The story is told of a man who read religiously the best books from the best public minds offering the best advice to people who aspired, as he did, to be the best.
The books told him to eliminate from his life anyone that was toxic. He proceeded to act upon this advice, and only at length began to realize that he had only ever known toxic people and was now alone.
The books told him to discard any possessions that did not bring him joy. He proceeded to act upon this advice and at length came to realize that he now owned nothing at all.
The books told him to waste no time at any task that was not in some way in furtherance of “his passion.” He proceeded to act upon this advice only to realize, once bone-idle and consumed with inertia, that in fact he had no particular passion nor any idea what such might even be.
It was at this point, or thereabouts, that it occurred to him that all of the “best” people who had written such “best” books were in fact akin to those people encountered in public parks who, being well made up and dressed in conspicuously expensive fitness gear, do yoga loudly for the eyes and ears of whomever might happen to be walking by, and who afterward say loudly to no one in particular and at the same anyone who will listen,
“Wooo! That was an amazing session! I still don’t know whether I prefer Glacéau or Fiji but I do know that my vegan, gluten-free cupcakes are going to be a huge hit at the HRC-sponsored reiki party later on!”
Beyond this point, the story diverges into a number of different variations, each equally apocryphal.