Many years ago, during my tenure as a manager in the realm of recruitment, I vividly recalled engaging in a discourse with my supervisor regarding our respective endeavours in running.
I was still deeply engrossed in pursuing this physical activity at that time.
Embarking upon distances of 10, 12, and even 15 kilometres had become ordinary.
However, a revelation emerged upon scrutinizing the statistical data recorded within our Runkeeper applications: my supervisor was performing exceptionally well.
Puzzled by this disparity, given his larger physique compared to mine, I questioned how he could maintain a swifter pace.
He responded, “Just run every day, and all will fall into place.”
Subsequently, the truth behind his achievements became apparent a few days later.
Each time he ceased running, he would pause his tracking application, meticulously accounting for every interval of walking.
Conversely, in my relentless pursuit of progress, I allowed the application to continue without interruption.
Consequently, my overall running pace paled in comparison to his.
This reminiscence resurfaced as I recently listened to a podcast wherein the topic of calorie counting was discussed.
In the narrative shared, a woman employed an application to monitor her caloric intake meticulously.
However, despite being the sole user of this application, she habitually deceived herself.
For instance, she would record a plate of salad when it was a serving of fried chicken.
This recollection evokes an apt quotation by Derek Landy, wherein he asserts that the falsehoods we direct towards ourselves far outweigh those we perpetuate towards others.
The workplace serves as a breeding ground for such self-deception.
How frequently have we found ourselves fabricating success tales, professing that all is well within our professional realms, and convincing ourselves that the coming day will yield improvements?
I distinctly recall a moment when the gravity of this inclination struck me head-on.
I had become entranced by a path that disregarded rationality, succumbing to the allure of bureaucratic entanglements and red tape.
I was audaciously deceiving myself, assuring my conscience that everything was indeed satisfactory.
However, fortuitously, I intercepted this self-deception, recognizing that such behaviour was incongruent with my true essence.
It was illogical for me to persist along such a trajectory.
This realisation became a significant impetus for my departure from the company.
It is conceivable, I suppose, to perpetually deceive oneself—as S.E. Hinton aptly observes—yet one must refrain from believing these falsehoods.
Balancing between truth and deception becomes increasingly arduous when lies persistently assail us.
The heart of the matter lies in the imperative to abstain from self-deception, mainly when no necessity exists, for deep within, the authentic self requires no such deceit.
Matshona Diliwayo eloquently encapsulates this notion, asserting that should one don a mask for an extended duration, a time will inevitably arrive when removing it necessitates the forfeiture of their very identity.
Therefore, should you, dear reader, identify a recurrent pattern of self-deception in your life, may this anecdote, presented within the confines of this essay, compel you to reconsider the need to perpetuate such falsehoods?