The only thing romantic about doing things that matter, about changing the world, is the idea of romance. The thought of doing anything of significance can excite many, if pitched right. With this I would include the skew perception of passion.
The actual work is not romantic at all. It is the “product” or outcome that makes whatever one does worth it. It’s like exercise. I hate the workout but love the product.
Think artists, musicians or performers. The reason we have perceptions of it being romantic is because we get to se the product. The real work is when the artist starts their day at 04:00 after leaving studio at midnight. The work is when their fitness and vocal trainers push them beyond what they thought they could do.
The real work is managing missing family. The real work is in the hustle. It is in fighting monotony and finding inspiration when you’ve given everything you had and never thought you had.
Think leadership, it is cool seeing someone “in charge”, giving vision and directives. What you don’t see is the insomnia leaders sometimes have as they second, third, ninety-ninth time guess themselves as they feel the weight of decisions they have to make.
It is how to deal with things no one every told them about. There is the tension to mange, the one between the well-being of those you lead and the vision of the organisation. It is picking yourself up after pulling daggers from your back from people you thought were with you.
This is not to make anything bad or bleak. It is a reality that some have to deal with from time to time. To every masterpiece there is a story of pain, agony, excitement, love, sadness…
The real romance is appreciating the great and not so great and the beauty you create with that. It is allowing all these things to come together to change the world. To make a difference.
What matters most is the agony in obscurity, and that is where the difference is made. It is the work that undergirds the outcome that isn’t romantic. It is also the only accurate picture of romance.
What do you do and what is it people think is “romantic” about what you do?
[Photo Credit: Man Alive!]