Today I want to talk about one of the big things that can hold people back and that’s self-deception.
We deceive ourselves in a whole lot of different ways and for different reasons. I had a particular instance that I want to share with you that taught me about honesty and it’s my date with Scarlett.
See, how this started is: I’ve got a friend who likes to use an icebreaker question with people whenever we meet someone or whenever we go out in a group. And I’ve seen this happen several times. He’ll ask the question “If you could have dinner with anybody—alive or dead—who would it be?”
He’s asked me this question several times and every time I really feel like I don’t know how to answer that question. I’d think about it, but I never quite felt like I gave the real true answer.
And the last time this happened there were several people around. One friend completely refused to answer the question. She just said “Hey I’m not going to answer that question—I don’t even know how to answer it.”
Another friend said “Well you know my dad passed away and I would have dinner with my dad, you know, because I feel like there’s some conversations with him that I didn’t have that I’d like to have.” And that sounded like a really good answer, so I copied his answer. I mean my dad passed away a few years ago and so I said “Man, that sounds like a good answer.”
But later on as I reflected, I had to ask myself “Why did I answer the way I did?” And why did the other friend refuse to answer the question? Why is it such a big deal? I mean, it’s a pretty innocent enough question. If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead who would it be?
Well, what I realized is that people will answer questions—especially questions like that—not based on what they really want or really desire, but based on how they think another person will perceive them based on their answer.
So you’re really trying to engineer your image, or your imagination of the image that you think other people have of you—it’s really convoluted, it’s really complex and it’s really not a healthy exercise if you ask me.
So I really decided to think about this question, reflect on it, and answer it honestly.
And what I came up with was: first of all, if I could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, I would certainly not have dinner with anyone who is dead because that’s a recipe for a zombie apocalypse.
Let’s face it. I’ve seen enough movies. I know how this plays out. Okay? This ends up with everybody, you know, just a small group of people running around trying to collect weapons—particularly something that can chop people’s heads off…
That’s not what I want to do. Okay? So scratch anybody who’s passed on. You know, as much as I love my dad, that includes him. I will see him on the other side. I don’t want to see him here.
So that limits me to people who are alive. And if I wanted to—if I could have dinner with anybody who is alive or dead, most like it’s going to be a celebrity. Because people who aren’t famous, I probably could have dinner with them anyway. But people who are celebrities—they’re probably a little harder to get next to.
And then so now, out of all the celebrities—I don’t know who’s going to be a good dinner date or not. I mean, I may have some questions or things that I’d like to know from this person. But how do I know they are a good conversationalist? Especially if they’re an actor—all I know is their screen persona. I don’t know how they really are in real life. I might end up at a table with a person who’s just sitting across from me staring at their mobile phone and not paying any attention to me.
So with that being said, I said “okay, who could I have dinner with so that even if they don’t engage and they don’t talk to me and they’re staring at their phone, I can still have a good time?” And I came up with Scarlett Johansson.
I would love to have dinner with her and have a conversation with her about “The Avengers” movies and and being on screen with Robert Downey, Jr. and all the rest of those guys…
But you know, if she just SAT there and just was on her phone… hey, I’m still having dinner with Scarlett Johansson. I can turn around, snap a selfie, and make everybody on my Facebook page jealous because—like i said—I’m having dinner with Scarlett Johansson.
So that is what I learned about honesty…from my date with Scarlett.
Now this date never really happened—except in my brain—unless Scarlett’s people are watching this video and you want to set something up. I’m totally game for it.
So the whole point here is just… Take some time to really reflect on the way you answer questions because you could be answering questions out of a desire to paint some imagined image of yourself in other people’s brains rather than just being true to yourself.
And the further you get away from your true self, the further you get away from unlocking the potential of the BEAST that’s inside you. Once you realize that you are a BEAST, you can just be free to be who you are and that’s a way more authentic and a far easier way to live your life.