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“Self-Deception Remains the Most Difficult Deception.”

Posted Dec 08 2013 9:19am

didion “Although to be driven back upon oneself is an uneasy affair at best, rather like trying to cross a border with borrowed credentials, it seems to me now the one condition necessary to the beginnings of real self-respect. Most of our platitudes notwithstanding, self-deception remains the most difficult deception. The tricks that work on others count or nothing in that very well-lit back alley where one keeps assignations with oneself: no winning smiles will do here, no prettily drawn lists of good intentions.”

– Joan Didion, “On Self-Respect,” in Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Self-knowledge! All my study of happiness, and habits, brings me continually back to the challenge of self-knowledge. It sounds so easy — after all, I hang out with myself all day long — but it’s tremendously challenging. Every day, I remind myself to Be Gretchen , to accept myself and also to expect more from myself .

Do you find it difficult to fight the impulse toward self-deception?

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Bonus! If you pre-order the paperback of Happier at Home , I'll send you a bonus , a fun Tips sheet about "9 extremely quick and easy steps to become happier at home." Honor system . More info here . Because of the peculiarities of book publishing, if you're inclined to buy the book, it's a big help to me if you pre-order it now . I love all my books equally, but my sister the sage says that Happier at Home is my best book.


There's a lot of great information on my friend Leo Babuta's site,  Zen Habits -- here is a good place to start to dive in.

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