“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away,” defined the American author Philip K. Dick.
Lying is second nature to us, and under the influence of improbable thinking, even idealism, we’ll hang ourselves if given enough rope. Rebekah Campbell of the New York Times observed,
A study by the University of Massachusetts found that 60 percent of adults could not have a 10-minute conversation without lying at least once. The same study found that 40 percent of people lie on their resumes and a whopping 90 percent of those looking for a date online lie on their profiles.
Most people lie about little things to make them look good. People lie to stave off the consequences of making a mistake, to buy more time or to spare someone’s feelings. Their hearts may be in the right place, but they are still telling lies.
Telling lies is the No. 1 reason entrepreneurs fail. Not because telling lies makes you a bad person but because the act of lying plucks you from the present, preventing you from facing what is really going on in your world. Every time you overreport a metric, underreport a cost, are less than honest with a client or a member of your team, you create a false reality and you start living in it.
Idea for Impact: Stop Living in a World of Illusions
Live in the world of reality, not in the world of how you perceive reality.
Realistic thinking is grounded in an honest appraisal of all facts and data and conditions in different situations. Realistic thinking affords a clear-headed and conscious thought and behavior.
The great undertaking in life is to discover reality—to be truly honest and transparent with yourself about everything.
The meditation master Kalu Rinpoche wrote in The Dharma: That Illuminates All Beings Impartially Like the Light of the Sun and Moon (1986,)
You live in illusion, and the appearance of things.
There is a reality, but you do not know this.
When you understand this, you will see that you are nothing.
And being nothing, you are everything.
That is all.
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