Have you ever been so engrossed in a well-written novel that you are oblivious to all that’s happening around you? Or have you paid too much money to sit front-row at the Farewell Tour of your favorite rock band? Screamed yourself hoarse at a championship sporting event? Discussed the subtle, fruity undertones of a high-end craft beer/glass of wine/chocolate truffle? Sighed wistfully while watching an HGTV custom-designed, kitchen remodel?
“YES!” you answer.
Because it’s rewarding, amazing, enthralling, fascinating etc. to either watch a true professional at work or to experience for ourselves, the results of his or her experience, talent, passion and endless hours practice, practice, practice.
Neither the best-selling novelist, rock legend, sports professional, brewer/chef/chocolatier, nor the sought-after craftsman got there by accident. Or by wanting it really badly. Or by envisioning it. Or by following someone else’s step-by-step guide to success.
You didn’t see the novelist sitting at her computer, day after day, writing, writing, writing, deleting, deleting, deleting, editing editing, editing, rewriting, rewriting, rewriting.
Or the Olympian who got up at 5:00 am every day to perform 2-hours of the same drills he’s been doing at 5:00 am every day for the last 10 years.
Or the musician’s meticulous attention to the smallest detail which led to late night practice sessions and retake after retake in the recording studio in pursuit of the precise sound.
You get to enjoy the one or two hours when the YEARS of practice all come together. Or experience the perfection only attained after years of rejection and perseverance.
You follow where I’m leading with this?
Recently, I mentioned my aversion to weight loss/fitness “Before and After” photos. Because, where the heck are all of the “During” pictures?
The ones that should be called, “The months and years of the not-very-interesting, baby-step improvements that sometimes led me to scream with frustration and other times got me pumping my fists like Rocky Balboa. The long periods when I was being very intentional and working hard but I couldn’t see improvements. Those times when I didn’t feel strong, when I wanted to give up but I just kept plugging away, believing in the process while I created the life I wanted.”
Oh, those pictures!
Exactly 99.999999999999% of our lives happens in between the photos, performances, publishings and presentations.
The process isn’t always fun, glamorous, easy or immediately rewarding. But what a story you’ll have to tell.