You may have heard that Lady Gaga has one hundred million reasons to walk away from her relationship.
My first thought: That's a fairly dysfunctional relationship.
My second thought: Wow, that's a lot of reasons!
Which then got me thinking: If Gaga were to confront her relationship partner and air her grievances, how would that go?
Let's hypothesize that each reason Gaga has to walk away would take five seconds to explain. It's the end of a relationship, I think that's a fair assumption.
Let's try it out.
Listen, you're just not emotionally available. We've been together a long time, and I need more from you.
Yep, about five seconds.
So, given that each of her hundred million reasons takes five seconds, do you know how long that is?
Assuming that she never stops to rest, eat, or sleep, and just continuously bombards her partner with all of her reasons, it would take 16 YEARS to get through them all!
That's a long time to hear someone out.
Now, I understand that Gaga is using poetic license to try to make a poignant point. But it made me wonder: How many times have I thrown out hyperbole without thinking about what the heck I'm really saying?
For example, forget a hundred million. Do you know how big a million is?
- If we were to eat a million calories, it would take 1,250 chocolate milkshakes. That's two milkshakes a day for two years.
- If we were to drive 100 mph without stopping, it would take 1.14 years before we drove a million miles.
- And if we were to make $1 million dollars in a year, that's 3.2 cents every second.
So what's the point? The point is that hyperbole can affect our lives.
I know I've said many times, "It's cloudy every day in Ohio." Saying that was my justification for being cranky that day. But really? It's cloudy every day?
Ohio averages 178 sunny days a year. That's sunshine every other day.
So it's not cloudy every day. Yet I used that made-up, outrageous fact to justify my state of mind. And that's dangerous.
Here's my un-virtuous circle:
- I get mad, so I exaggerate to make a point.
- Then I start to find possible reasons for my exaggerated point to actually be true.
- Then I start believing the exaggeration.
- Then I start basing life decisions on things that aren't true.
A wise man once said: See the world for what it is, not what you want it should be.
I like Lady Gaga's song like everyone else. But a relationship that has a hundred million reasons to be over doesn't stand much of a chance. A relationship that has 1 or 2 actual concerns might be salvageable. Lack of hyperbole might save her fake relationship, and maybe it could have saved some of mine from the past.
So I'm going to do my best to stay in the moment and not exaggerate. In the meantime, Lady Gaga can keep making good songs and smiling while she counts her money.
Fun fact: A stack of one million dollar bills would be as high as a 36-story building.
You can find my new eBook, The Inevitability of Becoming Rich: An Interview with a Master, on Amazon here.