We live in a social network world, and we tend to measure success by what we see.
If we see images of an happy family, we instantly think they are happy, even if they’re not.
Social networks give us the illusion that we have a window into other people lives, but we miss the fact that we see what _they_ want us to see.
But if you think about it: It has always been like this. Friendship, relationship, public figures. All showed to you what they wanted and hid what they didn’t want you to see.
It’s simply a stronger illusion, but it’s an illusione nonetheless.
A writer publish a books by himself on amazon, he’s the first in all sold books in amazon italy.
It’s amazing, it seems amazing and to be honest: It’s a exceptional result.
Even when I write this it seems such a big accomplishment, but then I look at the timing. He opened the pre-sale of the book right around december, which, presumably, is kind off-season.
He’s first with pre-sales only, but if you look at the list none of contenders announced the book this year, they are all old books, so why it does seem like he defeated goliath?
He didn’t, but what he did is an exceptional timing to know when to publish, to build an impressive following of people and, last but not least, to have all his social in place.
Could I do the same? Probably not. Could he beat some “star” of the books if they published in the same time? Probably not and that’s where the “illusion” lies.
Being first doesn’t mean that you are first among the best in class _always_. If you play your cards correctly you can be first in many things, are you the best of all, the _real_ first? Maybe not. You’re still one of the best, you’re still exceptional, but it’s like presenting numbers to change the perspective of the audience. With the right numbers and the right wording you can turn upside down many results and polls of the history of the world, and if you know where the truth lies you might even have a word for what you’re doing: Illusion.
Can we resist the illusion then? Not always and even if I framed everything in a cynical way I don’t think that’s the right approach. Be critic, understand that behind any result there’s some kind of effort directly or indirectly correlated.
Ask yourself some question, understand the context, do some guesswork and maybe after all this thinking you might have escaped part of this illusion.
Why only part? Because after watching others and finding the illusion in their photos, in their words, the biggest illusion of all is the one we have inside, our ego.