December 1, 2021•604 words
I'm used to hiding things and lying. This has led my life in a bad direction. The solution: Tell the truth. But how can I make sure to always be honest with myself, and therefore to other people?
Life is a constant battle between you and bad luck. We are supposed to make sacrifices to increase the probability that good things happen. But this is difficult, you not only have to deal with difficult situations but also with a lot of distractions that might seduce you to avoid what you have to do.
So the thing that I've noticed that has been working for me is to talk honestly with myself. Not letting escape as many thoughts as I can, saying what I think as clearly as I can, and then I analyze these thoughts. In this way I make sure I don't hide anything, I try to pay full attention to what is happening in my head and as I begin to ask more questions, I begin to have a conversation with different versions of me.
Now there's a limit to how much you can remember in the short term. When I talk, I generally begin thinking laterally and forget the main points of the discussion. This is where writing becomes a great alternative for externalizing my thoughts. By only talking, you are limited by your not-so-reliable short-term memory.
If you write what you think somewhere you eliminate this problem. Even if what you first write is incoherent, if you write it, you give yourself the chance to correct it and to play with different ways of expressing the same thing until you're pleased with your ideal image of how you want to share your thoughts. Talking about sharing thoughts.......
Publicly externalizing your thoughts
This is the serious stuff. It's different to talk and to write for yourself than to do it publicly. It demands you to not only express yourself with honesty but to do it understandably. It requires preparation and that's why I love it(and hate it).
The advantages and also obstacles of practicing this increase when we talk about a specific subject, a fact, or a non-fictional topic. It forces you to research intensively about the subject and to also explain it coherently, but it also exposes you to the feedback people might give to you, allowing you to see your possible mistakes, to get better at the subject, and to improve your technical writing skills. This is certainly not an easy task, I think this deserves to be discussed deeply in another blog post.
Anyway, doing things publicly will give you a sense of accountability and make you avoid talking bullshit to others and most importantly, to yourself.
The truth is always at your disposal
You almost always know the truth and if not, you at least know where to look for it. Your conscience is a manifestation of this, the majority of the time you know what you should do and not do, you just have to decide to stop hiding in lies. Make the choice, it's worth it. You're going to suffer anyway, why not suffer while being honest.
Once you've made the choice, use your writing to think and brainstorm about whatever is in your mind, get it out of your head. Progressively organize and make your ideas more clear, to reach a point where you could share valuable information with other people in a coherent, understandable, sincere way.
The best thing you can do is to write because there's no difference between that and thinking.
— Jordan Peterson