You Aren't Special

Do you really think you’re the only person who imagines in specific detail getting in shape before that next family Christmas party or high school reunion?

Looking amazing in your sweet outfit, surprising all your old friends, the looks of shock & surprise & awe.

Overhearing people gossip about you in the best way possible. The amazing Instagram pictures.

It’s going to be fantastic!

In your head you know you can accomplish this. It’s practically set in stone: you just gotta buy the new workout shoes, research the best diets, and you’ll get started tomorrow.

You think you’re the special one who’s gonna make it happen.

And yet have you done this thing? Are you as special as your brain tells you?

My future self is better than you

We modern humans have a fundamental flaw: we judge others based on what they’ve accomplished in the past but ourselves based on what we’ll accomplish in the future.

I.e. our potential vs their reality.

Your friend’s “an okay writer” because they published a book that didn’t sell very well.

But (you tell yourself) you’re an amazing writer who, as soon as you choose to do so, will sell 100s of thousands of copies.

Of course it will take a lot of work but you’re fine with that. Because you know you can put in the work and make it happen. It’s “just a matter of doing it”.


Like a marathon is just a matter of running 26.2 miles.

A bird in the hand is worth 100 in your brain

David Foster Wallace has this great bit about perfectionism:

“Perfectionism is very dangerous, because of course if your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything...

“It's actually kind of tragic, because it means you sacrifice how gorgeous and perfect it is in your head for what it really is.”

A idea made real at 20% of your vision is infinitely more valuable than the perfect version that exists only in your brain.

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