First and Foremost: Stop being dishonest with ourselves! 

“Now comes the harder part, Nick. I need total honesty from you, it wont work any other way. So tell me everything about your marriage, tell me the worst. Because if I know the worst, then I can plan for it. But if I’m surprised, we’re fuck#d. And if we’re fuck#d, you’re fuck#d.”

 ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn

It is indeed the hardest part to have to admit things – problems, weaknesses, threats, failures and defeat. It’s uncomfortable having to not only admit to other people (totally unnecessary if it is none of their business) but also having to admit to our ourselves. In the above situation before Nick can give as honest as possible to his Lawyer all the raw truth, he needs to be aware of the raw truth in the first place and acknowledge it. Choosing to be oblivious to our raw truth or being dishonest with ourselves is often the ‘easier and comfortable’ alternative – which mostly presents us a short term or immediate satisfaction yet breeding long term consequences.

Do you at times feel like you lie to yourself? Because I sure as hell do. I prefer to be more irresponsibly optimistic. I lie to myself that everything is alright and their is no need for concern. I hate the thought of wrecking my brains delving into my problems, I fear that I might become too stressed out and depressed. It’s also hard having to analyse things about myself and I am not good with another person doing it for me either. I am very laid back which could be attributed to me being a 24 year old Fijian living in the land of sand and sunshine where life  is idyllically laid back. I often find that it is easier to say “Oh I am fine,” or “Its no big deal,” or “Its not that serious at all, nothing that cant be fixed,” – without a care and a clue of how to fix it.

Reading the book ‘Gone Girl’ has taught me one thing and that is the importance of being honest with ourselves. We don’t need someone else to come and coerce the truth out of us or maybe to actually capitalize on our weak areas and use it against us. We need to take ownership of our ugly truths and use it to fix things about ourselves that we know needs fixing.

It’s totally a personal decision if you want to reword the truth, make it colourful and tasteful for other people but when it comes to telling yourself the truth – you say it as it is – in its ugliest, yuckiest true state. But it doesn’t have to be a demeaning activity where we drain out our self esteem, we should see it as a way of giving ourselves constructive criticism. Not only identifying the areas where we lack in but also thinking of solutions and creating a very strategic action plan for ourselves.

Like what Lawyer Tanner Bolt says to Nick Dunne in ‘Gone Girl’ – if we know the truth than we can plan for it. Being very honest with ourselves give us an opportunity to have a proper insight and perspective into our own flawed life. Having a good understanding of just what we are dealing with helps us to manoeuvre ourselves better around problems making sure that we have control on our life. We are also able to prepare ourselves for the worst and in countering risks. By taking full responsibility we can challenge ourselves to make some changes. We will posses a foresight that should help us to create a game plan – a game plan to play the game better.

So friends let’s stop being dishonest with ourselves. Stand up, be brave and accept your truth. No one can attain perfection but we can do little things to improve ourselves. Let’s be responsible and be honest with ourselves first and foremost. Philosopher Lao Tzu says that “Mastering yourself is power.” You got the power!! Claim your power!!

‘Elegance of the Hedgehog’ by Muriel Burbery

I finished reading ‘ The Elegance of The Hedgehog’ by Muriel Burbery this afternoon. It was a very dense yet beautiful book in its own special way. The story revolves around a high class Parisian Apartment Building; 7 Rue De Granelle, where all the rich Parisian families live. Well that’s where the 2 characters live and they observe and reflect on the world from there, the book actually documents the deep thoughts of the 2 narrator’s. The 1st narrator is the 54 year old Concierge at 7 Rue De Granelle – Renee, and the second narrator is 12 year old Paloma Jose who is contemplating suicide and is living out her last few days thinking and writing down profound thoughts about the ‘movement of the world’ in her journal.

They are both very intelligent individuals and are also both struggling, fighting some internal demons uniquely their own. They are both reclusive, they spend a lot of their time immersed in inteligent personal engagements like reading of watching culturally significant and thought provoking movies. Their tastes in literature, music, movies and other media is very refined and thus their minds compared to everybody around them is very refined and elevated. However due to their reclusive nature, nobody recognizes their elevated mind and also nobody would pay attention because they are busy with their own ‘monotonous’ lives.

Renee or Maddame Michele strugles with the very defined sense of class that exists. She is of a lower class, she accepts that she is very unattractive, she is poor, lonely and a widow. She works very hard to conceal her intelligence for fear of being judged and also coming out as suspicious by the rich residents of 7 Rue De Granelle. So throughout the book we see her accepting her fate and living through it and then some turn of events changes that for her. This is where ‘The Secret’ comes in, whatever thoughts you put out into the Universe, you end up receiving. 

Paloma Jose, the 12 year old strugles with her family. Her sister is very pretentious and irritating, she is highly dramatic with a serious case of OCD. Her father is a government minister and her mother an educated woman however complicated and depressed. She spends most of her time visiting the Psychiatrist and tending to her houseplants. She loaths them and thinks that all they do is very futile.

These 2 main narrators really had some deep thoughts and when I say deep I mean ‘ Can you keep up’ deep sort of thoughts. It’s basically them juggling and meditating on life. One event is dissected from different angles and a variety of emotions comes and goes as we do when we are deeply thinking of something. It’s basically like their journal and like how a journal is written; it’s a series of thoughts reckless thrown into paper in the natural exact order that it happens and we validate those thoughts by backing it up with words and ideas of other great thinkers, artists and leaders who’s point of view we respect and are influenced by. That’s what happened in this book and it was difficult to keep up with, at times frustrating – like I was thinking to myself, ‘ Oh just get out of your seats and run outside for awhile, it might do you some good.’

I learnt that if you feel like an island of your own  in terms of your interests areas, you should reach out and try to find others who have similar tastes as you. You can do that through Social Media. It’s always a good thing to find others who we can have very engaging and stimulating conversations with. I became more interested in reading Tolstoys – Anna Karenina after reading this book. I know how significant it is in the world of literature but I havent read it. But I have watched the movie and I loved it, I love the great underlying theme in it and I related to it. Renee talks about Levin in the book, how he was running his scythe in the wheat fields under the hot sun and his hand was strained and it ached and all that discomfort vanished after having repeated the task for awhile. For me that was significant, it highlighted that after discomfort is endured for quite awhile, we can find a little bit of peace and serenity. Or we can become as fluid and have that elegant essence of a river. Also this book renewed my love for Cats and Japan. Like I wanna learn about Japan, the culture, the places, the people, the art and the history. It brough my childhood Japan fascination back. I am also even planing on having myself a gold fish and a Bonsai tree like I always dreamed of having. 

This book shows that we should never judge people by their occupation or how they live. People can be more complicated then they seem to be. It also taugt ne that it is very important for us to hold our fort of intelligence and passion even when we are in the most unlikely of places that may seem like it’s not conducive for that sort of thinking, that passion or that interest to grow. It’s all in the mind, our life is majority of the time determined by our ‘state of mind’, so what’s very crucial is that we control, grow and preserve that state of mind. You are worth it, I am worth it, we are all worth it. 

Thanks for reading ☺