Don’t tell lies is something we’ve all been told from a young age. It’s solid advice and makes us a better part of society. After all, a trust worthy friend, partner or business associate will always rank higher than the one you don’t trust. Telling lies to oneself is talked about much less.
Honesty with what you can and can’t eat
We’re all unique in how we react to different foods. In a perfect world I should be able to eat whatever I want without any repercussions. Over the last 29 years I have suffered from mouth ulcers. I’m pretty sure I know what triggers them now – low immunity, lack of sleep and high stress levels. I also feel that sugar is something that causes them. If I eat a brownie or snickers, chances are a mouth ulcer will pop up 24-48 hours later.
What makes this even more frustrating is the less sugar I eat, the more sensitive I become to it. Frustrating yes, but it also makes it easier for me to eat “cleaner”. It’s just not worth it anymore. 15 minutes of mouth pleasure is not worth 7-14 days of mouth discomfort. I get advice from others meaning well. “It’s in your head”, “moderation”, “live a little”, “don’t feel guilty about it and you won’t get them”. All of these are well meaning but if I’m being honest I know that sugar is something I cannot deal with and that’s cool.
Something that is becoming more difficult to accept is coffee. My one true vice, we are all allowed one, right? Even though I love it and live in the coffee capital of the world, I don’t think it’s something I can’t handle (for now). Or definitely not something I should be drinking daily. Again, it’s about honesty and self awareness.
Honesty with your sleep
How many hours do you need to sleep each night? If you’re running on less than seven you’re probably under sleeping. In a perfect world I would sleep eight hours a night. This is seldom possible because I am up at 4.30 – 5am every morning. Some nights I won’t get home till 9pm so getting to bed by ten can be a stretch. I can make up for this with a mid day nap or longer meditation periods. Being honest with myself here I need to really focus on recovery work and down time. If I am going constantly, under sleeping and not recovering, I’ll get run down.
Honesty with your stress
This is a more difficult area to be aware and honest about. A lot of times you only realise how stressed you were when you get a way from it. This may be a holiday or some time out of your regular routine. The key to a good quality of life, balanced energy and positive mood is knowing how to manage stress. If you are more self aware and honest with this you’ll know when to take more time for yourself, focus more on your diet and reduce exercise volume.
Honesty with your relationships
How do you feel with your partner or close friends? Do you feel you have to pretend who you are, or do you feel at ease and accepted for being you? Are all of these people improving your quality of life? Do you feel that they bring the best out of you, support you and motivate you or are they the ones dragging you down?
This is a very difficult area to be honest in. A friend since childhood could be a energy vampire depleting you. If you’re truly honest you’ll know who lifts you up and who drags you down. The next step is to fill your life with people who lift you up and make you a better version of yourself. As Jim Rohn famously said “You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”.
Honesty with yourself
Are you living the life you want to live? Do you wake up excited to start the day or feel like 5 pm is too far away? I think honesty in your life is a catalyst for all other issues that are needed for living a healthy and fulfilling life.
Is it easier to not think, watch TV shows at night and just let life happen? Are you okay with doing less than 50% of the things you want to achieve? Are you going to look back and be proud of having the courage to pursue what you really want to do? You don’t have to be an entrepreneur with hustle, (man, I hate that word!). But you need to be honest about what you are spending your days doing. If it is not fulfilling you at all then it’s time to be honest.
I truly believe that honesty in all of these areas make life much richer. I also feel that this lowers risk of disease and illness. Lets take depression as an example.
- If you are getting up every day and going into an environment you hate. You should feel shit.
- If you are surrounded by people you feel don’t get you, you should also feel shit.
- If you are consuming food that you know doesn’t agree with, you you should feel shit.
- If you are doing things each days, week and month that don’t excite or stimulate you, you should feel shit.
After a while there’s only so much we can take. If you are getting drained from each area, illnesses like depression seem a whole lot more expected. Add in the fact that you’re probably seeing images of peers living perfect lives and this leads to the perfect recipe for depression.
So be honest. Be honest with yourself first and foremost. Break it down into your main areas in your life. Your home life, work life, relationships and hobbies.
Which are serving you and which are causing more problems?
The next step is stepping up, taking responsibility and changing it.