Solving excellence

This weekend, my daughter bought a Rubik’s Cube. She’s wanted one for a while and I’ve watched her play with it and learn the basics of solving the puzzle.

She wanted to know what the world record was for solving a Rubik’s cube. A quick Google search and I have the answer — and a video! Shockingly, a high school student in Pennsylvania solved the Rubik’s Cube in 5.25 seconds. 

I remember struggling to solve them as a kid. The idea of solving one in just over 5 seconds seems impossible. (Watch the video and how excited everyone is for the kid. It really is pretty awesome.)

I’m sure it took a lot of practice and dedication. There are, no doubt, strategies and approaches to attacking the Rubik’s Cube. He studied, practiced and worked to achieve something he wanted.

Sometimes, we see people accomplish goals and we assume they just lucked into success. They make it look easy.

It happens all the time in the design industry. Young designers see experienced, talented designers and have no concept what they had to do to get to that point in their career. They don’t see the hard work — and sometimes, the terrible work from early in their career — that helped make them successful. They don't understand the process behind the concept.

Talent is, of course, always a factor. But in the long run, hard work is often more important. Refining your craft. Learning new techniques and approaches. Acknowledging that there may be a better way.

Without effort and dedication, talent is never refined into excellence.