I get off on telling the truth.
I mean, I love it. It's addictive.
But most people never get to enjoy this rare thing. Most people are far too afraid.
But why? I ask this. Here's my best guess...
I think people don't tell the truth because (1) They think they're a big deal, and (2) think their life is really important, and (3) are afraid that telling the truth is going to screw up their very important life.
By contrast, I think that (1) I'm not particularly a big deal, (2) think my life isn't very important except insofar as I'm doing important things, and (3) think that telling the truth leads to riotously fun and profitable opportunities.
I try to be like 80%+ tactful. Time and place, that sort of thing. But why not just say it, man?
Y'know what though, let's be honest. Let's be real. It's not something to go halfway on. If you're normally a conformist, beaten down, suppress what you're thinking, don't call it like it is, and otherwise just sacrifice your true thoughts and speak untruths - well, then they crack down on you hard if you say it like it is.
But if you get a reputation for being extremely honest, then you're just eccentric and interesting. Especially to people like me! My God, I kill for discussions with honest people. They're so rare to find...
...anyways. Pragmatism. Tact. Timing. These are valuable. But it's a joy to be really truly ridiculously honest sometimes, if you ever get the opportunity to do so without consequences. I think that's why people like traveling so much.
I wonder if it could be related to being a misfit in some sense. I am said to be extremely and sometimes disturbingly honest and I am not sure if that is because I have no settled idea about the accepted standards in the society. That is the way I am so why hide it? Should it be hidden anyway? Why should I? But there is one thing I am almost sure which is that being honest makes one susceptible most of the time. So be it... no problem
Haha, my friend was just commenting to me that she wished I could be as honest as I am when I'm talking to people. I'm never (or rarely) a jerk about things, I just like to give a clear concise truthful answer or opinion on things when asked.
I'd like to say my motivation was purely altruistic, but in reality it is generally too much effort to have to wheel and deal in white lies and niceties. And it almost always ends up being 100 times worse when people realize you weren't being honest from the beginning. A little pain now to avoid a much larger potential pain seems like a better choice for all involved.
because truth is stranger than fiction - most people think maybe they'll be criticized for telling the truth.
indeed, if everyone told the truth there'd be no need for lawyers - there'd be quicker businesses and less corruption.
The hardest person to tell the truth to is yourself. The bard nailed it but most misinterpret it: "To thine own self be true and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." See, people think that's about authenticity. No, "authenticity" is just an excuse to be undisciplined. It's about being honest, brutally honest, with yourself. That's hard. But necessary if you want to be someone others can count on.
I think you nailed it on why people travel. I love honesty, but I'm well aware that most people don't -- and also of the fact that truth is perspective-based, so even though I'm not objectively *wrong* I might not be objectively right, either. So I mind my p's and q's, but not as much as most people.
It's also exciting to look at society's taboos, the 'stuff that decent people just don't speak about,' in the context of investment. Generally the market's pretty efficient about things. But if it's bad for your social standing to talk-- or even think-- about a topic from the "wrong" angle, well... that makes for huge inefficiencies in the market. And if you can pinpoint where the taboo or the politically correct platitudes are wrong, it can be very profitable.
... or you can lose your shirt, same as any investment context. But I think there's a niche.
Telling the truth is absolutely awesome! Especially when you start young, and people know about it. I love polarising people - they either hate me for who I am, or love me for who I am (even if they sometimes feel a bit uneasy around me it's just part of what they knew they signed up for). The quality of connections is just mindblowing! I get to talk to people about their deepest fears and desires within 15 minutes of conversation. I don't remember how many times I've heard the words 'I'm so glad someone would actually listen to me and be honest about what I'm doing'... I recommend it to anyone who wants to improve the quality of their interactions and to have more meaning in their live.
I think you might really enjoy Burning Man. You will find a the whole city is open-source. Honesty is standard. As such, relationships can form more quickly than I've ever seen, even compared to backpacking and meeting other solo travelers.
On a side note, are you planning on writing a post about your experience with nootropics?
A couple days ago, I told a Nigerian engineer to "Work online. Use freelancing sites. Lie about the country you’re in. [...] There’s a big stigma against Nigeria. That’s just reality, and you need to deal with it."
A reader replies -
I feel for this guy but I am surprised you recommend lying. There has to be another way. ... I have a problem with lying, period, and perhaps I’ve misunderstood Sebastian but I think he stands for straightforwardness.
Let's talk about this straightforwardly, like adults, like grown-ups.
Most people won't do that. It's inherently weird. Most people don't own up to the fact that they lie, yet almost everyone does so. A lot, actually.
I had a post written about difficult conversations. It was quite reasonable. Then I read this article by Clayton Christensen on the Harvard Business Review, and specifically this quote:
"Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team. More and more MBA students come to school thinking that a career in business means buying, selling, and investing in companies. That’s unfortunate. Doing deals doesn’t yield the deep rewards that come from building up people."
I read that and realized my post was far too tame and this topic is incredibly important. So I wrote this post instead:
Having difficult conversations is one of your fundamental responsibilities in living. Difficult conversations are the very essence of love, intimacy, and generosity. And every time you postpone or avoid one out of fear you are wasting your precious life, failing in your responsibilities to others, and acting out of cowardice.