We habitually compare others’ highlights to our blooper reel.
Do you see this the way I see this?
When I think about my business role models, I very rarely think about the journey they took to get to where they’re at now.
I don’t often think about the years of work they put in before I considered them a role model. I don’t immediately think about the late nights they put into learning their craft. I don’t habitually remind myself that they’ve had to face adversity, difficulties, and the overwhelming amount of self-doubt that comes with the territory of achievement.
All I see is the butter, not the churning.
What about you?
When you think of the success stories of your industry, do you think about the success or the actual story?
The way we literally see the world can be the way we figuratively see the world.
Our eyes and brains work something like a high speed camera.
We’re not actually capturing 100% of what’s happening in front of us. We’re taking snapshots, and our brain is filling in the gaps between images.
When we look up at successful people, it’s natural to see only the snapshots. And we’re filtering those snapshots.
Here’s what I mean.
Imagine that you and I are sitting at a table covered with photographs of an industry icon. We’ll call her Sally Awesomesauce. The photos were taken once a day at absolutely random moments throughout Sally Awesomesauce’s career.
From the very beginning to the pinnacle of her success, there’s a photo for that moment.
There are monotonous moments, awesome moments, moments of failure and doubt, moments of excitement and celebration.
Which photos capture your attention?
Reframing our view of success.
Honestly, I’m not sure if there’s a “right” picture to look at.
Is it best to focus on Sally’s pictures of success? What about spending the most time on the pictures of hard, boring work? Depressing, sure, but isn’t it beneficial to see the worst parts of Sally’s journey?
There’s got to be a beautiful mix.
While some would prefer to only have a framed picture of Sally’s success on their wall, we’ve got to understand that her success wasn’t the only moment of her journey.
Flip through the entire album, and remember that you’re building your own album too. This all takes work.
When I flip through my album down the road, I wonder if I’ll enjoy what I’ll see.
Will you enjoy what you see?
Would you like to help us shatter stereotypes about men?
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Flickr: Photo/Ingo Bernhardt