Let me be provocative for a minute, if you will: I am not as smart as I thought I am. Studies prove that we tend to over-estimate ourselves in life, we discount the possibility of something negative happening in our lives. So while growing up I thought I under-estimate myself, turns out, its been the other way around all this while!
To feel safe and content, now I need to turn to the ‘if-the-world-was-a-village-with -100-people’ statistics, so that I can reassure myself of at least being privileged, given I seem to have grossly miscalculated my standing in the global rankings of intellect. You may find this absurd, or amusing (if its the latter, lets be friends) but being one’s own mirror requires one to say things as they see them, no matter how harsh or misguided they appear. (Apparently there is such a thing as being judged for judging yourself.) And let me be clear, this is not an exercise of self-depreciation, or self-pity! This is about being able to put into words exactly how I feel about myself, as if I were talking about another person.
There is this quote, I don’t who said it, but it goes something like, “Never lie to yourself, and its the easiest thing to do to lie to yourself.” And still we go on lying to ourselves: we tell ourselves the choices we made make sense, we really deserved the job we didn’t get because the recruiter was biased, and we’ll be definitely doing much better in the future than we are right now.
Well, if you haven’t realized it yet, let me be the one to tell you: the universe is as random as a coin toss. Every choice is half a chance (ever listened to the Sunscreen?), so what you are telling yourself maybe true, but it just might as well be a lie.
The trick is to navigate time and truth in a way that doesn’t destroy all possibilities of happiness. Do you know why people become monks? Because then neither time nor truth matters. Funnily enough, I think the same is true for if you go to prison. And probably every monk almost went to prison and every criminal came close to being a monk – that’s the true circle of life, not the one Lion King made you believe in.
P.S. Once when I thought about writing a book, I called it ‘a perfect circle’ and its a bestseller in my other life.