The Work Behind The Work
And what hides behind every great piece of work? More work. The kind of unseen work that goes unnoticed, that stands to the side, quietly admiring the work that everyone sees: the final product, the polished object, the tangible result. How easy it is to celebrate that which can be held, felt, tasted, heard or seen. To praise beauty. To admire texture. To marvel over artisanal mastery. But it's the work behind the work, the things unseen, that makes great work kick ass.
There are dreams of perfection. Crumpled ideas. Long hours. Oblivious to the hidden universe of time, muscle and mind that once orbited around them, the final product often appears alone, disregarding the lead up of work that made it shine. Aren't they a bit smug, those well-crafted objects? And yet. Above every tool-laden workbench, over lamp-lit kitchen tables, on top of stand-up desks and sit-down stools -- the invisible ingredients of a job well-done gather and build. The practice. The thinking. The commitment. All of this, amassing energy like cumulus clouds, rising up and up and up, only to rain down later.
The work behind the work is the hidden hours. The extras. The grind. It's the evening after they've all gone home, and the morning before everyone else. It glistens with the solid gold sweat that gets left behind. It's the inner vision that looks beyond the plod, slog and toil of the day-in and day-out, that sees a distant horizon and stubbornly persists.
Bring on the bold ideas, the creative solutions. Bring on the dawn, be it the start or end of a good, long day. Bring on the dedication, the starting over, time and again. Bring on the 10,000 hours, the dreams of doing it better. Bring on the incredible attention to detail, the vision of perfection. Bring on the drive, the inner roar that cheers for more. Bring on the work behind the work. Bring on the things unseen that make great work kick ass.
Now, get to work!