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How To Have the FORCE

Recently by James Altucher: 9 Things I Learned From Woody Allen

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to really tell the truth. I think it’s very hard. On this blog, for the past 400 days, I’ve told the truth. And that’s probably the only time in my life. I would say every other part of my life I’ve mostly lied, either to myself or others. I’m really sorry if one of you are reading this. If you even know.

It doesn’t mean I’ve said everything I thought (so-called “radical honesty”where there is no filter between brain and mouth) and it doesn’t mean I’ve revealed everything possible although as one person once put it, “reading James Altucher’s blog is like watching an ongoing train wreck”. Believe me, it could be a lot more of a wreck.

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I’ve also taken down or changed posts when other people informed me they were hurt by them. A recent example is my Wikipedia post where I took out the specific emails and just summarized some of them. I don’t want to hurt anyone. And an older example is this post where it was pointed out to me I crossed a boundary.

But I’ve lied a lot. And, in doing so, I created a lot of temporary pleasures, 100% of which I lost. I started and sold companies based on lies. I’ve met women based on lies. I lied to my parents as a kid. I’ve lied to my kids to keep them in line. I’ve lied to keep out of trouble in various ways.

I’ve written before about the seven things that happen to honest people. The seven items were mostly negative items. For instance, various people start to hate you when you are honest. Some sort of dissonance forms in their mind about who you are and they can’t handle it. So they hate you.

But there’s many positive things that happen with honesty.

Honest with yourself – I’m an XYZ addict. You can replace “XYZ” with every single thing that has been used before the word “addict”. The worst is when the addictions combine. Even two addictions combining is enough to kill someone and I’ve probably combined 4 or 5 at the same time. Why am I not being more specific? As much of an unfolding train wreck that I am, some things are still hard for me to write.

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What’s the benefit of being honest with yourself? Recognizing my weaknesses, working on them, recognizing the liberating benefits of not having those weaknesses, using the experience of that liberation to help others – these are all benefits of being honest with yourself.

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How to be honest with yourself? This is hard. But a good start, surprisingly, is always being grateful for what you have. And add to that list every day.

A second start is for everything you do, always ask – why do I am doing this? Why do I need this? Did I go to India this week because I wanted to learn Yoga? Or did I go because I didn’t want to miss Claudia for a whole month? Or did I go because I was afraid I would be jealous with Claudia gone and if so, why? Who knows? But I need to ask so I’m not BS-ing myself on my reasons.

Honest with others

If people know that you are above and beyond honest with others, they will listen to you. They will know that your words are weighed out carefully.

What you say about the past, to make a point about the present, will bring you benefits in the future. Because people will believe and return your trust with affection. Affection going in your direction will have rewards.

The Force. But it’s more than that. When you are honest with others to a fault then your words have more than just the power of description.