Pushing – Don’t do it. It’s your ego’s proclivity to prove it’s right — to prove that it’s bigger, stronger, faster, smarter, whatever. I let God do the pushing. If you don’t believe in God, then for semantic’s sake perhaps replace “God” with “Universe” or some other ethereal entity above and outside your finite existence.
Presuming – Don’t do it. Don’t make presumptions about how you should be treated in any situation. ANY. Don’t make presumptions about other people. Be curious. If you’re curious, you can’t be angry. This is beautiful when you come into contact with someone with a completely different set of life experiences, world views, life styles, etc. You might make a friend and in the process actually learn something.
Pretending – DON’T DO IT. Let’s put that expression “Be Yourself” into practice. In my experience, this has been the most difficult for people. Well, to be yourself is to not be another, right? Let’s quote-drop Gandhi for help on this: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” A helpful synonym for “Happiness” (as it pertains to the quote) would be “Wholeness”. Truth leads to wholeness. If you’re whole, you’re undivided. You then proceed to be your true self.
These three “P” words have had a significant impact on my life. I often repeat them as a kind of mantra to center myself (“Don’t push, presume, or pretend”). Just the other day I found myself delivering a half-truth about an experience I had just to make it sound more interesting. I (we) do this unconsciously at times because deep down there’s a need to be accepted, affirmed, and understood. I feel these “P’s” can aid in helping us to live our most truthful and truth-filled lives.