"We are prone to misunderstand the attractions of certain careers, simply because so much of what they entail is always edited out of the description, leaving only highlights. We read of the results, not of the labor required." –Alain de Botton
Watching football this weekend reminded me of this quote. Our world is becoming more and more curated and less and less connected to reality. The highlights we see on tv, our perfectly staged photos online, and our fetishization of accomplishments shade our existence and experience as about the event instead of about the journey. And I just don’t think that it’s true.
We are not defined by our highlights. We are defined by the people we are every day, by the interactions we have with each other, by the work behind the scenes. If anything, the highlights we see today glorify accomplishment and make it look easy. It’s not who we are today, it’s about who we are every day. Each day we influence those around us by how we work
Which reminds me of another quote by Allen Iverson “We’re talking about practice.” And that’s where Iverson was so wrong. Practice – how we show up every day – teaches those around us more about who we are, who we are trying to be than anything else we can do. It’s what leaders do. They care about practice. They care about the incremental improvements they can make. They care about the work that it takes to get there.