It is all fog outside, temperature — 2’C.
The time is 5.50 AM and I need to get out of this blanket and get ready to go to the gym.
But then my brain starts telling itself some excuses.
Fog must have made the road slippery.
It’s not gonna make any difference if you don’t work out today.
You feel tired. You need to rest.
It’s cold outside. You might catch a fever. The blanket is warm. You should be warm in the winters.
So so many lies- just to keep me in the comfort zone.
And more often than not, if we are not mentally prepared, we give up on this battle.
How many times have I lied to myself so far?
The other day I was reading “Ego is the Enemy” by Ryan Holiday, and the very first quote from the very first chapter caught my attention. The quote is:
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you’re the easiest person to fool.” — Richard Feynman.
And it hit me hard. Really hard.
It’s a hard question to answer.
How can you prove yourself that you’ve been lying all the way long?
To feed our ego, amplify our natural instincts, to save our survival characteristics- there could be a number of justifying reasons.
But do we even realize how many times have we been lying to ourselves?
Being honest with your ‘self’ is the toughest job
Can you tell yourself the reason you’re unsuccessful is that you are a coward and you don’t take enough risks in life?
I tried telling myself that no- it was her mistake. “She dumped me.”
But I didn’t realize I was telling myself lies.
I was the one who changed, I was the one who over-expected.
I was the one who didn’t understand what did she mean when she said, “Dipanshu, I don’t love you anymore.”
I was so busy living in the delusions that I didn’t notice when my relations started dying in reality.
Who is stopping yourself from being honest?
Ego is the delusion we create around our personality, that we are too important in this world. Ego is the sense of superiority that is far beyond our talents and confidence combined.
It’s an unhealthy belief in our self-worth.
Narcissism. Arrogance. Delusions.
These are the three best words to define ‘ego’.
“Oh, no! I am quite grounded and humble. I am not egotistical in nature.”
If this is what your mind told you while reading the above few lines — you definitely have ego problems.
The Financial Lies we tell ourselves
“I really need to buy this”
This one phrase has caused heavy debts to our generation.
Most of the times, we don’t really need ‘this’, but we buy ‘this’ anyway — because it might look cool while showing off or telling others about.
Telling such lies is quite a financial burden we put on ourselves. It’s suicidal.
Minimalism is a helpful practice to stay away from this burden.
“Do I really need to buy this? How would this affect me if I don’t buy it? Or what would be the effect and for how long does that effect will matter if I buy this?”
Self Awareness is the Key
People have directed and utilized their egotistical impressions to reach heights and create wonders, while the ego has also been proven the worst enemy to many.
The first step to solving any problem is the detection of the problem.
And what is the best and the worst part of this ego problem?
The only possible detection is the admittance to this problem. That’s it.
“Do I really have something to base upon whatever I am doing? Am I living a real life, or I am being played by the delusions I have created for myself?”
Keep asking yourself these questions for keeping a reality check.
Let’s talk practical
What’s the best way to be self-aware?
The answer is to write a journal and document your thoughts.
But because it’s a lengthy and tiring process, so you can start small.
I write one lie a day — a lie that I usually tell myself.
But there’s one problem with this. You can be an extreme extrovert and can open up in front of the whole world — but you’ll always feel problem while opening up to yourself. Because it’s embarrassing.
So, start writing one embarrassing moment of your life every day.
Mention one incident where you must have let your ego dominate your rationale.
The idea is to write an incident every day which nobody else should know about. So where you are writing them — pen/paper or online notepad — make sure it’s protected.
Sometimes I just laugh at myself for doing the things the way I did.
Instead of judging others, its cool to judge yourself.
This is rather a productive approach.
Why do I want to write more lies every day?
A. Because it’s so fun. Really.
B. It’s one of the best self-awareness activity I have discovered so far.
C. It’s productive and helpful in the long run.
It’s probably going to take a couple of weeks till you start really being blunt with yourself and start your journey of self-awareness.
The journey of a thousand miles starts from the first step.
Writing lies is really cool — won’t you agree?
Originally published at www.dipanshurawal.com on January 31, 2019.