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Being honest with YOURSELF

Who is this page for?

This page is for anyone who wants to think, educate, and attempt to better drive their own "bus" (life). Should everyone try to do this? That's totally up to you. Everybody is different. For me, I have this feeling in my heart that it seems to make sense. Everybody is different, and we all have choices to make. Not thinking about your options is a choice as well, but I invite you to consider reading this page and at least thinking about it. As John Atkinson said, "If you don't run your own life, somebody else will."

What does "Being honest with yourself" mean?

Now people may or may not be honest with other people, but how many people are "honest with themselves"? How many people have even thought about it? What does "being honest with yourself" even mean?

"Being honest with yourself" follows very closely, and may actually be the same as "being true to yourself" (google). I like both sayings, but what comes to mind is a saying by George Carlin, "shoot is sh*t with 2 o's". Doesn't "being true to yourself" really mean "being honest with yourself"? Regardless, using the word "honest" seems like a more direct, easier to remember, and maybe easier to measure word than "true."

A simple example of "being honest with yourself" could be choosing if you are going to eat cake or sweets when you are trying to lose weight and eat healthier foods. If your goal is to live a healthier life, then choosing not to eat the cake is being more honest to yourself.

This same thinking could be applied to all areas of your life including mind, body, and spirit. Where do you want to live, how do you want to spend each day, how do you want to feel each day, what people do you want to be with, etc. What do you need to do to make this happen?

Why even think about choosing how you live your own life?

Not long ago, someone asked me "What is the purpose of people on this planet?" (google) (See also Sadhguru's What is the Purpose of Life? (youtube) and quora.com). When I ask this question to others, by far most say they had never thought about it. Now obviously, it's been a thought by some people throughout human existence, dating way back way before Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (wiki) :). However, maybe it is a good question to think about. Consider this:

It is generally considered an advantage to understand what a company's goals are and what the needs are before you apply for a job. Can a similar logic be applied to trying to understand what human's purpose is on this planet, and how that could apply to your life's purpose?

So what is your purpose in life? For everyone, it may be different. For example, suppose you are in your elder years. Your purpose could be as simple has helping other people feel better. The best part of that is that if you make someone else feel better, you both feel better. What would the world be like if everyone focused on making other people feel better? See Two for the price of one!  

Dr. Wayne Dyer said something that sums up what I'm trying to say pretty well. He said something close to "While there is nothing wrong with living an ordinary life, I want to live an extraordinary life." It's a personal choice. Dr. Dyer helped millions feel better, and he seemed to enjoy his "job".

When I talk to people about life, most people I ask are not aware of the writings from Bonnie Ware, who counseled thousands of people near their end of life. She found that the number one regret was "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me." When I tell this to those people, I usually then ask, "Aren't you glad you know about that now?" Each day we are alive, we have choices.

There are scores of people throughout history that have talked about "being true to yourself". Just one example is a song that stuck with me for many years. It is a song written by Peter Gabriel, called "Solsbury Hill." When I recently read the lyrics, I believe that the process of "being honest with yourself" was one of the key points of the song. The song also conveys the message that you need to be willing to lose what you have for what you might get. It sometimes seems hard for people to change, yet nature is constantly changing.

Obviously, making changes from what you're comfortable in doing does require effort. As Mae West said: "I didn’t say it was going to be easy, I said it was going to be worth it"; and as Donald at the YMCA said, "The joy of accomplishment!" This could be the best job of your life!

Joseph Campbell said:

"Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls."

How do you do this?

  • Learn how to decide what you want.
  • Learn how to make the changes.

Learn how to decide what you want.

Since everybody is different, that's really an individual answer. Create your own list, maybe thinking about some of the following options.

What are some of the things one can consider when trying to be honest with yourself?

What do you want to do with your life? Do you have a 20-year plan? Now let's just say you make a 20, 10, 5, or 1 year plan, or even a one-day plan. Sure, if it's what you want, and you achieve it, that will be great.

The real value in a plan is the journey that you follow (by the choices you make), since each day you point your actions towards your goal is a day you learn and grow towards that goal. For simple example, say you want to be more fit and eat healthier. As you start towards that goal, you will start to feel better, even before you have reached that goal. In another example, say your goal is to live a happier life. As you educate, plan, and start to implement how to do this, you will start to do what you need to do to live a happier life. Ralph Waldo Emerson is credited for saying "Life is a journey, not a destination."

Ok, how do you write this plan? If you don't know, you are not alone. Have you ever talked to anyone who grew up in a family that encouraged family members to read a book on goals? A good starting point is to consider buying a book on goals. One book on goals that I liked was Goals, by Brian Tracy (amazon).

Some sample topics to consider when writing your plan with goals can include:

Evaluate if you happy with your life. If you would like to improve your happiness, check out positive thinking including some of the pages listed such as PERMA Theory (upenn.edu).

Evaluate if you eat healthy, exercise, and so forth? Do you take care of your mind, body, spirit?

Take a look at the "man in the mirror"(genius.com). There is a saying if you're pointing your finger at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at you. Let's look at a sample situation. In society we see people who spend maybe too much time thinking or discussing what is wrong with other people (such as politicians) and problems in the world. What if they spent that time focusing instead on how they could unite to help improve the world? Are your emotions and energies headed in your desired direction? For example, you want to attract more Love in your life, be more loving.

If you really appreciate your life, think about how you can make the most of it.

There is a saying, "most people only exist, they never truly are living." Evaluate what you may want.

Do you react, or are you acting the way you want to?

Do you compare yourself to others, or do you measure how you have been improving each day in your life?

Learn how to make the changes.

Once you know how and have defined your goals, the rest is doing the work to head in the direction of your goals. A sample list of tools that could help to keep you going in your desired direction includes research, coaches, mentors, study friends, and groups. See Life Changing Tools for more tools and how to use them.

In your journey, continue to remember to listen to your heart.

Closing Thoughts

Do you currently live your dream life? Have you thought about what that might be? Are you living a life of Authentic Happiness (upenn.edu)? A great gift to yourself may be that you have read this page, and maybe with the honesty that sits inside you, you will realize that change requires you to have the courage to live a life true to yourself. Each day you are alive, you have choices. Joseph Campbell said "Follow your Bliss", and Dr. Wayne Dyer "Don't die with your music still inside."

What I invite you to do is to consider this:

What life direction and actions
 to take?

Thank YOU for reading this!

By David M

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This page updated 11/16/21 09:22 AM