Tag Archives: thinking

Lying and the Truth

Why is lying looked at as a bad thing? The biggest and most successful people on the planet lie all the time. Sports stars, actors, CEOs and politicians lie to the camera, and to us, daily. Yet, somehow we still think that lying is a bad thing and that being honest should be our goal.

To the average person, lying is extremely undervalued and even vilified. Why is that? The people the average person looks up to use lying, on a daily basis, as a powerful tool. That’s something to keep note of.

Maybe, it’s one of those secrets that only successful people are in on.

Sort of like, the average person spending hours each day watching TV and Netflix. They think it’s okay, yet successful people don’t waste that much time sitting around. Thinking that lying is a bad thing, might be a false belief that millions of us have. Lying, convincingly, is a skill most people have never thought to cultivate.

Lying is a tool that we should all master and use. The people at the top do. How many times do you hear a politician, or professional athlete, actually speak the truth? They’re always lying and never actually answering any questions. Still, the average person believes that telling the truth is the way to go. They’re blind to the reality that lying is everywhere.

You can strive to be honest and speak only the truth, but rest assured that you are always being lied to. The powerful people, on this planet, don’t care about telling the truth. They care about their image, and that translates to their dollars.

Ads and commercials are all lies. Because, the average person believes that we should all strive for honestly, they fall for the lies that happiness is at the bottom of their favorite soda drink. They think that drinking beer is going to get them the girls. Or, buying the latest car is going to get them the respect they deserve. Or, the best answer to their current hunger is Taco Bell’s latest menu item invention (have you seen their newest taco that features an egg as the tortilla?).

Lies are everywhere and the truth is nowhere. Lying is more powerful than we want to think.

If you had an interview today, how honest would you be? Being completely honest, in the interview, is a sure way to not get the job. We know that lying helps us in certain situations (job interviews), but why don’t we lie more often? The people we admire seem to do so.

Are some people better than others?

My brother and I had a friendly discussion the other day. The discussion revolved around the question of, ‘are some people better than others?’

What does your gut instinct tell you right now? Can you admit that someone is better than someone else? Or, do you believe that we’re all equal?

My brother’s position was that no one is better than anyone else. We are all equals in his eyes. This seems very reasonable, I’ll admit. It feels like the right belief to have. In a way, I agree with this statement.

The neighbor is equal to the CEO of that big business, and the panhandler is equal to the friendly grocery bagging lady. No one is better than anyone else, and we all have the potential to do great (whatever your definition of great is) things with our lives.

On the other hand, I couldn’t help but feel that something was wrong with this statement of everyone being equal. I wasn’t comfortable admitting that Elon Musk was equal to me. I didn’t believe that Aristotle and Plato were equal to me. How could Albert Einstein, Voltaire and Ernest Hemingway be equal to me? It didn’t sit correctly. So, I ended up arguing for the side that some people are better than others.

I was okay admitting that Aristotle was a better person with me. I was perfectly comfortable saying that the other great minds of human history were better than me too. What’s wrong with that? I felt comfortable with the idea. Some people have done more for humanity than others.

As much as we want to believe that we’re all equal, I can’t help but think that we’re definitely not equal. Some people are better than others. Are you okay saying that? Does your ego allow you to think that?

Where do you stand?

Do you have real power?

What is real power? How do you define power?

Is it how many people you are in charge of (at work or at home)? Or, is it the ability to control the circumstances in your life?

It seems like real power is the ability to control and influence the direction your life is going in. If you’re just going with the flow, then you really have zero say in the outcome of your life. That definitely can’t be power.

In the major areas of life, do you have control of the direction it’s going in, or are you simply on a boat going where the water current takes you? I try to think about this, in regards to health, finances, and relationships/ social life.

What influences are you letting yourself be exposed to and which ones are you blocking out? The influences you let in will definitely play a huge role in the direction of your life.

These are ideas that I felt like thinking about today (Sunday).

As the years pass by, and technology continues to advance, the number of things not in our control is going to continue to shrink.

Epictetus and the Banquet of life

If you remain focused and really put in the effort to live a good life, then opportunities will present themselves to you. It is almost inevitable. Opportunities that you never imagined possible only months prior.

Sometimes it’s good to take advantage of every opportunity that¬†presents itself. Other times it is important to take a step back, to see your overall dream picture, and realize that passing up on an opportunity is a better choice. It can be a difficult decision, but better for your overall goals.

For example, an awesome late night networking event may present itself to you, but you know that right now your overall goal is to perform well at a new and/ or current job. Staying out late, on a weekday, will definitely hurt your productivity the following day.

As awesome and fun as the networking opportunity sounds, the correct choice is to pass it by and wait for it to present itself to you at a later time. Preferably once you are accustomed to your job, and can afford to show up to work on 4 hours of sleep, because you already have the hang of everything.

On the other hand, if you’ve been at your job for years and know all the ins and outs, maybe it is a poor idea to pass on the awesome networking event. It could present more benefits to you than a regular well rested work day. Showing up with less than 4 hours of sleep, might be a reasonable trade off for one day.

It’s up to you to analyze your current circumstances and take into consideration¬†the overall picture of what you are trying to do.

Here’s what Epictetus has to say about it:

“Remember to conduct yourself in life as if at a banquet. As something being passed around comes to you, reach out your hand and take a moderate helping. Does it pass you by? Don’t stop it. It hasn’t yet come? Don’t burn in desire for it, but wait until it arrives in front of you. Act this way with children, a spouse, toward position, with wealth – one day it will make you worthy of a banquet with the gods.”

-Epictetus