When you see the after picture without the “before” picture, you assume it was always as it is now. But it wasn’t.
You can’t see all the early mornings or the late nights working. You can’t see all the many years that came before the overnight success.
You can’t see the long struggle to build competence and confidence. You can’t see the war waged against the internal resistance. You can’t see all of the fears broken through.
You can’t see all of the setbacks, the missteps, the embarrassments, the failures, or the losses. You can’t see the do-overs. You can’t see the times that they sat down on the ground, ready to give up, ready to call it quits. You can’t see the times they had to force themselves to continue when they wanted to quit.
You can’t see all of the people who told them not to try, to find an easier path, to do something else. You can’t see all the times they were rejected or felt dejected.
The after picture is something to aspire to, but only if you are willing to walk that same path. And as awful as it sometimes sounds, it’s that path, it’s that arc, it’s the overcoming of all the obstacles that makes the story compelling.