Living Transparently

(First, a very quick apology for not writing recently. Todd and I are working hard on Life Nomadic and there will soon be an overabundance of stuff to read. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can check out our first video here. Watch it in HD if possible.)

Moving on.

As you surely know, I live a very transparent life. I don’t lie about anything, try to hide anything from anyone, and take it one step further and make it all as public as possible. The only exception is when other people ask me not to repeat things they tell me. You can’t imagine how many posts that’s quashed.

I know people who are at the other end of the spectrum. They have secrets, sometimes secret lives, and are constantly taking inventory of who knows what and enlist the help of those around them to control the information flow.

Some of these people have more credible reasons for doing this than others.

When I’m around them, I find it unbelievably draining and a bit stressful. I can only imagine how it affects them.

This is by no means the only category of people who live secretive lives, but a lot of pick up artists do this. Their families don’t know that they’re pick up artists, and often their girlfriends don’t even know. Yikes.

Here’s why I live a transparent life, and why you might consider doing so if you don’t already:

You make much better choices

When you know that you’re going to tell your friends, family, girlfriend, and possibly the general public about everything you do, you’re a lot more likely to choose the morally correct option. When you give yourself the choice of keeping it a secret, you may not do the right thing.

My guiding principle is that you should be proud of everything you do. If you’re about to do something you’re not going to be proud of, pick another option. People hide things they aren’t proud of. Take away that option and you’ll find that you’ll only do things you’re proud of.

That doesn’t mean that you’ll make everyone happy. Far from it. But it does mean that you’ll do things that you feel right about and can explain to others.

It’s a whole lot easier in the end

Sometimes you might be tempted to take the easy road and lie to someone or withhold information. This is a poor investment. That one confrontation will be easier, but it will only bring you stress in the future. Will they find out? Will you accidentally slip?

If you only tell the truth, even when it’s hard, you never have to worry about this. Anyone can know anything about you, and your world won’t come crashing down.

People know you for who you are

When you put on a front and try to hide parts of yourself or your life, people don’t get a chance to really know you.

I want people to judge me with as much information as possible. If they know about me and don’t like me, I don’t care. If they know about me and do like me, I assume it’s for the right reasons. I make no effort to make myself seem any “better” than I am.

If you try to act like someone you’re not, you’ll never really trust that people like you for the right reasons.

Live transparently and you might be surprised how eagerly people accept you, warts and all.

It Eliminates Incongruity

I’m sure we all know someone who is desperately trying to be someone he’s not, and it makes him almost painful to be around. There are varying degrees to that, and they’re all caused by trying to project an inaccurate or incomplete image of yourself.

Act with full honesty and transparency and you will, by definition, be totally congruent.

The Downsides

Nothing’s perfect. My mother has read way more about me than she cared to. A girlfriend’s parents might read something that makes them uncomfortable. Since most people hide parts of themselves, there can be a “if he shares all THIS, what else is there?” worry.

But these are minor issues, and in my experience, they often bring up conversations that probably should have happened anyway.

It’s easy to get caught up in the, “but what will ____ think?”. First of all, it doesn’t really matter. If you’re proud of what you do, then other people’s opinions don’t matter. When you’re unsure, you defer to other people, trying to get approval to validate what you did. That’s a nasty habit.

Plus, you might be surprised. Most people are real people and can handle a lot more than you think.

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