Truth: The Only Solid Foundation For Your Ideal Future
5 min read

Truth: The Only Solid Foundation For Your Ideal Future

Creating the life you want starts with being truthful.

To yourself and to others.

It means to make a commitment to truth. To search for it, to be willing to accept it, and to create the life you want in accordance with it.

Here's why:

The Alternative is to Create a Life Based on Lies

Have you ever resisted something that you knew to be true but simply didn't want to accept?

I have. Countless times.

But, I've found that the moment I avoid building my life on truth, I start to build it on lies, half-truths, and deception instead. A life built on such a foundation might work for a while, but eventually, reality will remind you that you've built on lies and life will start to crumble around you.

While avoiding the truth gives momentary relief, it creates a life based on lies that will eventually crumble.

Truth is the Cure for Your Problems

The truth often hurts.

It's painful to admit your failures, your responsibility for things that turned out badly, and your compliance in creating your most painful regrets.

It's natural to not want to face this shame, but as they say, the only way out is through.

If you want to stop repeating your failures, remedy your mistakes, and prevent future regrets, you have to learn the truth behind them. Only then, you can reliably and successfully walk a different path in the future and create the life you want.

Lies are Poison

The alternative to truth is lies. But lies are poison.

If you tell lies long enough you'll believe that they are the truth. That's partly because humans are biased to mistake anything they hear often enough for truth. It's also because you'll habitually, reflexively, and strongly avoid and dismiss anything that might expose the lies you're telling yourself. That's why you get angry at people who point out the obvious truth that you've been denying your whole life.

The longer you avoid, dismiss, or discredit the truth, the more poisonous your lies become.

If you keep drinking your own poison long enough, parts of you can literally die.

For example, the parts of you that orient you in your life can become so corrupted from all your lying, that you're unable to tell truth from lies anymore.

Then you're lost and you might have drifted so far into the land of the liar, that you might never find your way back home.

With the downsides of lying, and the upsides of committing to a life of truth clear only one question remains:

How can you make truth the foundational principle upon which you can create the life you want?

For that, you can start with these three things:

Don't Lie

Creating a foundation of truth to create your future on starts with a commitment.

A commitment to truth. You need to commit to telling the truth because no one can force you to do it. If you want, you can lie all the time. Of course, your lies might catch up to you over time, as they usually do, and the burden you put on your conscience might lead you to suffer until the end of your life. But, again, no one can force you to stop lying.

This means that you have to decide, in the most committed way possible, to never lie again.

This decision is a leap of faith.

You have no idea how your life will turn out if you stop lying. In fact, not lying is a real challenge. It means to not sugarcoat the truth to someone else. It means confronting every little lie you told yourself and taking a look at the cold harsh truth you've been avoiding. It means to say something when you'd rather say nothing and so many things more.

If you take that leap of faith habitual avoidance is over. Lying is over. But, building a foundation you can build your life, a healthy relationship, and a good family on ... that can finally begin.

Commit to not lying, and never lie again.

Tell the Truth When It's Good

You might think that not lying is the same as telling the truth. But it's not.

Not lying can look like saying nothing, instead of lying. It can look like telling something true that's not a lie but also not the whole truth. It can look like telling someone you "don't want to talk about it", instead of revealing what you really think.

Not lying is easier than telling the truth.


First, are you sure that what you think is true, is actually the truth? Often, what we are most sure about isn't actually the whole truth. So, it's good to tread carefully.

Second, when some people commit to telling the truth, they go around and just tell everyone the most unpleasant, harsh, and hurtful "truth" in the most uncaring way possible. When confronted with their unkind behavior, they say "I'm just telling the truth."

But what good is truth, when all it does is create resentment, hostility, and an unwillingness to change minds? Not much.

There's an art to telling the truth in a manner that avoids unintended or unnecessary hurt or pain but is still true. This is why committing to not lying is easier than telling the truth.

So, if you tell the truth be mindful to evaluate if it's good to do so. For yourself, and for others. If it's not, not lying might be the better option.

Have Strong Beliefs Loosely Held & Don't Identify With a Tribe

Naval once said that individuals search for truth, while groups search for consensus.

As far as I can tell, this is necessarily true.

If groups would search for truth instead of consensus it would threaten their harmony and cohesion so much that they would eventually break down.

Thus, if you search for truth, you might want to avoid strongly identifying with your beliefs, identities, and tribes you've adopted and became part of up until now.

The best advice I've read on how to do this comes from Paul Graham:

Have strong beliefs loosely held.

This means that you still can have strong beliefs about the things that you believe to be true. But you don't desperately cling to them when you get evidence contrary to them. Instead, you are always ready to let go of your beliefs (and tribal identifications) when they might be untrue.

This sets you up for following the truth wherever it may lead. Even if it seems contrary to your beliefs, the beliefs of your tribes, or the axioms of your identity.


To wrap up:

Creating the life you want first and foremost requires you to pursue and welcome truth.

No matter how much it hurts, how much work it is, or how different it is from what you want to hear.

This is the case because if you aren't building a life predicated on truth, you're building a life predicated on lies. And that life will fall apart very quickly when its time has come.


Stop lying.
Tell the truth when it's good.
Hold your strong beliefs loosely.
Don't identify with a tribe.

This is not everything that you need to know or do to create the life you want.
But, trying to create the life you want without these things is like trying to build the house of your dreams on a rotten foundation. Your lies, half-truths, and deceit will make sure it won't stand.

Stop lying. Embrace truth. Live truthfully.

It's the only way to build a rock-solid foundation on which you can create your ideal future.

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