Radical Honesty

All right, I lied.

There’s a book called radical honesty. I told at least a couple friends about this idea that I really like. It’s both really simple and really complicated. Always be honest with yourself and others. As in, always. Always always. It sounds pretty extreme, maybe pushing some limits. Radical, even. It goes from the truth that you have to tell your boyfriend if you are cheating on him, whether it hurts him or not, to the truth that if you want something badly and don’t get it, you’re either a coward or you need to work harder or smarter to get it.

I could never complain about how hard or unfair it is to find a job, for two reasons. First, radical honesty means that it is always my fault if I can’t get the job. You’re right, it would be very hard to get this job by dropping off a resume. But I didn’t call, didn’t shake the managers hand, didn’t ask about the project and show enthusiasm for it if I liked it, I didn’t over qualify myself, I didn’t take manager out to lunch, make friends with the employees, provide free resources or consulting, or do anything that I could have done to get that job. Sure, someone else might get an interview because their resume is better, or maybe they were lucky, but if I did all of the above it would be my job, no questions asked, and if it wasn’t I should have done more. There’s two sides to that story: It’s my fault for screwing up, but no one, absolutely no one, can take from me a victory that I’ve earned–because it was my responsibility, my victory, not luck of the draw.

Second, I was the lead marketing writer for a business-to-business lead generating service out of high school with no experience making $16 an hour. My first job in the restaurant industry was as a server making $20 an hour after tips. I got at least $20,000 worth of free training in Europe among five incredibly more qualified individuals last summer. I started my own business and made 20x my original investment, in profit, in 3 months–while in University and working part-time at a restaurant. I moved to China with less than a month’s notice and I’ve been offered a dozen jobs ranging from teaching to large scale B2B retail sales to corporate web design.

These are my victories. They are results of things that I wanted and achieved because I took full responsibility of winning or losing. I could never complain about how hard it is to get a job because over-and-over again I’ve proven to myself that it’s always my fault. Find something that you want: whether it be making more money, getting better control over your thoughts and emotions, getting in incredible shape, or gaining complete control over your dating life, and take responsibility for it. It’s your fault if you fuck it up, but it’s your victory if you succeed.

I hesitate to use myself in examples because they are often either too exciting and walk all over what we’ve been led to believe is morally correct, or way too involved in things that 90% of you don’t care about (like the above). I presume most of you read for the morally incorrect stuff anyway, so what the heck.

We’re all really horny.

I don’t know why, and I didn’t make the rules, but there it is. I’m pretty sure that I think about sex less than most people, but it still comes up on a daily basis. This makes it an important part of human beings, because it’s something that we want. If we were honest with ourselves, we would all have a lot more sex. Don’t you think I should rewrite that book?

Radical Honesty: Be honest, get laid.

I’m not sure, at this point, how many girls I’ve met in clubs after starting with, “Hi, my name is Troy and I’m here to seduce you.” I’ve also used, “Hi, I wanted to meet you because you’re really hot.” I once had three girls fighting over me when I came in with, “Nice shoes…” I stopped the hottest girl in a huge club in Sweden on a landing overlooking the whole place, told her she was fucking gorgeous and had her leaning into me with her hands on my hips, chatting ear-to-ear. I’ve thrown girls over my shoulder on the way out of clubs, had a girl pull me in violently to make out with me after I wordlessly slammed her up against a pillar when she eye-fucked me as I was walking by, I once told a girl’s friend to turn around and then picked the girl up and carried her, giggling, behind a tree so we could make out in private for a couple seconds, and at least a couple times I’ve been forced to use that line from My Best Friend’s Girl: “…then walk away,” because I wasn’t going to pretend I was someone else in order to get into her pants. And maybe that’s why they don’t walk away.

I want to point out something, ahem, radical: in every one of those situations I was being more honest than the nice guy. Because there was a nice guy in every one of those stories. He was the unnamed dude in the corner drinking with his buddies, hoping to meet the girls I was meeting. Granted, not all of the girls were even remotely interesting or interested in me. There are also a whole slew of stories that start or end with me walking away or getting shot down. But I wanted something, was honest to myself about it, and was honest to the girl(s) about it.

Herein lies the caveat: I’ve dedicated a very significant amount of time to improving the most important product I sell: me. I don’t just mean upgrading my fashion, but that’s part of it. I mean, what I was honest about isn’t necessarily what you’re honest about. Whether I actually have sex or not, thinking about it or being teased with the idea of it is in itself pretty entertaining. I enjoy flirting with girls, and if it leads to sex with a great girl then so be it. But the central idea is that I want to have fun and I like to let other people have fun, whether that involves throwing them over my shoulder or having a deep conversation. “Leave people better than you found them.”

If you’re honest with people and they react incredibly negatively over and over again, you need to be honest with yourself and fix whatever is wrong with you. Because something is wrong. If you can’t get what you want when it comes to friends, work, love, business or money, but you’re honest with yourself about it and realize that anyone who can do anything put in the homework and wasn’t a born genius, you can get what you want or at least take one more step down the path to figuring out what you actually want. That’s the thing about honesty: it will hurt but it will make you better.

Oh, I never actually read the book. It’s a good idea though, isn’t it?

Enjoy irresponsibly.

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3 thoughts on “Radical Honesty”

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