What is the relationship between honesty and excellence? As I reflect on the question, it seems to me that the periodic surges in performance capacity that are characteristic of the long term pursuit of excellence are preceded by a series of painful experiences. These experiences often yield a bitter-sweet revelation – a kind of “forced” realization.
I see now, for the first time, how these experiences motivate a new depth of honesty. And I wonder if a vigorous pursuit of self-honesty, now, could enable me to achieve a dramatic surge – It might be possible with this level of intense honesty to forgo many of the painful experiences so often necessary to performance gains.
It comes down to a choice between internal pain and external pain. If I can bear the extreme internal pain of self-honesty, I might be able to avoid some of the (nearly) unbearable external pain of life. The former choice seems best, but it requires the suffering NOW, while the latter choice defers the (greater) suffering till later.
I am in danger of choosing momentary relief.