For over 30 years, I have explored the real drivers of human behaviour.
Through years of gutter journalism, almost a decade of lifeline suicide counselling, 20 years of running behavioural insights sessions, in over 40 countries, with well over 10,000 participants on every consumer subject imaginable, I have come to the conclusion that 5 simple, but brutal, truths are holding us back from creating successful businesses and lives.
in 2020, we’ve become accomplished liars.
We seem quite happy to leave our societal elephants fair and square in the middle of our instantly gratifying lounge rooms, complete with our 24/7 access to all the information we don’t need, distracted by what we don’t have and never stopping to realise what we desperately need.
These elephants are the truths of who we really are, which we step around, as we try to adjust to the wishful thinking and outrage of the loud few, resolute on purifying the world of our ugly human traits.
Welcome to our new world of high entitlement and low resilience, where we are genuinely confused as to how to act, react and enact our basic primal instincts.This is a world where equality has become a dangerous over-simplification in the much needed and complex fight to stamp out discrimination and where the dying art of mental resilience is making way for an epidemic in mental illness.
At the centre of this crisis lies our inability to know ourselves.
We race through life, finding enemies, joining phantom tribes and accepting short term borrowed beliefs, only to find ourselves wondering what the hell we stand for anymore, as we leave behind our former gods.
The quest to ‘know thyself’ is a challenge far larger than all others as we lose grip of our collective moral compass and fall for anything bright, shiny and loud. We lack the leaders who are heroic enough to declare simple, pub-savvy right and wrongs. Instead we get well-rehearsed media twaddle at the mere thought of what we stand for as nations or peoples.
Worse still, in the absence of these heroes, it’s our media that steps up, seeking out wrongdoing and trying suspected villains in the court of public opinion.
Silently we scratch our heads in disbelief. We’re still animals, yet we’re confused by not being able to harness and celebrate our natural instincts for fear of being incorrect or worse still, socially inappropriate.
And as the leaders run for cover, avoiding the potholes of social ruin, we get vanilla. No more double chocolate or rum ’n’ raison or tutti frutti. We get vanilla. We teach easy, demand more for doing less and thrust out our hands for someone to save us.
But what we really need is some tough love. Not from others, but from ourselves. We must stop lying to ourselves. We must stop accepting what is plainly untrue and work out what we believe, not what the noise would have us think.
We must suspend our obsession with our self-image and our indignant, impatient right for instant gratification and consider a disciplined approach to self-reliance and a deep desire to find our own rightful paths.
I call this being your MOST and it’s the reward, way beyond mere survival, that takes us beyond the lies, taboos and bullshit. I hope you join me there.
Simon Hammond's BRUTAL TRUTHS. SURVIVING IN A WORLD OF LIES, TABOOS & BULLSHIT is available here or from all good bookstores.