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Don't become a victim of your own deceit
Self-cheaters not only do less they do more incorrectly. They are those who are the high achievers at all costs. They are the champions of this competitive society. Unfortunately, they cheat their families and happiness in their quest. - photo by Joseph Cramer, MD
There are a lot of cheats in the world. This is not including professional rule breakers. The most common are those who cheat themselves.

Self-cheating is a form of self-harm. Self-deception includes the denial that small things arent important. Self-cheating is knowingly short-changing oneself. These are the folks who practice a few minutes short of their piano lesson. If left alone, they would do a little less effort, scrimp on the assignment or cut short a workout. They are not bad. They are not fudging on grades or breaking the law unless one counts the law of the harvest.

Coaches talk about giving 110 percent. These guys put out 98 percent tops. Theirs is a team of one. Their self-imposed limitations impact their confidence as much as their muscle strength.

The shortcut may not be noticeable. The study for the test is not regulated. The preparation for the presentation is not demanded. No one, at first, sees the skips. However, little by little, the shortcuts start to show. In reality, no one cares if the personal excuses are real or merely excuses. It is the self-cheat who misses out.

Many times, this self-cheating perpetuates a facade. Exercise is an easy example. People will pick up a heavier weight to show off their strength. Meanwhile, they cheat themselves of doing the exercise right with lesser tonnage but more proper form.

This example demonstrates how self-cheaters may not only do less but also do more incorrectly.

They are those who are the high achievers at all costs. They are the champions of this competitive society. Unfortunately, their quest can cheat their families and themselves of a fuller, happier life.

Show-and-tell is a mainstay of elementary education. The young kids bring in objects from home to share with their friends. It may be a pet lizard or a favorite rock. There is innocence in their eagerness to stand up in front of the class and talk about a favorite toy or some souvenir from a family vacation. It is doubtful that they would bring in the keys to their dads BMW or their moms expensive purse.

It is when we are decades beyond first grade and still insist on show-and-tell that one worries. Self-cheaters need to show everybody everything and tell anyone anything. Bragging is not necessary for the self-honest.

Self-cheating happens with our health. When we are unhealthy in our eating, we are cheating ourselves, not the doctor and certainly not the grocer. A little bit here and a little bit there is the cheaters mental way around consequences. It is cutting the corners and breaking the rules. Sadly, it is their corners and their rules.

The anxious and fearful also cheat themselves from trying. If people cant adventure beyond their front door, they are cheating themselves out of a great view. Failing to step outside of ourselves cheats us, but the loss also goes out to everyone we encounter.

We cheat ourselves when we dont try, dont make the best effort and cut short our practice. Worse, we cut short our earthly practice time when we sneak the extra soda or the additional large serving. We often even hide our excesses from others, thinking we are defrauding them. It is only we who are the victims and perpetrators of our deceit.

When we are the recipients of our own deception, we pay the price. It is like cheating at a game in which we are the only player.

We pretend no one is watching. We forget our brains eyes are wide open even when we close ours.

It's said a cheater never wins. But it's not about games or sports; it's about us.