Our ability to achieve greatness is impeded by our  addiction to getting to fast results and instant gratification. We are a civilization focused on the ends rather than the means, resulting in a complete absence of ethics. While the Greeks , Romans and Egyptians have left quasi immortal legacy, our civilization will leave a huge trail of mostly consumed objects.
We do  not want to seduce, we want to have sex. We do not want to cook, we want to eat.
We do not see value in perfecting a task, especially if it slows down our reach to the final product. We actually seek out anything that will shorten our access to the desired goal.  We actually spend more time and energy trying finding those short cuts than perfecting our own means. Instagram, for example, is photography Photoshopped bundle, skipping the hours we would have to spend on learning and executing.
We mass produce and purchased prepackaged work, or processes,  so we can get faster and easier to the end.
This obsession to only focus on the ends also brings forth a dependency to renewal, instant renewal. Because we so quickly achieve our goals, we also more quickly go to what’s next. What is the next end that we can meet. And because we have no interrest in process, we look and seek those ends that are the most easily met.
Even if one tries to perfect process, he would soon be met with corner cutters that would transform ( destroy ?) His work by finding and executing a shorter path.
Part of it could be because we are obsessed with money, the best tool to get to ends fast, and have been taught that time is money, and until achieved, perfection is a waste of time. While we admire and venerate perfection, we out no value into it search. Because it is not considered valuable, the path to perfection is considered wasteful. Antique civilizations, for example, put a high value in apprenticeship, where one could learn to master the processes leading to perfection. Those lasted years, if not decades, but guaranteed a level of unparalleled transhipment. The type that build the giant cathedrals of Europe or the Stradivarius.  Those apprenticeship were all about mastering the process as to achieve perfection in the end result.
We seem to confuse and mix perfect process and time wasting. That somehow, working on perfecting on how we get to an achievement is just time wasted. We forget that the better the process, the better the result.
Yet we seem to get greater pleasure from process. A well cooked meal taste so much better than done with mastery, sex is so much better after a perfectly executed courtship. We pay fortunes for objects and services that are made by masters of their skills, be it a Ferrari or dinner cooked by a chef. We know that those did not come to fruition by a snap of fingers but rather through hours and hours of repeating the same task over and over until it was perfect. The task, not the result.
We learn from traditional Japanese philosophy that seeking excellence is all about breaking it down to a succession of small prefect individual tasks, or steps, which, added, lead to the result. We don’t even have to worry about the result if every little steps to get there is perfect. It might take time, it might seem useless, it will bring some frustration and dissatisfaction but it will bring a strong work ethic. It will teach you how you want things done and how you want them to be. It will bring forth the pride in your work and a constant search for excellence. After that, you will never work for free.

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