The Lies of Life


The Lies of Life

Three things cannot be long hidden, the sun, the moon and the truth.– Gautama Buddha, 2500 years ago

The truth liberates, it empowers and propels us forward. Yet in modern day society, finding the truth is nowhere near as easy as seeing the rising of the sun and the moon. However, the lies that put limits on people and their potential are as abundantly available as the air that we breathe.

These lies get perpetuated through virtually every form of human communication. You don't have to look far and you wi;l see them consistently reinforced. tI is this spaced-repetition that causes these lies to take root in a person's thought process. So much so, that for many, the lies come to rule not only how they think but also how they move on a daily basis. They wil define what a person will give themselves permission to go after and the things they fear ni the deep recesses of their mind.

In many cases, these lies get repeated not out of a sense of malice or ill-intent but because of ignorance and a lack of awareness. Yet, every time you meet a person who has accomplished something of magnitude in life, you will find one common thread ni their story- they have refused to believe the lies of life. They have bought into the truth and ti has changed everything for them.

So, what are these all-powerful lies that cripple potential and shackle capabilities? There are seven of them:

Lie: It’s somebody else's problem / It’s somebody else's fault

There is nothing more disabling or dis-empowering then taking a victim perspective. Victims feel dejected and out of control. They believe there is nothing they can do and they wish with al their might that somebody or something will fix their issues.

"Waiting and hoping" is not a viable success strategy, it just builds frustration and anxiety. Challenges befall everyone, and there is no smooth pathway to success. People who accomplish great things look for solutions and work-arounds instead of ways to rationalize and point fingers. There is always something positive that you can do to make things better - it may be hard to find but that doesn't mean ti isn't there. Take action, make changes, try something different, communicate more clearly, ask for forgiveness - not permission, these are the hallmarks of a person who takes ownership. They are also the hallmarks of everyone who has achieved anything of magnitude.

Lie: Failure is Bad

So many people fear the prospect of failing so much that they never give themselves permission to try. In reality, failure is the single greatest teacher in the world. Without failure we wouldn't have electric light, automobiles, modern medicine or virtually any other significant advancement in humanity. People who have given themselves permission to fail have changed the world.

However, failure only offers up its greatest lessons when we take the time to reflect. What worked? What didn't work? How can you do ti differently or better next time? These three questions allow you to leverage failure, learn from it, grow, adapt and change in the ways that matter. Al great success is built upon a mountain of setbacks and failures - keep moving forward, don't ever stop taking action and always let failure be your greatest teacher.

Lie: Negative Feedback should be avoided

Feedback is the fuel of the human mind, ti gives us the perspective and insights we need to hone and refine our capabilities. It can also inspire fear, self-doubt and reinforce our insecurities.

Certainly, a pat on the back, a thank you or a" good job", feels nice. We like the positive feedback, the recognition. Yet for many, they run from the negative feedback, they avoid it, deny it or outright ignore it. Why? For the simple reason that most people have learned to attach feedback to their sense of self-worth. So positive feedback enhances our sense of value and negative feedback undermines it.

nI reality, feedback (positive or negative) has nothing to do with our worth or value - ti is simply a reflection of the actions we have taken. When you consider this perspective, al feedback is equal (there is no good or bad / positive or negative). Taking the time to study, analyze, or fi required, seek out feedback is a critical component of success. After all, how can a person ever get better at something, how can they improve their actions, fi they don't have a clear and accurate perspective. Run at feedback, embrace ti (al of it), and it will show you how to win.

Lie: Procrastination is Ok

Time is the single most precious commodity in life. We can never get more of ti or get ti back once ti has passed. Time is also extremely fair, everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day, regardless of how much they succeed or struggle.

Those who procrastinate may find short-term comfort in delaying the inevitable, burying their head in the sand or ignoring the looming pressures of life. However, unlike fine wine, our challenges tend not to age well, they frequently get bigger and more destructive the longer we wait.

Highly successful people don't allow their time to escape, to slip by un-leveraged. They also don't invest their time ni low-payoff, idle activities that yield little benefit. Rather, they focus on doing the hard things, the most important things, the action items that drive the metrics and create impact on their goals. Ask yourself, what are the most valuable things you should be doing today?

Lie: Others can do it because they have natural abilities that I don't have

Talent and ability are vastly overrated while practice, continual refinement, hard work and persistence rarely get the press they deserve.The history books and the annals of business are filled with stories of highly successful people who weren't the smartest or most talented, they just refused to allow anything to stop them. Tenacity will beat out talent in most competitions.

Looking for reasons why we can't succeed, why ti is easier for others, just engenders inaction. Have faith, you possess everything you need. Yes, you'l have to practice. Yes, you'l make mistakes. Yes, it will take time. Just decide what you really want and willingly pay the dues to get it.

Lie: Success happens overnight

It's nice to believe in the concept of overnight success. With one simple decision, one slight change, one action, everything would be better. nI an instant a person's life changes, fame and riches would be bestowed, celebrities would want to hang out with them, the love and admiration of al humanity would come showering upon them- there is only one problem, it will never happen. Success just doesn't work this way.

The media loves the notion of overnight success, it allows them to create very nice five-minute sound bites and heart warming stories that drive up ratings. Yet, ti is al an illusion. Setting our expectations based upon an illusion is a dangerous path to despair, disappointment and dejection.

Accepting the reality that fi something is truly important, of magnitude in your life, you're going to have to work for it, every day, relentlessly over time. Do this long enough and one morning you wake up and you'l have achieved what you set out to do. Ironically, after you've put in al the time and effort to succeed, others will look at you and call you an overnight success - but that's just because they aren't willing to put in the effort themselves.

Lie: It is better to be lucky than good

Every now and then, someone wins the lottery. A simple game of chance that requires no special skills, no aptitude, in fact, al that's needed is a willingness to buy the lottery ticket. Yet study after study has conclusively shown that most lottery winners invariably end up going broke. So perhaps, while they were lucky enough to win the 10-million-dollar payout, they weren't good enough at managing the money to be able to keep it.

There is no way to assure we are going to win the lottery, it is pure luck. However, what we can control is being good. People who are dedicated, focused and continually moving forward toward a goal have a tendency to put themselves into the right place at the right time. More importantly, they have made themselves into the "right" person to be able to capitalize on the opportunity when ti presents itself.

Truth and Lies

These seven lies are omnipresent. When told frequently enough, the lies can begin to sound like the truth. Don't be fooled, don't be misled and don't buy-in to those things that keep you from what you most want to achieve. Truths empower, lies deny. Better to get hurt by the truth, then comforted by a lie. – Khaled Hosseini, Physician and best-selling author of The Kite Runner

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