Honesty may be the best policy but we wholeheartedly refuse to adopt it. Why?
I’m an observant person and many of the lessons I have learned in my life have come from observing people.
A lesson I learned many years back is: most people spend their lives lying to themselves. They lie about how happy they are with their lives, their relationships, their jobs, whether or not they find their goals inspiring enough and so on. People keep lying to themselves out of habit just like they breathe out of habit. It’s that effortless.
What does it lead to?
An UNHAPPY life. Because pretend all you want on the outside but you can feel the barrenness inside when it exists.
Which is why I say please learn to be honest with yourselves.
You will commit many mistakes whether you want to or not. You will end up in wrong jobs, wrong relationships, walk into directions you wanted to avoid, break relationships you wanted to preserve, take on roles that don't fulfil you. You will do many things WRONG.
The beautiful thing about being honest with yourself is that as soon as you ACCEPT THE TRUTH, as much as it hurts, it FREES you. It liberates you to INITIATE CHANGE, undo or apologise for mistakes made, let go of relationships or careers that do not fulfil you and design the life you actually want to live.
Let me tell you a story:
This was my very first job, one that I had found after struggling for a whole year. I spent close to 9 months in it and felt very unfulfilled. I was working on a CSR project. Often big organisations fund projects under CSR because they are expected to, not because they actually care. The realisation that my work was not of real value and was being done because the government had regulations in place used to suffocate me. So at the end of 9 months, I went to my manager and told her I could not do it anymore.
Was it daunting to say out loud? YES, it was. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. Consequently, I was able to move from the work that had been assigned to me to something more fulfilling and interesting, something that created value for my company and gave me a reason to come to work.
We continue to suffer because we lack courage to speak the truth not just to the world but also to our own selves.
It can be unsettling and intimidating but it is the first step to a happy life.