Ernest Hemingway once ​said​ that the dignity of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. It’s a good reminder that there is always more to things than what we see on the surface. This is especially true when it comes to talent and success.

Those who are truly talented often seem to move with grace and ease, making their output look effortless.

But when we try to replicate their success, we realise that there is a lot of hard work and effort beneath the surface—the many hard years of honing a craft, the mental toil of keeping everything together, and the ​struggles​ and challenges that bystanders know nothing about.

So, how do you build your own iceberg? You can’t just toss a few ice cubes into the water and hope they stick together. That’s what it looks like when people expect to see immediate success from a token effort. In reality, building an iceberg is about consistently putting in the work and trusting in the power of compounding. It's about accumulating the mass below the surface, through repetition and perseverance.

The iceberg principle: The work that goes unnoticed matters more than what shows above ground. Effortlessness on the surface is the product of relentless effort beneath.

This means that for a long time, your work might seem to disappear. It might not get noticed. It might not be respected. You might feel invisible. But don't worry. Do the work. Trust the ​process​.

By the time people take notice, you’ll already be dangerous.

Eventually, it will be you gliding on the water, with people asking how you make it look effortless. And for those who underrate you? Google ‘Titanic’.

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