Athletes come to me and say they want to develop a skill they saw from some player on ESPN. What they always seem to miss — and what a lot of people miss, mostly outside of sports — is that the 30-second clip you see on Sports Center is a very small percentage of the whole story. If you want to be that player on TV, I tell them, you have to do all the other 99% of work that player does before he got on the highlight clip. There’s a lot more to it, I tell them, than the finished product you see on TV.
With the social media we have at our fingertips now, a similar idea applies: People will show you what they want you to see, which is never the whole truth. The part you don’t see is much less glamorous, requires more work, and is not at all appealing. Most of the time, what you see is nothing more than that person’s highlight reel.
Each one of us has a highlight reel, and we are absolutely correct in displaying it — you know, the put-your-best-foot-forward stuff. One basic weakness of humans, though, is our inability to look critically at everything presented to us. It’s much easier and more mentally efficient to accept what we see as whatever it presents itself as. The fact is, what you see from other people is merely the tip of iceberg — and since we control what you see, we will show you the shiniest, prettiest tip of that iceberg. In turn, our minds are prone to believe that we are seeing 100% of what is.
We most certainly are not.
Don’t compare your life to what you see others doing, saying or posting on social media. A 30-second highlight clip is a small percentage of a 48-minute game.