Updated: Jan 27
Preface: What if our ability to ask for and receive the truth is in direct relationship to the strength of our personal legacy?
When we have and hear the correct intel, we are typically (most of the time) in a position of strength. The foundation of truth serves as a metaphoric rock, compared to sand where we slip and fall.
One of the difficulties about truth though is that biases, conscious or unconscious, can hold us back from thinking ... let alone speaking it. In addition to receiving it.
For instance, let's be honest ... if one believes, let's say 'in the poorer of us being the lessor of us', they may or may not see the strengths or be open to contributions of those "who do without".
While there are grains of wisdom to be found in many people, we can miss the value of what these individuals have to share when we don't ask. When we close ourselves off to the truth in their words. Yet, what they know can assist us in our own journey of defining, developing and executing our legacy. What their eyes see and ears hear can offer us insight, especially when we rest on our laurels for months or years.
Or, in another context, we can find ourselves face to face with someone who has tremendous wealth or influence. Will we make ourselves vulnerable (again) to ask for truthful conversations, beyond gaining their favor or having cordial conversation for good impressions ... optics? Also, are we willing to be our real selves, our authentic selves, if we have any level of concern we may be judged for being 'less than'? Not good enough? Shrinking back.
If we ourselves are from an affluent background, how likely is it that others will tell us the hard truths? Beyond the security gates and entrances where we don't have to deal with reality until it lands on our doorstep. Again, what if we cause fear in another regarding offending us or concerns about being cut off in burning a bridge in how powerful not just words can be, but truth in its dosage.
Truth can resonate for those willing to receive it just as it can make others distance themselves as if you are holding kryptonite.
Yet given the levels of loneliness many people feel today, only magnified even more if one is in a leadership or exclusive position, we need the truth on many things and for it to be delivered well. We need the truth for many reasons. starting with a sense of still feeling connected compared to isolated in today's divided world.
We are told we are 99% the same as the person located in any one of the 24 times zones. And yet, if we do not stay curious about the truth in all aspects of our conduct, performance and service to others, we can easily stay frozen in our EQ (emotional intelligence) like a frozen, vacuum sealed envelope. As in the world changes but we don't.
Yes, it can be frightening to venture outside our comfort zone or social circles due to being challenged. Tested. Or even, enlightened with new knowledge for our legacy, from a person so different than us. To see new things we once missed, hidden in plain sight.
Part of growing up is living a life that includes more than critter comforts of entertainment, convenient adventures and pleasures to our five senses. When I read the statistics that the business coaching industry earns 626% less than the technology industry, it's clear the gap around personal development is not catching up to our rising to digital addictions. This can also translate into less meaningful connections, our ability to take emotional risks when the future may be unpredictable along with the tradeoff of our spirit growth for conveniences.
Enclosed are three questions for your 2021's calendar, planner or journal going forward:
Who do you deem worthy to give or deliver to you the truth? (i.e. Is it limited to those who share your education level or only those who have had comfortable lives?)
How often do you ask for the truth, if it means the answers may be different than yours? (i.e. Once a week, month or quarter?)
In terms of buy-in, do you want the truth and if so, why does it matter to you? Your 'why" needs to be clear enough so that when challenges come, you do not revert back to apathy, victim habits of escape avoiding responsibility or, destructive routines of damaging yourself and others.
Remedy, as well as rewards, are not just about money and assets when it comes to the softer side of legacy planning. Yes it is easier to measure progress with financial numbers and wouldn't it be great if we also counted the number of times we encouraged others weekly? Acknowledged others? Told the truth to others?
We all know the line about not needing to spend another day in the office when our final hour comes.
What values do you honor when you welcome truth into your mindset? Yes I know it's personal because it means you give up a little bit of control in exchange for the rite of passage at any age.
Most people do not want the truth because lies are like when children become mischievous. It can be thrilling to take the cookie, hide, snicker and never have anyone know about it for years.
Moreover, in the challenges around and practice of having "difficult conversations", people on the receiving end can respond on the offense when they feel trapped or without a good defense. And they last thing one may want to do is show remorse or own up if the lies serve a purpose of certainty, attention or some other benefit.
Perhaps the root cause is entitlement or success that came too easy? Or getting so comfortable, like the frog in the pot of warm water on the stove. When I heard about the number of luxury brands that had to accept declining revenues in the past few years, I wondered how many of their trusted advisors delivered hard truths.
No one is immune from needing to hear what is real, no one gets a free pass - perhaps because we are here on this planet ... to grow. More than making a Forbes list.
There's that line about how we are spiritual beings having a human experience. You do not have to come up with the list of questions you might ask related to inviting regular doses of truth into your world - you can ask those you trust, as well as those who you know do not care to impress you.
This very act of inviting more of the truth into your world can better you as an overall human being, in your happiness level, and it can be the best propellant to defining, developing and executing your personal legacy.