honesty

Love the one you’re with?

When I was a freshman in college I ended up spending a lot of days (and nights) in one of the girls’ dormitory buildings. My girlfriend shared a two-bedroom suite in a two-story building with another girl, who I think was at least a year or two older than I was.

There are only a few things I remember about the other girl. The first thing is that she was an extrovert and liked to have a good time. A second thing I remember was the time one of her relatives was going to come for a visit (her grandmother), I think, and she was vacuuming the apartment while smoking a joint to help her relax.

The third thing I remember is that she had a boyfriend at home, about 500 miles away, but after a while she also started seeing another guy at school. One day — I don’t remember the exact circumstances — I was standing in the doorway to her bedroom and she was sitting up in her bed, with her covers pulled up. I think her “school boyfriend” had just left the apartment, and I was either walking in or walking out at that time. I said hello to her, intending to keep moving on, but she said something I can’t recall that made me stop there in the doorway.

We usually only talked about “fun” things, never schoolwork or anything like that, but this time she seemed very serious, something was clearly on her mind. After a while she said, “Please don’t think less of me because of this (her relationship with this other guy). I ... I just don’t like to be alone.”

On other occasions she would joke about the song, Love the One You’re With, but on this rare occasion we had an honest moment.

Tell the truth and worry less about the consequences

A quote from this article by Guy Kawasaki about Steve Jobs:

This experience taught me that you should tell the truth and worry less about the consequences for three reasons:

1) Telling the truth is a test of your character and intelligence. You need strength to tell the truth and intelligence to recognize what is true.

2) People yearn for the truth—that is, telling people that their product is good just to be positive doesn’t help them improve it.

3) There’s only one truth, so it’s easier to be consistent if you’re honest. If you are dishonest, you have to keep track of what you said.

Struggling to say things pleasant or unpleasant (or not)

Many people seem to struggle to say things that are either pleasant or unpleasant. I can’t speak for anyone else, but having gone through the process of not knowing if I was going to live through many days last year I find it easier to say pretty much anything now. It’s like you know your time is limited, and beyond that, you truly have nothing to lose. If I had died one of those times instead of just getting sick and passing out I wouldn’t be here now, so it’s like I got some free tickets to have fun at the circus for a little while longer.

(I suppose that sometimes when you’re dealing with the opposite sex you have to be a little careful. Today I told a woman that I liked her hair (it was tinted red-ish), but then when I got “that look” I clarified it by adding that I didn’t say that because I wanted her to come over tonight to bake some cookies, I just liked what she had done with her hair.)

The first rule of consulting

This article is now part of my new eBook, which is only $2.99 on Amazon.com:

You want me to do what? A Survival Guide for New Consultants

I hope you enjoy my book, and more than that, I hope it helps you have a very profitable and rewarding career.