Lying: Values and Burdened Souls


Humans lie… It is a fact.

Sometimes we lie just to make sure somebody feels comfortable. We call these lies white lies. For instance, if one of your relatives got cancer and you learned the result without him knowing, you may not want him to know the results.

But humans lie most of the time to get a short-sighted result such as to earn money, to manipulate, etc.

For whatever reason, lying is a very destructive action. Not only for the people involved, but also for the whole society.

When you lie, you are actually destroying a lot of human values. When you destroy common human values, you are actually harming your own soul very badly.

What happens when you harm your soul?

When your soul is harmed badly, you are a walking dead in the 21st century. Since you know what kind of a personality you are since you cannot lie to yourself, you feel irritated by yourself.

And then these kinds of people try to forget the harm of their soul so they may do some silly teenager type of stuff!

Your soul is permanent, whereas anything that you do to forget is temporary.

It should be great to carry such as a burdened soul! Also, no profit or short-term gain can justify your action of lying.

Today, even every big organisation has a set of values.

These values are set, because every organisation is like a human. They are also creatures that are alive and values are needed for everyone!

Since they are alive, they have their own soul.

Even why my wife is asking why I’m writing all this.

I am writing because I see a lot of burdened souls and they do not have any justification to become so burdened!

Finally, a person can be quite competent in his job/skills, but if he does not have the right attitude, I would always give the chance to the incompetent person since he can improve, but he will come with a pure soul!

Some nice quote from different authors on the subject:

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
― Mark Twain

“I lie to myself all the time. But I never believe me.”
― S.E. HintonThe Outsiders

“People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I’ve learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one’s reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one’s master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person’s view requires to be faked…The man who lies to the world, is the world’s slave from then on…There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.”
― Ayn RandAtlas Shrugged

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”
― Abraham Lincoln

All the best.

Sukru Haskan
Twitter: @sukru_haskan


Book Review: A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Enlightenment



I was travelling for a wedding to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem a couple of weeks ago and my mentor and a good friend, Avi Liran, was so kind to arrange some meetings for me while I was there.

Lenny Ravich was my first meeting and, to be honest, I failed to do some research on him before I met him.

Lenny Ravich is a US–born, 70-something young person who is energetic and funny. Apparently, he wrote a book that Avi liked so much that he contacted him and that’s how their relationship started.

Lenny gifted his book to me during our meeting and that’s how I read his marvellous book.

The name of the book is Something funny happened on the way to Enlightenment. His book sold tremendously well in Israel and worldwide.

There are some points that I don’t agree with, such as in order to be funny he thinks a person has to have had a screwed up childhood, but mainly the book is a great eye opener.

It talks about happiness.

Lenny refuses to make himself feel bad by taking serious things more seriously. It takes courage to laugh, especially at yourself, and even more skill to get others to laugh with you at themselves.

Lenny summarized life as a formula, E + R = O. 

E is the event, R is our Response and O is the outcome. 

Events occur and our responses design the outcomes. The event may not be avoidable, but the response is our own production so it can altered and therefore the outcome as well.

I will continue by sharing some of my favourite quotations from the book.

“One way to deal with some of the pain from the past, anger, fears and misfortunes of the past is to find the humour in things and then to laugh at them.”

I accept, it is not easy. But it does not mean it is not possible. We should let our bad feelings go to be healthy and to move forward. Having this kind of mindset is also an important part of success.

“No matter how we look at it, life is one huge, on-going improvisation. None of us gets an orientation manual when we’re born, telling us how to handle every situation that might cross our path throughout our lifetime. Nor can our parents prepare us for every conceivable occurrence.” 

I experience this with teenagers. They expect to find a mentor or their parents to lead their life. Everybody’s life is different and their interests and talents are also different.

Of course, one should utilise other people’s experiences, but you have to create your own manual for your very own life. And that manual will be and should be different than everyone else’s!

Because you are unique!

“Feeling vindictive and unforgiving is a huge waste of time. I have found that love, optimism, and laughter are the most potent tools available to mankind.” 

I happened to fall into this trap.

I came across a sociopath in my life, and I wasted some time. Actually, not only time, but I also felt sorry for him and at some point I felt very unforgiving to him. Now, I understand it is waste of time.

Now, I just laugh off my experiences with him!

“Who is rich? The one who is happy with what he has.”


The desire to attain more material things makes everyone unhappy!

“Poor is the person who believes totally in his mission.” 

Titles, zeros in the bank accounts, and power are easy tools that can poison us and inflate our egos.

It is not hard to become a “bastard”, but by being a bastard you are doing the greatest harm to yourself since you are making yourself very unhappy. As my friend Avi says, “Delight people and operate on a delight system, not on a jerk system.”

Even though it was such a short meeting (it was only 45 minutes), it was nice to meet you, Lenny Ravich!


All the best,

Sukru Haskan
Twitter: @sukru_haskan

EU Migrant Agreement with Turkey

On 18 March,  European Union and Turkey decided to agree to end the irregular migration from Turkey to the EU.

I personally believe this agreement is a hall of shame statement for not only for European Union, but also for Turkey.


If  you are a regular reader of my blog, you would remember that I have written a short piece on insincere EU attitude towards Turkey for many years and this is now another seal on the subject.

The EU and Turkey agreed that:

1) All new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey to the Greek islands as of 20 March 2016 will be returned to Turkey;

2) For every Syrian being returned to Turkey from the Greek islands, another Syrian will be resettled to the EU;

3) Turkey will take any necessary measures to prevent new sea or land routes for irregular migration opening from Turkey to the EU;
4) Once irregular crossings between Turkey and the EU are ending or have been substantially reduced, a Voluntary Humanitarian Admission Scheme will be activated;

5) The fulfilment of the visa liberalisation roadmap will be accelerated with a view to lifting the visa requirements for Turkish citizens at the latest by the end of June 2016. Turkey will take all the necessary steps to fulfil the remaining requirements;

6) The EU will, in close cooperation with Turkey, further speed up the disbursement of the initially allocated €3 billion under the Facility for Refugees in Turkey. Once these resources are about to be used in full, the EU will mobilise additional funding for the Facility up to an additional €3 billion to the end of 2018;

7) The EU and Turkey welcomed the ongoing work on the upgrading of the Customs Union.
8) The accession process will be re-energised, with Chapter 33 to be opened during the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union and preparatory work on the opening of other chapters to continue at an accelerated pace;
9) The EU and Turkey will work to improve humanitarian conditions inside Syria.

We are facing the largest involutarily human movement since the World War II and the “civilised countries” are failing to do whatever they need to.

Instead they are very busy with pushing the dirt under the rug.

EU should adopt a more viable and smarter approach towards Turkey rather than simply dangling carrots.

I am wondering what would be the Turkish stance when the visa liberalisation for Turks will be delayed for whatever reasons in the coming months.

I want to finish my article by a great quote by Larry Brilliant.

“Civilizations should be judged not by how they treat people closest to power, but rather how they treat those furthest from power – whether in race, religion, gender, wealth or class – as well as in time”

All the best.

Sukru Haskan
Twitter: @sukru_haskan

Book Review: Focus by Daniel Goleman


I have to admit that I didn’t start reading this book on purpose. It just happened to be in our house, since my wife has read it. I know that Daniel Goleman has another great book called Emotional Intelligence, but I haven’t had a chance to read that book, either.

So, coincidence created the opportunity to read Focus, since I have some time during my gardening leave. (Yes, I am on gardening leave since I am changing my employer. I will continue to be based in Singapore.)

Daniel Goleman starts the book by defining the anatomy of attention and he states boldly that it is important for a child to interact with people to develop the social and emotional circuitry of a child’s brain.

Deep thinking demands sustaining a focused mind, and there are many distractions going on around us every second. For instance, the writer gives the example of Carl Gauss, an eighteenth and nineteenth century mathematician, who worked on proving a theorem for four years with no solution. Then, one day, the answer came to him “as a sudden flash of light.”

The writer discusses self-awareness as a very important feature that leads to success, since you are aware of your weaknesses and you can build a team according to these facts. In addition, overloading the attention shrinks mental control, and we start forgetting the names of people or other valuable information.

Marketers know how to mobilize our brains so that we make some unconscious choices when buying a product. For example, I got a phone call from my favourite football club, Besiktas, yesterday and the voice on the other end of the phone played with my feelings about Besiktas so skilfully that I happened to buy USD 500 worth of Besiktas merchandise just in ten minutes!

The writer discusses that people who are extremely adept at mental tasks that demand cognitive control and active working memory can struggle with creative insights, a point with which I absolutely agree.

He argues that accounts of discoveries tell of them happening during a walk or a bath, on a long ride or vacation. Darwin and Gandhi used to walk a lot to think, and I have been using the same method for more than 20 years now, which has worked for me quite nicely.

Walking clears your mind and focuses you in the present. It is a kind of a meditation.

I would like to share some of my favourite quotes from the book, with my own comments.

“Don’t let the voice of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

Some people can be manipulative and they can be jealous of you. You should always follow your own ideas, even if they turn out to be wrong. Once you make your own mistakes, you can learn from them.

“Self-awareness seems to diminish with promotions up the organisation’s ladder.”

When you are moving up the career ladder, the number of genuine people becomes fewer and fewer, so it is hard to obtain healthy feedback.

“The brain is the last organ of the body to mature anatomically, continuing to grow and shape itself into our twenties.”

“The better their self-control in childhood, the better the Dunedin kids were doing in their thirties. They had sounder health, were more successful financially, and were law-abiding citizens.”

“Those at the top never stop learning; if at any point they start coasting and stop such smart practice, too much of their game becomes bottom up and their skills plateau.”

Never stop learning! If you believe your job is not demanding enough, I always think you should change it. When the learning stops, it is like the music stops and time starts going very slowly. You will always be in that kind of situation from time to time, and it is important to recognise it and to be able to make the change.

“Higher vagal tone, which can result from mindfulness and other meditations, leads to greater flexibility in many ways. People are better able to manage both their attention and their emotions. In the social realm, they can more easily create positive relationships and have effective interactions.”

“Global economic data shows that once a country reaches a modest level of incomethere is zero connection between happiness and wealth.”

Absolutely. After a certain amount of income, the rest is for our greed and to feed the soul’s sin.

“Exploration means we disengage from a current focus to search for new possibilities, and allows flexibility, discovery, and innovation. Exploitation takes sustained focus on what you’re already doing, so you can refine efficiencies and improve performance.”

“Being in survival mode narrows our focus.”

“Ambitious revenue targets or growth goals are not a gauge of an organisation’s healthand if they are achieved at a cost to other basics, the long term downsides, like losing star employees, can outweigh short term successes as those costs lead to later failures.”

“People’s grades and the prestige of schools they went to had little or nothing to do with their actual effectiveness.”

 I hope you enjoy Focus at some point after reading this short review.

All the best from Turkey.

Sukru Haskan
Twitter: @sukru_haskan