#616 Editing Our Lives

And the Quest for Authenticity

In our last +1, we talked about the nice little argument Alexandra and I got into right after getting a nice little note from a fellow Optimizer about how much she admired our relationship. 🤓

Today I want to talk about this whole “nobody’s perfect” thing a little more.

In a book called Running Down a Dream, Tim Grahl tells us about his experience working with some of the world’s most elite authors and self-help gurus.

Quick context: Tim is a marketing genius. Specifically, he helps authors launch their books. He works with authors like Dan Pink, Charles Duhigg, and Steven Pressfield (whose publishing company actually published the book).

Tim is one of the best at what he does. To put it in perspective, at one point, FIVE of his clients were on the New York Times bestseller list at the same time.

But here’s the thing.

He tells us that one of the biggest lessons he’s learned over the years is just how much these luminaries “edit” their lives. There’s the multiple bestselling author who didn’t return his calls and emails for awhile right before his launch.

Where was he?! In rehab again. But no one ever heard about it.

Then there’s the author who doesn’t say anything about his divorce. And the one who doesn’t say anything about that flaw. And that one who…

On and on and on.

EDITING. EDITING. EDITING.

It’s not just self-help gurus, of course. In a world of social media, it’s so easy to put up a facade of perfection.

EDITING. EDITING. EDITING.

Which is one of the reasons I spend PRECISELY ZERO time on social media sites. Period.

I know that social comparison is toxic and that social sites are cesspools for social comparison.

So…

The point of Today’s +1.

Editing.

Are you editing YOUR life to try to come across perfectly? How would it feel if you relaxed on the selfies (at the perfect angle!) just a tad and allowed yourself to enjoy the moment in all its (im)perfection?

And…

Can you see just how hard everyone else is constantly editing their lives? And, if you feel so bold, perhaps spend just a little less time on Instagram and Facebook and wherever else all the cool kids are showing their best selves off these days?

This wisdom from Sonja Lyubomirsky’s The How of Happiness is always worth keeping in mind: “You can’t be envious and happy at the same time. People who pay too much attention to social comparisons find themselves chronically vulnerable, threatened, and insecure.”

And: “The happier the person, the less attention she pays to how others around her are doing.”

Here’s to embracing our imperfections, caring less about what others are doing and always remembering the endless EDITING as we strive to create more and more authentic lives.

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