Waiter – I Need a Reality Check.

I have been noticing lately, that most people, self included,  have a view of themselves that differs from reality. A realistic assessment is often met with denial or outright hostility. In the interest of improving our world, I must now expound upon this fundamental human foible.  After all – “A man’s got to know his limitations”.

Nowhere can this characteristic be more pronounced than in the game of golf. “I better wait for them to clear the green. It’s only 300 yards and sometimes I can get a hold of one”. Or better yet “I never do that on the driving range”. Missed putts are often followed by a stream of excuses, such as “I didn’t see that I was putting against the grain”. If all of these guys played as good a game as they talked, I’d be watching them at The Masters Tournament.

Facebook is another good place to start when trying to assess oneself. I have yet to see someone demeaning themselves on Facebook. One type of post that I am sure we can all identify with, and have learned to love and hate, is the post that shows someone’s fantastic vacation experience. I always suffer from a disease called FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) after seeing someone else’s great experience. Having lived through a few great experiences myself, I definitely understand the desire to make my friends and family aware of the great time I had. I don’t think that I, or anyone else, realize the impact of such posts, until we too become envious of someone else’s great experience. Is it all about “oneupmanship”, I dunno.

In the business world, they have this thing called a “360 degree assessment”. A diverse group of individuals is selected, usually by the assessee, and then a series of questions are answered regarding the aforementioned assessee. All of the data is gathered “anonymously” and then fed back to the assessee, in hopes that they will become a more wonderful human being. There are a few flaws with this approach, not the least of which is that the assessee picks the group doing the assessing. Personally, I have never seen anything good come out of a “360 degree assessment”. The only behavioral change seen is that the assessee now hates all of his buddies that he picked to do the assessments.

Finally, for a real taste of “unrealistic expectations”, one word says it all – Karaoke. I am convinced that all of the American Idol dropouts that ever lived are the sorry survivors of this ancient form of Japanese torture. Don’t get me wrong, karaoke can be a lot of fun … once you have consumed a few beverages. There are always a few gifted singers in the mix, but that is most always the exception to the rule, in my experience. Inevitably, someone gets in front of the microphone and attempts to sing Bohemian Rhapsody, a song by Adele, or I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner. Let’s face it … no one should be attempting such shenanigans.

Since this behavior is so fundamental to our existence, it is probably best to just embrace it rather than fight it. So in the interest of improving our lives, I am going to now recommend a few approaches that will help you to live with your miserable failed life. When a situation occurs that threatens your self image, any or all of these simple rules will help you to live with yourself.

  1. Deny that it ever even happened – “It’s not a lie, if you believe it”.
  2. Exaggerate your successes.
  3. Minimize your failures.
  4. Blame someone else.
  5. Only hang out with people that think you are wonderful.

There was this Greek dude named Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image in a pool of water. He was so enamored with himself that he could not leave the pool and eventually died.

And so it goes…

All content copyright of Christopher Hammond