I wanted to share a striking visual from a recent Overthinking It podcast on self-improvement.

Pianist at Nordstrom's

Most professional jobs are like playing piano at a Nordstrom’s.

The core skill (playing piano, in this case) doesn’t matter too much once you get past a certain point (the interview, or the first 30 days)

After that, your need to continue improving at the skill doesn’t matter so much. What matters more is:

  • Showing up
  • Being able to do this repetitive task for a long time
  • Making the process amenable to the people around you

The focus on self-improvement has become a bait-and-switch in our culture. Being great at your job is not the same as being fulfilled. Believing you should get your self-worth from the job is a trap that you should avoid.