“Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”

Mark Twain

Well, let’s face it. We all have that friend. You know the one. The one who has suddenly seen the green, leafy light and has committed to eating like a rabbit for the rest of their natural life. Or maybe that friend who now spends more time lifting weights and running on the treadmill than sitting on the couch. The transformation is impressive. It’s inspiring. And it’s incredibly irritating.

It’s like they’ve found a new religion, and its commandments are kale smoothies and daily cardio. They’re not just healthier; they’re brighter, happier, and more energetic. They’re practically glowing in the dark. And they won’t stop talking about it.

We all roll our eyes, but secretly, we’re a little jealous. Maybe a lot jealous. After all, we know we should probably be following their example. We should be munching on celery sticks instead of potato chips, and jogging instead of binge-watching the latest Netflix series. We get it. We do.

But still, it’s annoying. The worst part is that we can’t even hate them for it because, well, they’re doing the right thing. They’re taking care of themselves. They’re becoming better versions of themselves. And they’re showing us that we could do it too.

Mark Twain nailed it when he said, “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” You’d think we’d be celebrating their achievement. Instead, we’re grumbling about their perky morning energy and their refusal to share a pizza. But deep down, we know it’s not about them. It’s about us. Because every time they crunch a carrot or run an extra mile, they’re holding up a mirror. And sometimes, it’s tough to look at our own reflection.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.