Creating Incredible from Ordinary
The ingredients, environment, and timeline for creating something remarkable.
This week we’re discussing ideas about Worthwhile Pursuits, ordinary actions, and making your own rock candy. I hope you’re enjoying your weekend, and find something in the words below that will help move your week forward.
As always, thanks for reading!
Creating Incredible from Ordinary
Great works are performed not by strength but perseverance.
Worthwhile Pursuits are like the rock candy science project. For those who didn’t do this when they were younger, you can boil a sugar water solution, pour it into a jar, stick a string in the jar, and rock candy will crystalize on the string over the next few days.
Something is created from nothing, but it needs a particular environment to begin developing. None of the ingredients are remarkable, but when combined the right way, they create something incredible.
In practice, this rings true with any Worthwhile Pursuit, like our physical fitness. There’s nothing particularly remarkable about a 5-mile run, a good night’s sleep, or a well-intentioned meal, but over time, these create the environment for something incredible to begin developing.
The same is true in starting a business or excelling at work, or building deep relationships with the people we care about.
The only way for something remarkable to develop is to have all the right ingredients present in the right environment and wait for the magic to happen. There’s no way to accelerate crystallization for rock candy, and there are no shortcuts for Worthwhile Pursuits either.
Unfortunately, we only ever see the time-lapse version of Worthwhile Pursuits in other people’s lives. We see before and after photos, marathon finisher medals, engagements and weddings, business success stories, and folks living the life we want but can’t seem to get.
Seeing only the final product is very misleading. It makes us question why we don’t have the same results as we think all of the people around us do. All of the careful work we do to create the right environments, cultivate the right ingredients, and wait patiently feels useless if everyone around us seemingly has what we’re striving for without having to do any of the work.
Behind every final product we see is the equivalent of a sticky jar of sugar water sitting on the counter for days or weeks at a time. Whether others see it or not, we all have to toil through the same grind of behind-the-scenes work to create something to be proud of.
Everything remarkable, everything incredible, everything worthwhile, comes from a combination of carefully curated inputs, in the right environment, over a long period of time. The longer the time horizon, the larger the opportunity for compounding growth. Once we can find the right inputs, and the right environment, all we need to do is maintain our efforts and the mundane slowly transforms into something incredible.
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What are the ingredients, environment, and time horizon required for something you’re currently pursuing?
What does it feel like other people have done effortlessly?
If you could only invest efforts in curating inputs, fine-tuning your environment, or developing more patience which would you focus on? Why?
A great read from The Growth Equation on why it’s okay to be good instead of great.
Thanks for reading! I’ll see you next Sunday.