The light at the end of the tunnel will come

Pete Docter (the chief creative officer of Pixar) has a wonderful analogy about working through a project like walking through a tunnel. He states that as you go further in, it gets darker and darker and you just have to keep going, even though it seems like there is no light at the end. He says that when you push through, eventually you gradually start to see more and more light until, eventually, you’re out in the bright again.

The difficulty is that when you’re in the middle, it’s so dark, there’s no way of knowing how much farther there is to go.

This is when doubt sets it. This is when fear takes over. This is when moral drops.

This is when you need your team around you to maintain motivation in the face of darkness because without the enthusiasm to push on, that is when progress slows and members start dropping off.

Even when it’s dark, even when you don’t know how far you’ve got to go, if you’re committed to the challenge, each team member owes it to one another to keep going. If not, no one moves anywhere.