You're Worth More than the Bricks Your Produce...
I believe the above was said by Rob Bell, in a sermon about sabbath. Sabbath is the concept of one day of rest per week. It began in the Old Testament, when the Israelites were in slavery. The day was intended to get them to remember they were worth more than what they produced. Its intent was that rest, not production, is where you find your true value.
The bricks quote has hit me several times over the years. When thinking in terms of bricks, it's easy to see how ridiculous it is. Of course we're more than that. The Israelites were enslaved at the time, and they spent their entire days producing bricks. When that happens, a natural thing us humans do is compare. We ask who is better at this? Who is the best at this thing? Our identity is established through the answer to that comparison. It's easy to see how stupid this is when the comparison is bricks someone else is making you make. It's a lot harder to see when you put yourself in an environment, somewhat willfully, in which you have no control. It's the BIG FISH in a small pond syndrome.
When I was younger, I used to go to a friend's house every month or so. Whenever we'd go there, we'd play basketball. I could beat both brothers and the dad, every time. They thought I was the best player ever. They assumed I was a star, because I could beat their dad. They only assumed this because they were home schooled, and their dad was the best basketball player in their house. I was a sub on a 7th grade team. While I was fine, I had my own framework of my school and basketball league that could set a bigger comparison. I was at best the 11th, and at worst the 15th best center in the 7th grade Christian School system. I knew that by simple math. The best center in our entire system was nowhere near the best in the city, which we knew from playing a few other schools.
It's easy to get isolated in a bubble, and find yourself only thinking about and worrying about that bubble. The bubble then becomes your world and sets your expectations for success. Then it all becomes about the number of bricks you can produce. Change that framework, don't allow yourself to fall prey to that game, and your worth becomes intrinsic, which is where beauty and magic happen.