February 15, 2021 Jo

Vital Lies, Self Deception and Wanting to be Wrong

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. There were two books that particularly stuck with me and I want to share some of my thoughts with you. The first book I’d like to talk about is Vital Lies, Simple Truths by Daniel Goleman. It’s a bit of an older book; an “oldie but goodie”. In this book, the author talks about how we must distort our most intimate relationships and our day-to-day lives by burying painful insights and memories.

The other one is Think Again by Adam Grant, a brilliant little book about how we humans tend to prefer opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard.

I’ve really stewed on, and marinated on and reflected on these books to see how I can dig deeper for myself on the subject matter. And they really examine our self-deception and what Goldman calls “vital lies”, for our survival. We basically have to lie to ourselves to keep our identity and not go crazy.

Lying to ourselves is as vital as challenging our thinking

We have to tell ourselves little things that make us feel better. And this is all unbeknownst to ourselves. Anytime we challenge our own belief system, it gets confronting for the ego. It’s really scary actually because you feel like you lose your footing a little bit. And in ¨Think Again¨, Adam Grant’s book, he asks if we’re willing to question and go for being wrong – to look for how we’re wrong. To get excited when we’re wrong because every time we were wrong about something or had an assumption that got challenged or a belief that got blown up, we learn something. Every time we affirm our beliefs, every time we affirm what we already know, we didn’t learn anything new. Yet a lot of people will die defending what they believe in and I’m not talking about being on a really excellent beautiful mission in life.

I’m talking about the lies we tell ourselves to keep our identity intact. If we can train ourselves and really do the thinking about how exciting it can be to be wrong and get our beliefs challenged then we’ll just learn so much more so much quicker.  I also think it fosters this sense of humility and curiosity. It also fosters our ¨why¨ that we can really lose as we go along in life and as we get older and we think we know things and have habits and quirks and ways we do things that in some ways, we’re very unwilling to change – so I’ll post those two books for you and let me know your thoughts!

Vital Lies, Simple Truths

Think Again