We talk about how hard it was, the work, some awful sprint, whatever. Dang, it was hard. Can you believe how hard? That was hard. It’s the easiest thing to talk about, something you can look a friend in the eyes and admit to feeling, the simplest aspect of it all to explain to our families. Oh, heavens, it was hard.
And when the work is hard, we rarely talk about the colors and images that at some point flooded our perception. We don’t talk about the sounds that for some mysterious stretch we lived in like fish in water. Or the choice of music. Or the feel of the keys beneath our fingers. Or the trust in our partners and team members. And almost never about the joy. Joy especially is a silly word, an embarrassing one. Better that we have a rush, that we’re pumped, or psyched or jacked or couldn’t even freaking believe how much we killed it and crushed it. I mean, seriously: Gosh, fellow participants, wasn’t that joyous? No way. Maybe? Nah.
But go out and throw a Frisbee to the end of the reach of a great dog and tell me how that moment of pure ecstatic canine joy when the jaws rip the disc out of the air is any different from what we feel as we improve our work, have a breakthrough, find just the right chord.
Our work is so full of so much that we take the abundance for granted. We forget that most people don’t live the way we do — that, for them, being aware of and awash in the code and design is an oddity. Our exalted state — the equivalent to the rare condition of intensified being that all these businesses are trying to implant into their employees, and that all these books are trying to instruct people to do, and that all these gurus are suddenly yammering on about — we live there.
So where is this all going? Part 2 awaits.