On honesty & continuous improvement

February 24, 2017

When people say – you have to do your best to you learn to accept yourself for who you really are. Or should they say, you must learn to be comfortable in your own skin.

What do they really mean?

The only reason why I feel the need to bring this subject up and discuss further on the deeper meaning of these phrases is simply because so many people have written to me to ask – what does it all really mean.

I guess what it means is really just this – if you are really honest about learning from your mistakes to make yourself or those who you work, play and live with wiser. At some point after trying to deflect blame, negotiating away what you could have said or done better. After the last shot has rented out and the battle is well and truly over. In your private moments. You have to take responsibility, look honestly at what was said and done and above all learn from your mistakes. Learning from your mistakes means you practice honesty – this is not easy. Not even for me. As for one to see oneself honestly and truthfully – simply means we all have to come to terms with reality. Reality at times may not be pretty. But if we are honest – then we will strive to come to terms with it and even keep practicing this Dao.

Without honesty there can be no real improvements. Only the god of illusions.


‘Never take yourself too seriously. As once you fall into that ego trap – it’s not so different from painting yourself into a miserable corner. You’re trapped!

Men. Especially those who come to power via the easy street tend to commit this mistake – they take themselves too seriously for their own good. They even go thru great efforts to broadcast to everyone they’re the best in the world and they can do no wrong. When something goes wrong. They sweep it underneath the carpet and just go right on as if it’s business as usual – soon they become so detached from what is real and false that they end up living in ivory towers and when that happens it can all only go down hill.

You know recently I told everyone that La Niña is going to be a no show. Even put my money squarely on my mouth and spent a lot of money preparing for another round of prolonged drought – and there I was one afternoon. Over lunch. In the company of very serious no nonsense planters. Then it came, first in cautious drips – someone mentioned, ‘it’s raining buckets…I thought. You said it would be another bone dry year! I clucked my tongue and quipped. Even dug plenty of holes around my land along with building dykes to retain water….some had begun sniggering by then and even throwing side long glances my way. That’s was when. I went on to press home the punch line – it’s probably a good idea to climb into one of those holes and take a nap. That was when everyone on the table laughed out loud.

Thereafter we all went about discussing the serious business of what to do this year to maximise yield along with how best to deal with falling prices of commodities.

I guess what I am trying to say is it doesn’t pay to take yourself too seriously. Doing so only makes one look ridiculous and stupid. Above all it impairs progress at some many levels and ultimately only serves to undermine one’s competence and authority.

Being able to laugh at oneself however – is a way of saying, hey I am not perfect. I can make mistakes just like anyone else. Above all it gives others around the permission to do the same without incurring the wrath of making the wrong call….it encourages people to stick their necks out and take calculated risk or well argued grounds.

It’s easy once you cultivate the habit of laughing at yourself – anyone can do it. All you have to do is relax. Let the muscles around your jawline just relax, sink right back into the chair, feel yourself giving in to a wave of humour and the next thing you know everyone is laughing at you…..some may even believe there and then…you’re so full of shit. Others will be thinking…he was so dead serious in the position he took….he even used the words, there is not but’s or maybe…this is it! Followed by more rounds of laughter.

Yes. You certainly look like a fool!

But once the laughter has died down and the serious men of this world begin the task of planning for the next year – at least everyone is convinced. They dealing with someone whose honest and above all genuine to make progress.

You should try it one day – laugh at yourself!’

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