Life "as if."

The internet is one hell of a drug.

On any number of platforms, we can easily post a photo that indicates that we are a five-star chef, an extraordinary athlete, on an expensive vacation or simply living a carefree life without actually doing anything. With a quick photo and some smart editing, anyone can be anything they want, no hard work or dedication required. Why train to become a runner when you can lace up, take a few photos and let the likes roll in? Why put in hours & hours of work to accomplish a goal when you can convince thousands of strangers on the internet that you're already a master? When the end game is garnering attention and praise, why not skip all the unsexy, time consuming labor when that same attention and praise can be gotten in just the tap of a button?

Someone once told me that the praise received from sharing your goal is just as satisfying as the praise you receive from accomplishing your goal (ex: "I'm training to run a marathon" vs "I just ran a marathon.") Whether in future or past tense, the praise triggers equal levels of satisfaction the brain, which can make it almost unnecessary to actually accomplish said goal at all.

When attention is the endgame, the goal (and therefore, our intrinsic motivation) becomes a minor detail. Our self-worth is dictated by the opinions of others, often most of whom are strangers on the internet.

I call this living life "as if."

Posting a photo as if you are a runner. Giving advice as if you are an expert.

Maxing out credit cards to appear as if you are financially set.

I see it all the time, and that's not because I'm an expert at finding it: I see it all the time because it's completely transparent. No one can play charades forever.

At what point do we stop glorifying the ends and start glorifying the hard work that it takes to get there? When does attention from strangers become less important than the satisfaction of knowing that you accomplished something you set out do to? When will intrinsic motivation be more important than extrinsic?

I'm calling on all of my people to change the way they think about their goals. I want to end the culture of fake experts, fake accomplishments and the glorification of perfection without any insight into the tough world of progress.

If you want to be a runner, train for a race.

If you want to be an expert, take the courses, read the books & get certified.

If you want to be financially set, save your money & make sacrifices.

Whatever you goal is, put in the hours and accomplish it, because attention, praise & likes are no where near as satisfying as the feeling you get when you know that you did the damn thing.

Posers, beware.

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