Art of Charm Podcast | Brutal Truths Part 1 (Episode 701)

We all want attention, approval, and acceptance.

But we can’t expect others to give us that if we don’t approve of ourselves. Most often, the reason we struggle with self-acceptance is because we are running away from the brutal truths of life.

In today’s episode of The Art of Charm, we run the other way, towards those these uncomfortable facts, to unpack and examine them. From understanding that nobody actually cares about you to accepting the finality of death, this episode leaves no room for the fearful. Here are some of the questions we explore.

The Cheat Sheet:

  • What are the some of the brutal truths of life that we don’t want to think about?
  • How does accepting the finality of death make you feel more free?
  • Why do men run away from their emotions instead of embracing them?
  • How does technology corrupt our ability to enjoy intimacy?
  • How is the term ‘adulting’ just a cover-up for your aversion to responsibility?
  • And so much more…

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More About This Show

While the formula for happiness (attention, approval, and acceptance) seems simple, it has become increasingly more difficult to achieve in our advanced society. We are addicted to our social media apps — the ones that are purposefully engineered to confuse our definitions of those key happiness ingredients: attention, approval, and acceptance.

On today’s episode of The Art of Charm, we cut through this digital noise by addressing the brutal truths of life. In doing so, we hope to rupture your perception of reality so you can start to go towards the true meaning in your life and find happiness.

Why the Fact That Nobody Cares Is Liberating

Social media inaccurately depicts reality. As AJ says, “In today’s social media world we feel like everyone cares about us — when in reality, nobody cares.”

With the rise of Facebook and Instagram, ‘likes’ have disguised this fact of life. We perceive double-taps on the phone to be something of substance, when in reality, they are just people taking a split-second out of their day to tap pixels on a screen.

While this may be depressing, it’s important to not register these truths as such. As Johnny says, “This isn’t depressing. When you embrace the idea that nobody cares, it’s freeing.”

Nobody cares about me? How is that freeing?

Because when you accept that nobody cares about you, you can no longer be concerned with what others think of you, because it contradicts your foundation: someone thinking about you would require them to care about you.

Don’t Let Others Waste Your Talent

But despite other people not caring, they will still voice an opinion. As AJ says, “We often let other people’s criticism hold us back, so we shy away from our talents.”

This truth forces us to examine just how influenced we are by others. Have we muted the voice in our head, so we could hear the voices of our parents or our partner? Are we taking ownership of our life? Or are we just mindlessly going through motions, blaming our unhappiness on external things?

As Johnny says in reference to the popular “adulting” term, “The reason your life is a complete disaster and you’re unhappy with every aspect of it is because you think responsibility is ‘adulting’ or selling out.”

When you look at your position in life this unapologetically, you learn what’s at the root of your behavior.

Embrace Your Emotions (Especially Fear!)

As AJ says, “When you start to embrace emotions — good or bad — you start to open up a vulnerability that lets connection happen.”

But this isn’t easy for most of us. “Especially as men, we’re not embracing our emotions. We’re running from our emotions,” AJ says.

We try to use ‘logic’ to think or analyze our way through the situations that don’t call for it. And there’s some things in our lives that leave no room for logic. Like death. The most brutal truth of them all.

Ignoring the inevitability of death is impossible. But we give it our best efforts because acknowledging the finality of it all provokes the most uncomfortable questions.

“Do you have unfinished business? Are you leaving something on the table? Are you not following through?” AJ asks.

Nothing is more powerful at influencing behavior than considering potential deathbed regrets. Did we spend quality time with those we loved? Did we seek out new experiences with the people we cared about?

If Death Is Final, How Can We Be Happy?

That’s exactly how. When you accept the finality of death, you start to appreciate the moment, and that appreciation pushes you to true sources of happiness.

But again, in today’s age, social media complicates the equation. Our Facebook and Instagram feeds show our friends smiling in luxurious scenery. “Why am I not living that life?” we think to ourselves. So we work harder to try to achieve the thing that will get us there.

“I was under the impression that I had to go out and get happiness. I had to achieve it. I had to find it. And then I learned that it was something I could just be,” Johnny says.

That’s right — happiness is a choice. And our ambition makes us think it’s not. We forget to celebrate the small victories because we’re in such pursuit of the bigger ones. As AJ puts it, “You have the opportunity to shine the flashlight on the things that make you happy or the things that make you sad.”

Tune in to today’s episode to face the brutal truths of life, so you can know where to shine your light!

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AJ Harbinger - author of 378 posts on The Art of Charm

AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality. Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.

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