I think that insights have the power to change the way we think and ultimately our lives. So I’ve decided to share some of my insights every month! Here are 3 insights I learned or I thought about in November.
Insight #1: Always tell the truth. – Paula Ghete
Always tell the truth. Don’t twist things, don’t make omissions, don’t pretend and don’t tell white lies. All that you tell should be the truth – the whole truth.
Truth and honesty are two of the things that I value the most. Let me be honest – I have said a few lies in my life too. But I made it a habit to tell the truth. And when I don’t, I don’t just pretend it doesn’t matter. I tell myself that I lied and I betrayed my values and my integrity. And I force myself to aim for complete honesty (which always comes easy now).
I got so used to this idea of telling the truth that I forgot how much people lie. And we all do. We lie because we want to hide something we are ashamed of. We lie to avoid an uncomfortable (but necessary argument). We lie to inflate our flimsy self-esteem and seem better than we are. We lie “to protect” others. We lie to be nice people. And the list can go on indefinitely. But to me, these are just excuses.
We don’t even realize how much lies can harm everyone – especially the person who tells them. Let me give you an example. There was a man who owned a pharmaceutical company. Among others, it provided sanitizers for hospitals. The only problem is this: the sanitizer was so diluted that is was quite ineffective (but maybe he made more money). Eventually people found out the truth (as they always do) and this man faced some very serious charged. When he learned this, he committed suicide by driving his car into a tree. To put things simple, he said a very big lie and when he got caught, he chose to kill himself. Is it far-fetched to say that he chose a lie over his life?
What you can do
You can do whatever you want. The question is what type of person you want to be and what you value most. I think that the best policy is to always tell the truth. Why should you tell the truth?
- To have good values. If you want to be a good, respectable person, get in the habit of telling the truth – always.
- Lies always come out. And when they do, you may be in trouble and you will regret your lies.
- People will never trust you again after they discover you lied to them.
- There’s nothing like a dirty little secret or lie to ruin a good career or reputation.
- If you always tell the truth, you don’t have to waste time and energy coming up with lies and trying to remember them. You are more calm and you have more willpower to focus on what really matters.
- Every time you lie, you push people away. They will never know the real you.
- Every time you lie to avoid an unpleasant situation, you miss out on an opportunity to grow and strengthen a relationship.
- Since everybody lies, we are always suspicious of everyone. We are losing faith in the people around us and humanity in general. But if we start telling the truth more, we can recover some of that faith.
I can continue this list as well, but I think you already get the point. My advice is this: always tell the truth. And I could give you a million reasons for that. But I will give you only one: think about the world you want to live in. Would you want to live in a world where you cannot trust anyone because everybody always lies? Or would you want to live in a world where people value truth, honesty and integrity and you know that you can trust everyone around you?
Tell the truth and your life will get better. Who knows? Maybe if enough of us start to be honest, more and more people will follow. Before you know it, we live in a world ruled by honesty.
Insight #2: Every time you do not say or do what you really want to, you lose a part of yourself. – Paula Ghete
I recently became aware of this interesting thing and I believe it applies to most of us. I think that every time we stop ourselves from acting (in a good way), we lose a bit of ourselves.
When you want to speak up against injustices, but you stay quiet, you lose a part of yourself.
When you want to share something personal with a close friend, but you don’t, you lose a part of yourself.
When you want to do something nice for someone you love, but you convince yourself they won’t care, you lose a part of yourself.
When you want to write an article or a book, but you are afraid and stay silent, you lose a part of yourself.
This is something I notice in myself much more now, since I am a content creator. Every time I want to talk about something important, but quite controversial and I decide against it, I feel like I betrayed myself. Every time I have a message, an article, a perspective to share and I don’t, I get smaller somehow. And I want you and me to stop doing that to ourselves.
What you can do
Remind yourself why you want to say or do a certain thing. If it is for the right reasons (it matters, it affects us all, it will increase our wellbeing), try to push yourself to do it. The world needs more people who are willing to speak their minds and share who they are in an authentic way.
Think about how much you will regret not talking, not writing, not hitting publish, not traveling, not asking that person out.
Remind yourself how great you always feel when you stand up for yourself, speak your mind and act on your values, beliefs and desires. Now go and live the life you want to live and share those great ideas in your mind!
Insight #3: “We think about our future selves like different people. We often idealize them, expecting our future selves to do what our present selves cannot manage.” – Kelly McGonigal, “The Willpower Instinct”
Do you ever wonder why you keep telling yourself that you will go to the gym, you will look for a better job, you will clean the house, you will read more, but you never do? Here’s why: you probably don’t feel like doing that now. So you postpone doing these things that are complicated, tedious or stressful. You think that one day, sometime in the future, your future self will do that for you!
We think that our future selves will be much more motivated, disciplined and responsible, so we postpone the things we have to do and we forget about the things we really want to do. Yes, we want to learn for our exams, start a business, write a book, start working out, but why do that now? Isn’t it better to wait until our future selves will take over?
The problem is that…there is no future self. It is always us. And we will never feel like doing the things that require effort, are complicated or make us feel uncomfortable. So we might as well force ourselves to do that now.
What you can do
Whenever you feel tempted to add a task to your future self’s to-do list, remind yourself that he/she does not exist. If you do not do those things for you, nobody will.
It is very tempting to think that “One day, I will feel like it. My future me will be so much better and will do all the things I can’t!” But we are only fooling ourselves and eventually, we are the ones who pay the cost.
If we do not pay attention to what we eat and work out, we may have health problems (diabetes, heart diseases and so on).
If we do not look for a better job, we will go to work every day and feel miserable all the time.
If we do not spend time creating the lives we want to live, we will be stuck living lives we do not want.
Stop fooling yourself thinking that a future version of yourself will do everything right. There is no future you. There is only you! So take responsibility for your life and make the changes you want to make. You are the only one who can!