What’s Your Secret?

Where Are They Hiding The Truth?
I’m not sure how I became like this.
And I’m not alone.

Like you, I don’t have all the answers.
I’m so full of questions.

And when I’m honest with myself, my questions burst forth, and haunt me.
And one question comes back, again and again, in many forms.

“What’s being hidden from me?”
“What’s really going on?”

We each carry our own secrets. There are secrets that we hide from others, or even from ourselves.

But there are much larger secrets.

Do you ever feel, in your quiet moments, that our picture of the world, our understanding of it, and maybe even the way that we feel about it, is distorted, even two-dimensional? It’s as though we’ve been hypnotized to believe in, and accept a flat, colorless view of a richer, deeper reality.

We know that something is missing, but we don’t know what that is.

And sometimes, even our questions are missing.
It seems as though we’ve all agreed to stop asking about the aspects of living that don’t make sense.

I’m not claiming that there’s some age-old conspiracy to keep us in the dark, and leave the world in the control of the few who know the truth.

But the truth is often uncomfortable, and we’re frustrated by the difficult challenges that life presents us, challenges that we often have no idea how to face.

How many of us let our hearts focus on the daily suffering and death in places like Darfur?

Do we let ourselves really think about the emotional and physical suffering that happens all around us due to crime, violence, or prejudice?

The media, far too often, use that suffering for its shock value, for a sort of perverse entertainment which drives us to read, listen to, or view the story, and somehow support that publication, channel, or website.

It’s rare to be presented with a story of suffering that asks us to think about and explore the many complex sides of an issue. It’s even more rare to be prompted to take thoughtful action, instead of being encouraged to find someone to criticize and blame, and be foolishly satisfied with the criticism alone.

It’s perfectly natural to hide from suffering when we feel helpless to do anything about the problems that give rise to that suffering.

Confirming All Your Suspicions

Whenever some nasty secret is revealed about politicians, or the rich and famous, we all say “Ah. I know that her life couldn’t be as perfect as it seemed.”

In Why Do You Hate Selling, we introduced Blair Warren’s one sentence persuasion:

People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies.

There are five principles expressed in that sentence.
In other posts we’ve discussed the first 3 principles in detail.

Here we’re talking about confirming people’s suspicions.

We’re filled with questions, whether we acknowledge them consciously, or not.
We know that we’re not getting the whole truth from others.
Hey, we know that we have our own secrets that we hide from others, and sometimes even from ourselves.

So, we’re drawn to secrets like an irresistably sweet dessert.
And when someone offers us secrets which will solve our problems, relieve our own personal pain, and go after our dreams, we can’t help but listen.

We want to hear the secrets that others know and use to acquire wealth, love, and success — with the spoken or unspoken promise that these secrets will do the same for us.

Knowledge, Action, and Discovery
Knowledge alone is powerful.
Sometimes, a few key ideas are enough to start us along the path of health, achievement, success, or love.

But all of the secrets in the world can only help us get started.

We live in an instant gratification culture, and we all suffer from that mindset, to some degree.
We’re waiting for secrets that will get us what we want without doing anything.
We expect results to appear without us first facing ourselves, and the everyday challenges that the world drops on us.

We want secrets and solutions that are like winning the lottery, perfection without effort.
Real challenges, and everyday life, require solutions that don’t happen in a moment. These solutions demand sustained effort.

You can buy products or courses that promise you the world’s hidden secrets.
Many of them offer us useful, even potentially life-changing information.

I’ve bought more than a few, myself.

But these secrets are nearly useless to us, without the actions we take to bring ideas to life, and face and transform our challenging world.

Someone who holds the world’s secrets, but finds endless reasons why it’s not yet time to take action, will accomplish little.

Someone who is determined and experienced at taking action, will make magic out of simple ideas, and go on to discover her own secrets.

1 comment to What’s Your Secret?

  • Hi Joel, totally agree with your last point that even if you know the secrets to success, nothing will change if we do not take action on it.
    I think knowing the “How”(ie. the method) is definitely not enough to succeed in life. We must give ourselves enough reasons ie. the “Why”s in order to get out of our comfort zone and do what really matters to make ourselves successful.

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