Tring Philippe Blog

Pretends to understand life

Values: Be Brutally Honest

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Write down what you STAND FOR on this planet. Find it, breathe it, live it. If you were to die tomorrow you would know that this body, this life was not in vain as you stood for this purpose through all obstacles. You stood ALL IN on life.

This is part of my manifesto, values that I follow. Somewhere I can go to and refer in case I’m having trouble making decisions.

The first value is: Be Brutally Honest

  1. To me, I’ll be courageous enough to live a life true to myself, not the life others expect of me
  2. To others, I’ll strive for an open communication by listening, understanding only then responding with honesty
  3. In action, I’ll act my words and live my acts

To me, I’ll be courageous enough to live a life true to myself, not the life others expect of me

What does it mean to be honest, real or true? True, true to myself first of all. My desires, my goals and what I really want out of this life, my life.

How many time I have been delusional about a situation? Hoping for the best without taking the actions to change the output. Instead taking a passive stance, waiting to see what will happen. It’s so much easier to let thing happen. From the moment we are born until being a young adult, every things has been taken care of.

For most of us the first 20 years are pretty set from the beginning. Or what I mean is it doesn’t count on us being responsible for our lives but rather our parents or whoever is responsible for us. Life will eventually flow. But then we discover a lot of things we were protected from. Like Buddha who lived peacefully in his secular place and then discover sickness, old age and death.

In a much smaller way for us. That moment is generally the end of school, but school doesn’t teach us much about love, financial independence, confidence, social skills, but certainly a lot about how to be a job and fit to society. Find ONE job and keep there until retirement so we can finally take the time to do what we want.

So how does the brutally come from? Brutally because it takes a lot of guts to confront facts, it’s never easy. Especially since I am born super lucky in a rich country. I shouldn’t have anything to complain about, there’s no bomb dropping next to my house, I have so much water that I can pee in it, and enough food to pick and refuse some of it. But being brutally honest, is it a reason to not live this life to the fullest and accept a “safe” life? There will be no replay to this life. So I will make the most I can of it.

A free man is free to acknowledge his fears, without hiding them, or hiding from them. – The way of the superior man

Most of the time it’s social fear (and not biological one) that stop me from doing what I want. Acknowledge the fear, face it, confront it, live at his edge, then be brutal to fear, push it. Fear will never go away. I’ll always have to fight it back. It’s a life long war, an everyday battle. Like talking to a stranger, speaking in public, going on adventures. Basically getting in a position where I can fail will make me anxious. Even if I’ve done it before, it’s just less here or I simply know better how to deal with it.

Build YOUR dream even if you get sidetracked helping others build theirs. Never lose sight of what YOU want. NEVER give up.

I can’t blame people for me taking the wrong direction. When facing problem do not delay them and act upfront to find a solution instead of waiting for a sign from destiny. Be responsible, I can’t control everything that happen but I’m in full control of how I react.

To others, I’ll strive for an open communication by listening, understanding only then responding with honesty

The previous part was about being true to my inner me. But on the outer side authenticity apply aswell.

Tough things is: Be honest with someone, even when I know it may hurt. I mean not angry honest. I mean sincere, sensitive honest. In my view, I owe it to the person. Have a frank conversation about the other person’s shortcomings or mine and how it impact me, tell them how I feel and do it as early as possible.

The benefit is that I don’t have to think so much about what previous lie I did say. It become less of a burden overtime. It’s hard to be honest but overall the calm in my mind is much more rewarding. Not having to think about what I said before to X to be congruent with my past lie. Not having to make 3 hours of assumptions. After a few experiment I see people reacting much better to honesty than I hoped. People are though. The ones who react in a bad way are the one who feel insecure and can’t handle being wrong often. That also filter people I don’t want to hang out with.

I also know something is wrong if I have to lie about it. Everything I do, every choices I make, I want to be proud or at least have no fear of telling them. Maybe my choices will be the wrong decision but I don’t want to have to hide them. When I know my life ain’t got no secrets I’ll be more likely to make morally good decision

I can see a few cases where the full transparency guidelines don’t apply. Most obvious example is if someone tell me to keep a secret, I will.

In action, I’ll act my words and live my acts

Honesty also mean not saying I’ll do something and not doing it. Saying i’ll introduce someone to someone, I often found a pattern where I keep saying “Oh you have to read this”. Then I never lend the book. Everytime I’m conscious I’m doing that I popup evernote or calendar and add a note to remind me to do it. Do what you promise. Follow up with my words, that way i’ll be more aware of what I say. Another benefit is I won’t commit to things I’m not going to do. Or be brutally honest and tell people I don’t want to do it. But don’t leave people wondering what will happen next.

Another area where it applies is being late, nowadays nobody show up on time and that’s crazy ! Everytime someone is late I feel like he is saying my time is more precious than yours. I can make you wait for me. And the lost, what a lost ! It’s linear, imagine a group of 7 if one of them make the rest wait 10 minutes it’s 60 minutes lost. The more i’m on time the more people are going to be on time because they know i’ll be on time. But just in case always have a book ready when I wait

To me ultimately martial arts means honestly expressing yourself. – Bruce lee

What Bruce Lee wanted to say through this quote is that it’s easy to do fancy martial arts move but to tell the truth is much more harder. To me it mean to don’t make my life more shinier than it really is just to brag, be humble and not being the man who think he knows everything. Always be happy to be wrong and recognize it. I know how hard it is to step back from things that I have previously said. It’s considerate as a sign of psychological disorder to change your mind, “unstable”, “conflictual”. But it’s better being wrong and realizing it than being wrong and keeping your position just to maintain congruency with my past words or acts. Take my articles, I could go back and argue with a lot of them. So it makes me incongruent with my past unless I don’t consider it as my past but simply past. An older version of me which is outdated. Would I be mad for a program bugs that were fix long ago ? No. But I would be if they were unfix bugs

Live my acts, that’s taking full responsibility for previous acts. Fight for my words, but happily admit being wrong with no ego. Past will always be here. I harm people sometimes, I ain’t proud of stuff. But be brutal and confront myself. Live your past, carry it, there’s no escaping. Ultimately it’s my choice to make it more heavier than it is or not…

Final words

I know this value has to be the first when I read the 7 habits of highly effective people. The first word that did come to mind was authenticity. Even though I knew it was it, it still took me 3 months to write it and have the courage to post. I guess I’ve consciously delayed the writing of this value for so long for a reason. I am afraid of the consequences that this value will have to my life when I completely adopt it. I know i’m still not totally living by honesty. The power of engagement will help me since I made a public announcement about it. When I visualize what qualities I want people to remember me for… I hope they will see me as an honest dude who asked the right question for their growth.

Nowadays I’ll try my best to live this value Be Brutally Honest.


Picture is from the hitchhiking gathering near Valence in France, the little river accessible on a 30 seconds foot walk right behind a lovely bamboo forest sweet time.