Saturday, June 21, 2014

Dealing with Delusion, Deception and Distraction Part Deux

Earlier today I wrote about the patterns of deception we allow in our lives and the dangers it presents to ourselves and society.

Now I will tell you the cure for deception. It's not truth.. that's a second step. It's admission. "HI, I'M GENE and I've been deceived. (Hello Gene)". Until like an alcoholic a person admits deception, they cannot be healed. Hanging on to the deception is the least painful way of coming out of it. So like a bad drug they do.

We all know the common saying for coming to grip with the truth:

I'm living a lie.
Face up to reality.
Come clean.
Whistle blowing
Washing dirty laundry in public
Honesty is the best policy
Exposing the truth
Open government
Open book accounting
I can’t hide my head in the sand anymore.
Many a true word spoken in jest (i.e. a Freudian slip)
Opening up a can of worms
The truth shall set you free
Own up/Face up to the truth
Getting down to brass tacks
Bearing all
Brutal honesty/truth/facts
The Shield of truth.
Illuminating dark places
Shining the light of truth
The undeniable truth
The truth will out
You can’t hide from the truth
I can't kid myself any longer

It is interesting how many of these metaphors are about revealing something that was hidden (face up, expose, transparent, open, can't hide, bearing, illuminating, will out).

Yet greatness requires TRUTH at the most transparent level. Martin Luther King Jr was said by his wife to have been one who constantly fought for his own personal truth:

"He drained his closest friends for advice; he searched within himself for answers; he prayed intensely for guidance. He suspected himself of corruption continually, to ward it off. None of his detractors, and there were many, could be as ruthless in questioning his motives or his judgment as he was to himself." (p. 347, My Life with Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, 1969)

Telling ourselves a lie requires that we first intentionally blind ourselves to anything that might interrupt our self deception. We fail to notice and it's a visions circle.

The range of what we think and do
is limited by what we fail to notice.
And because we fail to notice
that we fail to notice
there is little we can do
to change
until we notice,
how failing to notice
shapes our thoughts and deeds.

Jim Collins of how good companies became great in Good to Great. One of his eight conclusions is the need to "confront the brutal facts":

"When you start with an honest and diligent effort to determine the truth of the situation, the right decisions often become self-evident. And even if all decisions do not become self-evident, one thing is certain: You absolutely cannot make a series of good decisions without first confronting the brutal facts. The good-to-great companies operated with this principle, and the comparison companies generally did not."

The key is to constantly search for delusion and eschew it.

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