Along the path to mastery

This seemed to resonate with folks on LinkedIn, so I thought I’d repost it here. Perhaps it can stimulate some discussion on mastery. If not, you can at least enjoy the ad :slight_smile:


A middle-aged woman stares wistfully out of the window, hands in the sink. Birdsong.

Turning to collect another plate, she touches her husband’s shoulder.

Lowering his newspaper, he rises with his own plate, gently enclosing her body as they pivot to the sink.

An out-of-tune piano plays a simple motif.

Their movements become more complicated as they tidy up together.

Leaving the house, their dance gains exuberance, even as their expressions remain passive.

Passing through the front gate, they’re momentarily hidden from our gaze.

Then they casually link hands and walk off down the lane as if nothing had happened.

It’s a one-minute film. Which means it’s an ad.

The single onscreen line, at the end, no voiceover:
“Relationships, they get better with time.”

I imagine the concept started with the idea of a couple ‘finishing each other’s sentences’ and grew from there.

At the time, phone companies were desperate not to be seen as a ‘dumb pipe’. Orange, especially, avoided even showing the product or talking ‘benefits’. It was quite bold. And distinctive.

What’s stuck with me, though, was something else.

Although professional dancers must age, they may retain many core skills and their grace.

When I was more serious about learning the piano, I would wonder how good I could become. Even though I knew I’d started too late for mastery, I would compare myself to professionals. And find myself wanting.

This ad reminds me that we don’t need to compare ourselves with anyone. The process is the point. Practice brings its own rewards. The journey is our own.

Cultivating our interests, following our passions, practising creativity in any form expands our conception of who we are. And who we can become.

And if we can sometimes bring a moment or two of joy to others. Well, that’s more than enough.

p.s. Here’s the original ad.

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