Lately, I have been thinking about the roles showing up and showing off play in shaping creativity and productivity.
Showing up is when we immerse ourselves into the actual act of doing our work. If you are a musician, it is practicing scales or working on compositions. If you are a doctor, it is the hours spent with patients or studying and researching. If you are an athlete, it is the hours spent training and practicing. Showing off, on the other hand, is getting our work out there once it is ready to be shared. The intent is to bring light to our work, in our conversations through digital and physical mediums.
One of the unsettling trends prevalent is to discount the former and obsess over the latter. Increasingly more of our time is spent on activities related to showing off, at the cost of being able to show up meaningfully. In such times, I have found it worth reminding myself that we cannot show off meaningfully without showing up first.