2023 August 29 Live a life with self-honesty

Aug 29, 2023

Hi, this is Jim Cranston from 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com, the podcast and website about reimagining your life. Thanks for joining me today to talk about being honest with yourself. So let's get started. If you like what you hear today, please press the like button and tell your friends and send me a message.


We recently talked about life's priorities and about being the leader, followed by remembering how to prioritize your core beliefs, and then how to live your life with inspiration and motivation. So we'll continue with this theme. This week we'll be talking about being honest with yourself.


Remember, all our work thus far has been based upon recognizing and honoring our core beliefs, using them to help set our goals, then envision the future that we really want, and work towards that vision. But all that is predicated upon being honest about what our core beliefs and goals and vision really are.


Let's face it. Sometimes we aren't entirely honest with ourselves. We often tend to focus on the steps, and not the real goal itself. For example, do you want to stop smoking, or do you want to be healthier and live a fuller and more active life as long as you can? When I was focusing on the first piece, it was very difficult to make any progress, because it was just something that had to be done.


When I reframed it and realized it's just one piece of what I'm doing to try and live a healthier life, suddenly the task wasn't near as daunting, because all those other things were adding up and moving me towards my goal, little by little. Similarly, do you want to just travel the world or do you want to meet and interact with many different cultures to both learn and share experiences and break down barriers?


Do you want to learn a new skill? Do you really want to stay socially active and be around other people with a common interest? Do you see the pattern here? The first goal isn't really the goal, it's just a step towards attaining your real goal. When you focus on the real goal, that difficult step, like breaking a bad habit, is just one step of many that you're taking, and together they give you a real momentum to keep moving through the difficult times.


Many times I tell myself I don't feel like working out this morning, and I really don't. But then I ask myself, Do I feel like losing even more muscle from working at a desk job now? And of course, the answer is no. So I get up and I do my regular routine. This isn't negative motivation. Not at all. But it takes the emphasis away from the difficult task and instead places it on the real goal, the one I'm really interested in working toward. That makes it much easier to start and finish my morning workout routine, or whatever task I have to do.


But when you realize it's just one little piece of a big goal, it becomes somewhat trivial. There's another self lie that we sometimes get ourselves trapped by, and this is the lie of excusing our behavior by being a little bit too lazy. For example, with the exercise routine, if every day I come up with an excuse why I don't have to work out each day, then I really should be asking myself if I have set the correct personal goals for myself.


Sometimes we let other people or society set our goals, and if they aren't generally important to us, we may tend to make excuses to others why we haven't really been working towards those goals. The problem with that is we're training our mind that it's okay to lie to ourselves. That just isn't a good way to live, because when something really is important to us, our brain is going to back up to old habits and say, Well, let's just keep making excuses why we can skip working on it today.


It's far better to confront that disconnect. Face it head on. You either change the goal or change the attitude. It may just mean telling your friends that reading a new book each week really isn't personally important to you. You respect their determination, but you have other goals.


That's a really important distinction, especially when somebody else says it should be important to us. If it's not really important to us, no matter how many other people are saying it, it's not going to be important to us. When we learn to be committed to our real goals and honest to our own self-evaluation, that'll lead us to more commitment to following through on our goals and less time spent trying to work on things that don't really matter to us.


If you're trapped in a cycle of lying to yourself, there are two good areas to examine if one or both of those are the root cause. The first and a very common reason is to confuse the steps towards a goal with the goal itself, especially if the goal is to stop a bad habit.


Actually, I should say if the step is to stop a bad habit, especially if it's one that you enjoy. For me personally, I like sugar. I love it. The first 20 years of my adult life, I pretty much survived on it. But you know, it's a lot more effective to focus on the real goal - in my case, better health through more nutritious eating, than that difficult intermediate step. When I do that, it's much easier to get over those difficult times. 


That doesn't mean you shouldn't celebrate completing that step. As we know, every time you make a goal and attain it, that's cause for celebration. It's really important because it's an important milestone. But your focus is on a much bigger picture, so that one difficult step is just the cost of reaching a much larger and more important goal. Use the momentum of your other successes, moving you towards that same goal to help you keep going to the difficult steps. 


The next common reason we might be lying to ourselves and making excuses is that our goal really is someone else's goal. That's pretty easy to get trapped into, whether it's with a group of friends, a significant other, a social group, or fans. A real telltale sign of this is that you immediately start to think of ways you can either avoid the situation or start thinking of excuses why you didn't do what you said you were going to do. If you see that as a warning sign, it is time to really start evaluating it and just come clean. 


Tell your friends that it's just really not that important to you. If you're honest and look for other areas of common interest with your friends, you'll find you'll put more energy into things that matter to you and less energy trying to avoid things that don't. But it's very important to be honest with yourself and everyone else, and not develop that habit of fibbing to yourself or making excuses all the time when it comes to your core beliefs.


So that's mostly it for the evening. Remember to focus on the big goal. The big goal is what you've envisioned. Things like setbacks at work, setbacks in your life, those are just little things to overcome. They are still things to overcome on the way to your huge thing, which is your goal and your vision.


Thank you so very much for joining me tonight. As always your homework (always optional) is to think of one goal you have that really isn't all that important to you, and then extra points if you also think about how it got into your life. Was it something someone else said or did your significant other suggest it or request it?


Now, how are you going to resolve getting it out of your life? How do you prioritize your life on your goals and accommodate other people in your life? Remember, even in that case, the goal isn't necessarily the goal they suggest, but making them happy. Very different goal, very different set of steps to get there.


That's it for the evening. As always, remember UKR7.com. There's a list of links to support the people of Ukraine. There's also the link for the World Central Kitchen, WCK.org. If you can or you're able, think about donating either to the people of Ukraine or donating to some cause you find important.


We talk about it fairly often. One of the best ways to help yourself is to help others, because it takes the focus out of looking inward to looking outward, and really opens up your eyes to the world and to other people. 


So that's it for the evening. As always, thank you for stopping by. If you found something interesting or useful, please pass it along. Please hit the like button. If not, please drop me a comment as to what you'd like to hear. Have a great week. Remember to live the life that you dream of, because that's the path to true contentment. Love and encouragement to everyone. See you next week on 7EveryMinute and 7EveryMinute.com. Thank you.


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