere you go? Have you ever felt complacent? Maybe at work, or at home? How can attendance (the act to care for) in whatever you do enrich your life?
Often times, if we are not fully engaged, meaning we aren’t really in attendance, it’s because of a limiting belief that exists in our own minds. All limiting beliefs can be grouped into one of three categories.
- Hopelessness – It can’t be done.
- Helplessness – It can be done, but not by me.
- Worthlessness – I don’t deserve for it to be done.
They are called limiting beliefs because if you believe anything that fits into one of these groups, than you are limiting yourself. Limiting your potential, limiting your growth, limiting your opportunities. It’s also the limiting beliefs that tend to be the reason we aren’t fully in attendance.
As you work towards what you stand for, you can ask yourself three important questions to determine the likelihood you will be in “attendance”.
- Do you believe you can accomplish it?
- Can you see yourself accomplishing it?
- Are you committed to do it?
It is really that simple.
Limiting beliefs exist in the mind, and the simplicity of believing in the mind can overcome that limitation. If you feel like you are complacent, or just going through the motions, the single most important decision you can make is to commit. Commitment reaps attendance. Attendance reaps creating value. Creating Value is what motivates us each day.