My Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor often says, “The mat doesn’t lie.” What he means is that in BJJ, you can’t fake it. The practitioner who comes to class, drills during open mat, and seeks out challenging partners to roll with are going to be better than those who don’t put in the time. If you have been slacking and your training partner has been working, it is quickly apparent as he takes your back and strangles you. The mat doesn’t lie.
It’s the same thing with all creative crafts. The the work doesn’t lie.