Lying To Ourselves Is The Worst Lie Of All

by Ron Haynes

You are the only person who really values your time. Think about it. How many times have you been a position where you needed or wanted to accomplish something (eat lunch, attend a school function, visit a relative, take a vacation), but someone else (co-worker, boss, spouse, child, customer) demanded that you bend to their priorities? You ARE the only person who values your time.

HourglassWe need to insure we use our time wisely. Time is the “stuff” that life is made of, making the most of it should be our top priority. To do so, we need to ask ourselves some hard questions and demand truthful answers.

I’m guilty of deluding myself, too. I convince myself that I’m doing something valuable – and I AM – but I trick myself by not doing what I should be doing. It’s a game we all play when we justify putting off an important project by doing something else worthwhile or noble instead. Let’s stop playing games. Let’s start doing what we know we should be doing and end the delusional thinking.

Ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly to yourself.

  1. Do I have the courage to take full responsibility for everything I think, feel, and do, while avoiding the blame game?
  2. How much more would I accomplish if I woke up one hour earlier every day? What about 90 minutes? It might mean going to bed earlier and not falling asleep with the “idiot box” blaring about something that has ZERO effect on your life.
  3. How is watching television advancing me towards success? Is it really all that relaxing? Do I really need all this “relaxation?”
  4. How did I add value today to my personal inventory of wisdom, skills, experience, or internal assets? Did I subtract value from myself today by taking the easy way out?
  5. How can I use tiny pockets of time to improve my progress and produce the desired results? Can I pick up my pace? There’s never enough time to do everything, but there’s always enough time to do the important things.
  6. Am I deluding myself into thinking that I’m accomplishing something when I’m really just doing what is comfortable and convenient at the time?
  7. How much more could I produce if I put some positive, proactive energy into prioritizing, organizing, and streamlining the daily activities that currently diffuse my focus?
  8. How quickly do I recognize I’m in a rut? How quickly do I get out? How can I strengthen my ability to climb out of a rut?
  9. What does my ideal calendar look like in five years?
  10. Is what I’m doing right now consistent with my #1 goal? What is my #1 goal?
  11. Is what I’m doing right now the best use of my time? How is it the best use of my time right now?
  12. What are my top three activities make me feel as though I’ve been productive?
  13. What am I doing that makes no sense at all?
  14. What am I NOT doing that makes no sense at all?
  15. What behaviors are preventing me from making progress toward becoming my very best?
  16. What one worthless activity consumes my time? How can I avoid it in the future?
  17. What did I do today that I should do less of tomorrow?
  18. What did I do today that I should do more of tomorrow?
  19. How can I become less affected psychologically and emotionally by the unimportant events that surround me?
  20. What three highly valuable activities did I accomplish today?

Inevitably, there will be someone who says they don’t want to be productive all the time and that’s okay! For the record, down time IS valuable. We recharge our cell phone battery as a proactive exercise and recharging your “personal batteries” is proactive as well. But don’t delude yourself into thinking that you’re recharging when you’re not.

Remember, no one will value your time more than you. Don’t waste it on things that have no consequence. Time flies. Make the most of what you have.

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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Positively Present

These are great questions. I’m going to have to take some time to think about them in more detail. I love the title of the post because it is so undeniably true. The worst lie we can tell is a lie to ourselves.


Procrastination is a wicked and sneaky enemy! It is amazing how far we’ll go to put off doing the things we would benefit the most from. I love the list of questions! I especially like #5, #6, #19 and #20! I’m always surprised how much I get done with little pockets of time when I use them wisely.


Powerful questions. I have some thinking to do.


Another great post. Yes for number 16 – spider solitare is the enemy of my productive existence! The other important factor related to how we use our time is energy. Often I have oodles of time but no energy. Using your time wisely, is related to using your energy wisely. I guess that’s where the downtime comes in.

Andy Wood

Guilty! Ouch! Stop it.

No, really.

You had me with the first sentence.

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