As men we uphold and strive to achiece several traits. Strength and honour, dignity and courage, wisdom, compassion and generosity. Many times we fail to achieve our ideal, but then many lessons from the game of life are learned from our failures rather than success.

Other traits are truth and honesty. Usually this is taken in the context of our dealings with others. What I've been thinking of lately is being truthful and honest with yourself.

What do I mean by honest?

At a micro level- the day to day living of life it's about not cheating yourself. By making and taking use of the opportunities you have and not wasting them. By giving yourself chances. Waking up early to savour the morning, intensely working out and maintaing strength and health, not procrastinating or wasting time, being fiscally wise, doing all you set out to do. All these things and more are being true.

Life is full of opportunities, but Opportunity is a fickle goddess. She doesn't hang around for long. If you're not ready when you should be, she moves on, and you're left disappointed, pounding the dust in frustration and anger with yourself.

At a macro level we can go deeper.
Who are you? Do you know who you are? Do you know what your interests and passions are? And do you pursue them?

Does your job align with your strengths and passion? Do you even know what your strengths and passions are?

Now, being true isn't necessarily easy. If you've ever fed yourself deception for a long time, and lived a fantasy, a life in your mind, then digging up and the process of being true actually can be quite painful. It was like that for me for a long time until joining the army reserve 18 months ago gave me the good kick up the backside that I really really needed.

I reckon when you deviate from being true and honest to yourself, that's when dissatisfaction sets in, melancholy thoughts slowly begin to cloud and permeate every crevice in your mind and you live a life far removed from that which you earlier wished. Frank Wheeler from Revolutionary Road and Willy Loman from Death of a Salesman are good examples from literature who represent this.

Don't be the person who isn't true!

Do you have any stories of when you have and haven't been true, anyone done any painful digging? Any success stories as a result of doing yourself the right thing?

Tags: character, honesty, life, truth, wholesomeness

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Recommended reading: Radical Honesty. It's a serious book, but this is still funny: the author writes about why he wrote the book. Because he loved the idea of strangers reading it and talking about how wise he was. Etc. The rest is about the advantages of telling the truth, and how.
Nothing but a waste. If one is not to be trusted, that one will not be near me or mine.
It is often said, that "It takes years to build trust, and only seconds to destroy it." I have unfortunately experienced that fact first hand. It is not a place I want to find myself in again, and it is a constant reminder for me to remain honest.
That's awesome. I think a lot of people make the assumption that everyone in media is liberal and endorses immorality. In reality, I don't believe that to actually be the case. Television can definitely be a strong force for good and I believe in that too.
I think being true to yourself is a something that we should all strive for. And it is difficult. A lot of our journey is a journey of self discovery and finding out what exactly our strengths, limits, and weaknesses are. I think having a rite of passage like your experience in the army or my experience on my mission point us in the right direction and help us discover what our limits are and where our strengths are.

It isn't always easy. When I was younger I was abused and I tried so hard to convince myself that it never happened. I was probably 4 at the time and ever since that time I tried convincing myself it was a nightmare. And it was but it did happen. It wasn't 'til a little over a year ago I finally talked to a counselor about it and placed my past behind me. Being honest with myself since then has been easy and going through that trial showed me strength I didn't know I had.
Oorah, I think that we all agree that honesty is important. After all, if a man cannot be trusted, is he indeed a man? Not where I'm from. What is a man without honesty, integrity, morals, and principles? Remember too Men, a half truth is worse than a lie and the hurt affects all, not just one.
Does anyone have any stories or advice for when an honest look at one's self turns up something undesirable? Any tips for facing a rut headlong, and actually doing something about it?
Jump into it headlong. If you are sorry for something, apologize to those you affected. If you see something you don't like, change it NOW! If you are a man, you will hold fast to the change and welcome the stressful feeling it brings with it. Stand by your beliefs and convictions and trust in the Lord. He welcomes all gifts, not just the good stuff, but all the bad as well. Have faith and you will change and be a better man for it.
Amen to that. If you face things, you can win; if you won't face them, they win.
Thanks guys.
When you jump into fixing yourself, make a plan for where/how/what you want to be. I've seen people go from the Atkins diet to vegan overnight. Six months later, that person was eating little but buffalo wings. Swinging back and forth like that can be worse than your initial habit you wanted to change. Similar stories about the pastor's kids becoming druggies, and alcoholics becoming Jesus Freaks. Maintain some balance as you change directions, or you'll fall over.

Don't be too impatient or quick with your plan or your expectations. Habits are hard to change.

So, set some realistic goals, then figure out what you can do step-by-step to get there. Stick to it. Don't ever adjust your plan when you are feeling tired or sick of it. For instance, if your goal is to get in shape, and the plan is to get up and do p90x every morning at 6, never make the decision at 6 to sleep in. If you aren't getting enough sleep, then decide the night before to sleep in until 6:30. No hitting the snooze button because you're too tired right then.

One of the first things you need to start doing is identifying every time you fall back into your bad habits. Once you notice it regularly, you can curtail it earlier and earlier, to the point where you actually think about what you are going to do or say before you do it.

Other options are to take away the opportunities from yourself. I like to smoke, but my wife hates it. If I don't buy cigarettes, then I don't want them. There were other times in my life where I would establish rules: No smoking at work, no smoking at home. (That leaves the bar, which was pretty rare, and the commute.)
J.

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