"This is my story to a T! This could be my picture & this could be my man!"
I overheard a lady say this while waiting in a salon. This statement struck me.
The women were discussing a book and the person felt the story ran so parallel to her own experiences she could have the same outcome.
A typical book is about 80,000 words. Books tend to capture key moments. It has to be interesting right? Something readers want to read without putting down. We wouldn't fill a book with the triviality of our lives.
The Devil is in the Details
But think about this. What if it's not those so-called major events which shaped these persons stories? Sure they learned from some of those major events. I’ve been a lay counselor and a business coach. I’ve lead many product teams and from my understanding of people, I'm most certain of one thing: It’s the everyday humdrum that shapes us more so than the exciting and uncommon.
I'm most certain of one thing: It’s the everyday humdrum that shapes us more so than the exciting & uncommon.
You don't lose 50 lbs. overnight. You walk every day, you go to the pool, and you intentionally choose the egg white omelet over the full egg omelet. You know that those things won’t sell books though, so we fill the pages of books with what will sell; extreme, exciting, and uncommon.
Narcissism Isn’t Your Best Look
This statement brings to bear our endless obsession with ourselves. It's not difficult to understand where these narcissistic tendencies came from. For all our lives we've been us and our perspective has guided for the most part our experiences. Thus your worldview could only be centered on ourselves. Modern society has turned this little truth into big business. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat. It's all about you and how you feel you've related successfully with others (Comments, Shares, Likes, +, and Hearts).
Can we truly believe that our stories run so parallel and even our untold banalities are so in common with someone else that we could switch places with them and keep moving without a hitch? What gives us the right to believe we could have their hard fought and cherished loved ones? This is ludicrous.
That’s Not Wine In That Trophy
The last point this little gem gives us is this: Would you want it if you knew? My wife is a very popular lady. She's far more popular than I and I'm OK with that. People have attended her events from all over the world. She's a thought-leader for the Christian women's community and I applaud her intensely. She also gets the haters and the copy cats.
I've seen her pull her hair out, fast and pray to mine out the understandings and wisdom she has. I once saw her share an internal post with her community of leaders to encourage, support, and edify them. Someone literally copy and pasted those gems and shared them with her social media circles as her own thoughts. Interestingly someone she shared them with was on the original note and immediately told the entire group of people commenting on it where she got her inspiration from.
But it's not just the prayer and fasting, the study, the devotions, it's the former experiences, the trauma, the betrayal, the abuse, the sad times, the moments of giving up, the epiphanies and the failures which accompany them. Oh and let's not forget about the banality of life in general.
Life is messy—everyone’s life. Trading in yours for another person's is a silly notion. If you want a great life, you have two choices: get to work or stop dreaming.
Husband, Dad, Writer, Ex-Pastor, Product Manager, & Nerd