Sisyphus – the king compelled to push a boulder for eternity only to see it fall before he could ever get it to the top of the hill. Camus speculated that the struggle alone would be enough to fill Sisyphus’s heart – that Sisyphus would be happy. That’s true, but only if the struggle is a worthy. If the hill is steep and the boulder large, then simply the difficulty of the journey gives the task meaning.
But if you flatten out the hill a little, then a little more, then a little more and the boulder becomes smaller and smaller and smaller; what once was satisfaction withheld turns into frustration.
Lowering expectations to just winning a playoff series or just making the playoffs is being realistic. It also robs meaning of the struggle. The joy of reaching those goals is only temporary and it will never fill your heart.
The Bucks might never win a championship, especially when every other team is using pulleys to get their boulder to the top. But there’s meaning in struggling to be the best. There’s no meaning in the constant struggle to just be good enough.