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You want Long-Term Success - then Discover How and Why

The Truth will Set You Free

It was my first and only bull-fight. We were on holiday in the Iberian peninsula and, being curious, had gone to see what it was like. The lineup to get in had been long, it was a cloudless day and along with the majority of spectators we were baking in the relentless afternoon sun.

In the first few fights, the bull came charging into the arena, and frantically chased the picadores on horses and the matador around the ring. Waving his red cape, he adroitly avoided the bull, and the toreros tormented it by sticking sharp barbs into its shoulders and flanks. The fight was over when the bull was exhausted and gave up.

But then one bull simply strolled into the ring, casually looked around as though it owned the place, and lay down. It refused to show any animosity or to allow the matador's red cape to provoke it. The audience booed loudly and, without a bull-fight taking place, the bull was eventually coaxed out of the ring.

1. The Meaning of the Story

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The man sitting next to us kindly explained the situation, it turns out that bulls are intelligent, they know how to think. This bull had been through a bullfight before, reflected on its actions, learned from the situation and decided not to do what didn't work last time. Apparently you can only put a bull into a bullfight once, and the organizers had tried to run it a second time. Hence the displeasure of the crowd.

The bull knew the value of truth and reflection. It didn't pretend that what had happened didn't happen. Nor did it ignore the truth. It reflected on what it had done in the same situation last time, realized that chasing the red cape hadn't worked and decided to do things differently.

There's a meaning to this story:

"Know the truth and the truth will set you free!"

Let the truth guide your behavior. Rather than ignoring it, focus on what it means and how it can help you improve. Think for yourself, rather than allowing someone else to think for you. Don't just adopt someone else's opinion without questioning it.

2. Borrowed Thought is Stale, Second-Hand

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If you accept someone else's thinking on any issue, you're using his conclusions. But since his meaning is not based on your circumstances, borrowed thinking has little power. You have not integrated it with your own life experiences, so it remains free floating, like a building built on sand without a solid foundation.

Many people believe that thinking simply involves listening to what someone says. If they agree with you, you say "you're right." If they say something you disagree with, you say "you're wrong."

But since this doesn't involve any real thought, how can it be authentic thinking? You already have an opinion and you're simply seeing whether or not the other person agrees with you. Sometimes you listen to several opinions and then you just select who to believe. In both cases, there's very little effort involved. Yet as prolific American inventor
Thomas Edison famously said:

"Genius is one per cent inspiration, ninety-nine per cent perspiration."

As the proverb engagingly says, it's your hard work and the tough time you endure while thinking hard in April which bring you worthwhile results in May:

April showers bring forth May flowers

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Truth - reality - is all that there is. Everything real is what it is, and anything else is pretense; half-truths as well as direct lies spun to deceive others do not exist. The meaning of the truth will set you free is that only reality and what's factual actually exist. Lies, falsehood, cheating, and deception are all not real.

Since, presumably, you wish to improve your situation and move on from where you are, how can deception truly help in the long-term? To the extent that you choose rely on what is not true, you deceive yourself. But there's more power in truth than deceit, only decisions based on truth give you the freedom and the direction to get to where you really want to be.

Why do so many destroy their integrity with deception and lies? It's simple, they're gullible. Their self-sabotage mechanism tells them that Nazi mass-murderer Adolf Hitler's strategy - the end justifies the means - along with power, saving face, dishonest prosperity gained at other people's expense, and position in society are all more important than the old-fashioned virtues of honor and principle.

But they know the truth in their hearts, no matter how much they pretend. Since the bad and the good conflict internally, choosing honesty and integrity will eliminate the resulting stress. How can you feel good about yourself when your internal stress and conflict is tearing you apart?

4. It's just like getting Physically Fit

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Physically, you put in your own effort to get fit. Mental fitness is exactly the same and just as much hard work. You need to think for yourself to improve your inner power, reduce mental flabbiness, and become intellectually sharp. Just like physical exercise, you can't delegate your mental exercise!

Just seeing whether you agree or not checks your current take on the matter, it's not thinking! You need to explore the issue in these specific circumstances, and come to your own conclusions. But if you think you know already, how can things ever improve? Rather than the stale cheapness of regurgitated opinions, creative thinking results in an attractive newness like morning dewdrops and the stars at night.

The way forward is to realize that knowledge, book learning, is not your truth. Even if it is true, without your energy it's not your truth, you've simply borrowed someone else's. Although you may arrogantly think you know, you
lack wisdom because you've invested no energy and have no experience.

5. The Truth will Set You Free Meaning

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Thinking for yourself needs you to overcome your self-sabotage mechanism which tells you it's easier to delegate your thinking and adopt the opinions of others. Although this is easier today, will it change your life? How can things improve in the long-term without improving the way you approach life?

When you do not tell the truth, then you deceive. Either you deceive yourself - or someone else. But, long-term, how can deception help? Whether it's deception about where you are now, deception about where you want to get to, or deception about how to get there - it's still deceiving.

So discover the meaning of truth,
learn to overcome your self sabotage, then the truth can work its magic - and set you free.

Food for Thought

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"Although the human mind likes to believe that it is 'of course' dedicated to truth, in reality, what it really seeks is confirmation of what it already believes.

"The (self-sabotage mechanism) is innately prideful and does not welcome the revelation that much of its beliefs are merely perceptual illusions."

Dr. David Hawkins, M.D. Ph.D. psychiatrist, author of “Truth vs Falsehood”

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