You know this guy? Knows everything, been everywhere, done it all, and wants you to know it. He takes 30 minutes to tell a 5-minute story because he loves hearing himself talk. He likes it because he can update his place on the “Cultural Leader Board” by getting points. Lives in the best neighborhood (18 Points), Kids in the best schools (27 Points), Vacationed in Europe (21 Points) Jeans with holes in the knees (5 Points), Cool Car (13 Points.), you get the idea.
Unfortunately, the point system changes quickly, so he must stay on the gerbil wheel to keep up. The little voice in his head is always screaming:
“You better get some more points, or you won’t fit the image you’ve worked so hard on all these years! OMG, is that a wrinkle?!?!"
This is a game where the winner is actually the loser. He loses because he lives a life filled with symbols of success defined by someone else, and by the time he figures this out, the majority of the sand in his hourglass is at the bottom.
So, when someone shares his story about his boat, mountain cabin, trophy wife, and how he hates his job but has to catch a plane very early in the morning for a meeting, I smile and say to myself “Bless His Heart,” because one day he’s going to wake up, and it’s not gonna be pretty.