The two sign installers stand back to assess their work before finishing the job.

But something is not right.

A couple of the large adhesive letters they have applied to the storefront window are crooked, and one of the men sees this and tells his colleague.

His colleague agrees.

The sign is definitely looking a little skew. But, he reasons, if the store owners don’t care about fonts, they are not going to notice this.

‘Let’s just leave, they won’t notice it,’ he says.

And they leave it.

But something else is not right, something that skips his attention, as he turns to get the rest of the equipment from their van.

His colleague’s smile slips, his shoulders slump.

Even though he agrees that the store owner might not notice that the sign is not perfect.

He knows. And that knowing sucks all the joy out of the work.

You get off a stage after giving a talk that you have practiced and rehearsed several times, but you forgot to say something.

So you tell yourself, the audience won’t know, so it’s okay, except it’s not okay, you know you should have said that important thing, and that knowing sucks joy out of your talk.

You do something, something you know you shouldn’t do, something in secret, something that no one will ever know, but you know, you know what you did is wrong, and that knowing should suck your joy out of your conscious.

No one will know, and probably that’s true, no one will ever know, but you know, and if you have conscious, that knowing should make you reconsider.

We are not only showing up for our customers, our audience, or people around us.

We are showing up to ourselves, to do work we are proud of, even when no one is watching.

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