Beware of False Hunger: Detox your life in 4 easy steps (or was it 5 easy steps?)

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above the clouds — 4,000m up in the himalayas of bhutan by mark l chaves

Eliminate anyone who

  1. Disrespects you
  2. Uses you, or
  3. Puts you down.

When I saw this ‘positive motivation’ post come through my FB feed, complete with its gratuitous naturey, flowing, waterfall background graphic, I thought to myself, “I hope no one is going to take this one seriously. I mean, ‘eliminate’ is a pretty harsh thing to do to someone. Don’t you think?”

There were over 40,000 likes, 300,000 shares, and 1,400 comments on this post. I poured through some of the comments. They confirmed my bad assumption. Many people were taking this seriously. If that wasn’t enough, a 5-step variation was re-posted by the same person on the exact same day I wrote this article. A weird coincidence?

The new regurgitated version had a naturey graphic as well. Instead of a soothing waterfall in the background, it had a dramatic mountaintop scene. As I mentioned earlier, there was an extra step that mutated from the original four. The new step? “Eliminate anyone who tries to control you”.

Not so Easy

So the instructions aren’t as straight-forward as they might seem. Now, I have three unanswered questions:

  1. What does ‘eliminate anyone’ really mean?
  2. Who doesn’t lie to me — heck, I’m not even sure that I am always honest with myself?
  3. Who doesn’t try to control me? We all have our own agenda whether we want to admit it or not.

Your Boss

Part of the Problem

One Step Programme

I’m not in any position to ‘eliminate’ people in my life: my family, friends, colleagues, management, government, etc. And that’s okay. I don’t want to be in the ‘elimination’ business. I would rather be in the ‘exploration’ business. I want to explore what other people are thinking to understand more about them and me each and every day. It’s the responsible thing to do.

Recommended Reading

Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (New York: Penguin Books, 2010).

Written by

I slung code for Fortune 500 companies in a previous life. Now, I write and make some photographs. I’ve moved on to Portfolio on

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