I recently ran into this graphic of what it is like to work on a project. How you spend all this time in the underbelly of the project or system, and so little time actually engaging what is going on.
The hot, new, sexy thing is on top. Meanwhile, the whole rest of the project is the seventy percent of the iceberg you cannot see and it can sink your boat. Everyone wants the top of the iceberg, nobody want to spend the time building the bottom of the iceberg where all the work is.
The part of the iceberg where you are drowning because of the anxiety of the enormity of the project you are working on.
The part where you want to give up.
The part where you are not sure how you are going to afford to pay your bills and keep going.
The part of a project, process, or story where everyone is most engaged and involved is in the underbelly. The start of the project is happy and easy and nobody seems to care. The end of the project is the obvious conclusion of what everyone expected.
The underbelly is where everything gets interesting.
Are you really going to give up now that things are finally interesting? How do you keep your goal and end in sight while you are in the underbelly of the story? What did you do the last time you encountered the underbelly of a project? How are you preparing for the underbelly of the next project?