There’s a myth that has been going around for a long time that basically says that you’re not productive if you’re not producing. What this actually translates to mean is that if you’re not a super-human robot, churning out only things that will change the world, you’re basically like an old computer from the 80s relegated to the junk heap.
This is ridiculous, of course. Productivity looks different for everybody and every situation. Productivity isn’t linear, nor is it a one-size-fits-all affair, wrapped up neatly in a pretty little bow. Sometimes, productivity is messy. Sometimes it’s invisible. People on the outside can’t see it, because it’s happening INSIDE us. Sometimes it will be instant, as in an a-ha moment that moves the dial in a big way, and sometimes, it will take a long time to see the fruits of our labor – years or decades, even. Just ask Stephen King how long it took to publish his first novel. Or ask Pharrell Williams how long it took his smash hit “Happy” to see the light of day and go viral. Everything you do matters, and what or how you do it is no one’s business.
I’m sure you’ve seen some variation of the iceberg theory. Many people say Hemingway started it in relation to the writing process, but there are so many iterations floating around out there, connecting it to marketing, business and personal growth. Essentially, the idea is pretty simple and, I think, very true. We only see the top part of the iceberg, and think that’s all there is, forgetting how much is truly beneath the surface, never visible to the naked eye.
If the top part represents success, the bottom part is everything that goes into success and what we don’t usually talk about: failure, sacrifice, rejection, sweat equity, sleepless nights, disappointment and effort.
Just remember that you are so much more than what people see. You are what lies beneath the surface. And that’s actually most of the iceberg, my friend.