It’s easy to imagine the outcome. The recognition of those in our community that we respect, the ranking in our community that comes with our increasing skill.
But how often do we imagine what that outcome follows? How often do we imagine the daily toil, the confusion of what it is we should be practicing, which peers we should be listening to and from which masters we should be studying to better understand our craft?
While understanding that results follow effort, we should be careful not to glorify the process of improvement.
But we should be just as careful not to label improvement as a process.
Process is defined as “a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.” Ranked 5th best in the region. Top 43rd in the nation. A focus on reaching a tangible measurement of ranking (a particular end) transforms improvement into a process. Appreciation of the depth of the craft, the display of what’s possible, the feeling of overcoming your fear of failure, of not being good enough, of being undeserving of success, all of those qualities that are difficult to describe in words (intangible but real) transform improvement into something more than a process.
Processing is for computers. Improvement is for us.