When you look at products in stores, they seem finished. They’re packaged up in boxes with labels and they look like they were made “professionally.” When you view websites of large companies, they seem complete. Videos, books, podcasts, and most things created by a human looks “done” by the time you see it.

When I look at my own blog posts, videos, websites, and books, they all have this unfinished feel to them. I see flaws in my own work much faster than I notice them in the work of others.

There’s something about being blind to the creative process that makes you think the shipped product is more complete.

When you spend the time and energy to create something from nothing, it’s different. You’ve seen your piece of work at every stage of its journey, bad, ugly, decent, good enough, great, and everywhere in between. By the time you decide to stop working on it and put it out for the world to see, you can’t help but remember what it looked like before you molded it into what it is now. It’s still imperfect. It’s never finished.

Before I started working for Praxis, the business as a whole felt complete. There didn’t seem to be much room for improvement when I was experiencing it from the outside. Once I started working with the team, I started noticing that things were broken. I no longer viewed the placement process as some sacred formula developed by people who were smarter than I. It was an imperfect solution and I could mold it and change it with my own hands just like the people who created it initially. Praxis does a lot of things right, but every part of the business can always get better.

That’s why creating is so much fun. Just like the creator of the perfectly polished toy on the shelf still thinks about the tweaks he could have made to improve his design, you will never be fully satisfied. Just like the NYT best-selling author still thinks about the chapter he could have added to make his book that much better, there will always be ways to improve what you’ve created.

Your creations seem perfect to people who are blind to your agonizing creative process. Nobody is smarter than you. Everything is imperfect. Keep chasing that fleeting satisfaction and you’ll get closer and closer.