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What I've Been Thinking About Lately #20

Weekly thoughts at the end of the week

The Picasso Napkin Story

Picasso was at a Paris cafe, doodling on a napkin when an admirer, recognising the artist, approached him and asked if she could purchase his drawing.

Upon completing the napkin sketch, Picasso asked for a million Francs in exchange for the sketch. She responds, “How can you ask for so much? It took you five minutes to draw this!”

Picasso, however, responded with a phrase that has since become an enduring testament to his artistic journey and mastery: "My dear, It took me a lifetime to be able to draw this sketch."

I have three main insights when I think about this story

  1. It's important to maintain knowledge that someone's perception of your value is not equal to its actual value, but rather, it is an offer. It is an offer that you do not have to take, even if the direct costs were less than they are offering

  2. People will constantly and unknowingly discount you, even if you are the world's greatest artist

  3. Expertise is often invisible to others and not appreciated by onlookers because they did not have to participate in the hard work involved in acquiring it

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