Don’t Skip to the Crescendo

As I was walking to work, Worakls’ song Caprice continued to swell in my earbuds, and when the 5:11 masterpiece hit its crescendo at exactly 3:48, I saw it: A magnificent dragon rising from behind a cliff, slowly ascending, drawing breath to spit fire — and then incinerating everything in its path for the next 17 seconds. The piano starts playing, the song peters out, and as quickly as it came, the mental image was gone. That’s the power of a great crescendo — but it only works if you don’t skip the climb.

The other day, as I was driving, I remembered that random but epic moment, and I fast-forwarded the song to its big drop. The music was there, but the feeling wasn’t. Without the build-up, the breakthrough just doesn’t hit the same — not in music, and not in life.

If someone promoted you to CEO on your first day as an intern, you wouldn’t celebrate for a minute. You’d panic and lose the job as quickly as it came. If you’ve spent 20 years of your precious life doing your best for a company you genuinely want to see succeed, however, the pop of the champagne cork will be the best sound you’ve ever heard.

Whether in mountaineering, investing, or listening to your favorite song: Don’t skip to the crescendo. Victory only feels sweet when you’ve earned it, and you can’t learn to ride a dragon in a day.