This post was originally shared with the Art of Manliness
As men we uphold and strive to achieve several traits. Strength and honour, dignity and courage, wisdom, compassion and generosity. Many times we fail to achieve our ideal, but then many lessons from the game of life are learned from our failures rather than success.
Other traits are truth and honesty. Usually this is taken in the context of our dealings with others. What I’ve been thinking of lately is being truthful and honest with yourself.
What do I mean by honest?
At a micro level- the day to day living of life it’s about not cheating yourself. By making and taking use of the opportunities you have and not wasting them. By giving yourself chances. Waking up early to savour the morning, intensely working out and maintaining strength and health, not procrastinating or wasting time, being fiscally wise, doing all you set out to do. All these things and more are being true.
Life is full of opportunities, but Opportunity is a fickle goddess. She doesn’t hang around for long. If you’re not ready when you should be, she moves on, and you’re left disappointed, pounding the dust in frustration and anger with yourself.
At a macro level we can go deeper.
Who are you? Do you know who you are? Do you know what your interests and passions are? And do you pursue them?
Does your job align with your strengths and passion? Do you even know what your strengths and passions are?
Now, being true isn’t necessarily easy. If you’ve ever fed yourself deception for a long time, and lived a fantasy, a life in your mind, then digging up and the process of being true actually can be quite painful. It was like that for me for a long time until joining the army reserve 18 months ago gave me the good kick up the backside that I really really needed.
I reckon when you deviate from being true and honest to yourself, that’s when dissatisfaction sets in, melancholy thoughts slowly begin to cloud and permeate every crevice in your mind and you live a life far removed from that which you earlier wished. Frank Wheeler from Revolutionary Road and Willy Loman from Death of a Salesman are good examples from literature who represent this.
Don’t be the person who isn’t true!
Be true and honest with yourself.