I have a confession to make:

I love So You Think You Can Dance.

I find the show magnetically compelling and the talent breathtaking. I’m continually amazed by how completely effortless the dancers make these incredibly complicated moves look. They are clearly having an enormous amount of fun, and it makes people like me wish that I, too, were a dancer.

But they don’t just magically get to the fun part, do they.

The fun part only comes after what one might call “a sh*tload of hard-ass work.”

The things that are the most rewarding and fun are all like this, of course. If I can effortlessly play the piano, it’s because I’ve spent hundreds, maybe thousands, of hours practicing. If I find writing fun, it’s probably because I can type almost as quickly as I think — something that’s doesn’t exist without the significant amount of time I spent in an utterly boring typing class.

A few things that are the most fun after a LOT of time and work (from my personal experience):

  • Performing with a band
  • Speaking as a subject matter expert
  • Being married

We all want the fun, the play, the enjoyment, the effortlessness. But we often forget that the “fun stuff” only ever happens after we put in the time to get there.

Effortless fun lives on the other side of the really tough work.

But it’s always worth it. See?


P.S. There’s a bit of psychology here, too, which I’m sure some of you picked up on. Yes, we’re talking about unconscious competence. (Thanks to Terry Musch for helping me make this connection.)


If you liked that post, then try these...

"Everything Runs On Energy..." In The Huffington Post by Josh Allan Dykstra on January 28th, 2016

The Future Of Publishing by Josh Allan Dykstra on May 20th, 2010

This Is How It Works by Josh Allan Dykstra on January 9th, 2007

One Comment

  • Another interest in common with Josh – SYTYCD is my favorite show on TV. Precisely because it showcases people working in their passion. It is rare to find a young dancer on this show that is not grateful for the opportunity and who has already integrated humility into their character. The dancing is part of the joy of watching, but getting to know the stories of the dancers is to me, the best part.

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