This is my first post since the launch of Impact Actual, life-changing consultancy. I’m going to offer more frequent, more concise commentary from now on, because some very important concepts are bouncing around the inflatable house of my brain pan. This stuff needs to get out of my head and into yours. Impact Actual is made of this stuff.
Looks like a misspelling, doesn’t it?
The word But is a favorite tool for liars who often don’t even know they are liars. The word But, in 9 out of 10 cases, means “Everything I just said is bullshit.”
“I love your new shirt [bullshit], but…are you sure it’s the right color for you [you look like a giant grape]?”
“I really wanted to come to your fundraiser [bullshit], but…we had another obligation [sitting in our underwear and hoping to find something on Netflix].”
“I just adore little Johnny [bullshit], but…he can be a challenge in class [he makes me want to quit teaching and drive the bus].”
The word Because is fine as words go. Yet it is a close relative to the big bad But. Used properly, it explains complex ideas like “We know gravity exists because things fall down,” and “Your favorite pants won’t zip because you’re not eating and exercising like you already know you should.”
However, “Because” is also sometimes used like an enabling spouse for the drunk who can’t stagger out of bed to go to work some days. The well-intentioned partner will call the skeptical boss and say Fred Can’t Come In Today Because He’s Sick…Again. The word Because, similarly, is often used (just as transparently) to excuse habitual bad behavior.
“Man, I’m sorry to disrupt the meeting! We’re late because we got stuck behind an accident on [X] Street.”
Truth: “There was no real accident; I just didn’t plan well, or I wanted to finish my show. Also, I don’t respect you enough to make the effort. And I don’t respect myself enough to keep my promises.”
“Sorry this report isn’t up to snuff, boss. I couldn’t give it full attention and also make deadline because I had to help out with Tammy’s project [which actually took ten minutes, including trying to score points with Tammy].”
Truth: “I spent a lot of my online time researching plans for the dog house I want to try and build this weekend. Also, I don’t respect you enough to make the effort. And I don’t respect myself enough to keep my promises.”
Notice that other important principles are interlocked with these negative patterns. “Respect” is closely tied to our willingness to be dishonest with others. And respect for others is a direct reflection of our respect for ourselves. Remember that, the next time you’re bitching about someone and bad-mouthing him behind his back.
How do I know all these wise and profound things? Through living the worst of the examples I talk about. I know them through being them, and demonstrating to myself time and time again how easy it is to take the easy way…and how hard that always makes my life, afterward.
Be good and choose well,