Think You Know the American Dream? Think Again

I once recommended my friend Ayana Moore for a teaching job. She has a doctorate in physiology and biophysics and can kick anyone's ass in Tai Kwon Do (literally). After meeting her, my boss asked me, "Are all of your friends so brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and drop-dead gorgeous?" "Every single one," I matter-of-factly replied. I just devoured my friend Courtney Martin's new book, The New Better Off, in which she turned our American ideal of success on its head and forever shifted mine. "If you feel like a failure," Courtney argues, "it might be that you're considering yourself against standards that just don't hold water anymore." Check out her TED Talk after you order the book. While reading it I laughed, I got mad, and I reflected. But after turning the last page all I could do was how amazing it is to have friends who are so brilliant, strong, thoughtful, and drop-dead gorgeous. Love ya, Courtney, and congrats.