Did you ever take a class in college and not engage or learn anything? Have you ever gone to church and left without remembering anything you heard? Have you ever been to the beach and not got into the water? I can say yes to all three of these, and I am sure you could name a few for yourself as well.
We all probably fall into this trap occasionally, but we are missing life if this is the norm. I have been very fortunate in my life with good opportunities, and probably some luck as well, but I can look back and identify a few times when I "just showed up." Sure, I was physically there, and I didn't fail, but did I do my best? Did I give it my all? I regret those times, and I wish I could have a "do-over." If I could just buy some mulligans like I do at golf tournaments.
So how do we make sure we "don't just show up"?
Have a plan. This includes short and long term planning. Do you have goals? Do you have a mission statement? Yes, it sounds cliché, but there is tremendous value in writing these down and literally hanging them on the wall. Are you reviewing your task list each morning before you go to work? If you don't have a task list, you will be more likely to waste time and get side tracked during the day.
Be good at what you do. I like the quote that is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln - "Whatever you are, be a good one." There are so many resources available at our fingertips today; there is no excuse not to be proficient at what we do.
Be passionate about what you do. At least like what you do. If you wake up in the morning and dread going to work every day, then it is time for a re-evaluation. I believe the key is to find what you are passionate about and also what you are good at, if you have both of those, then you can move mountains.
To segue to one of my favorite topics, "The Trusted Advisor"; you have missed an opportunity if you "just show up" for your Client. It won't take them long to figure out you aren't fully engaged. It's easy to get into "robot mode" at Client engagements, you know the gig, you have done this a dozen or even a hundred times. But if you are not deliberate with your actions, you are missing the best opportunity you have; to be engaged with your Client and build a relationship.
Make sure you don't just show up to work today.
Be prepared and come with a passion, come with a mission, and come with an attitude that will infect everyone around you. Make sure you don't look back and want a mulligan because "you just showed up."