There is a picture that often crops up on social media sites, telling a moving tale of redemption and personal development. When I investigated it further though, I discovered an even bigger lesson…
The picture is of bullfighter Álvaro Múnera Builes who gave up bullfighting after this fight, to campaign against it. Here are his words about the moment…
“And suddenly, I looked at the bull. He had this innocence that all animals have in their eyes, and he looked at me with this pleading. It was like a cry for justice, deep down inside of me. I describe it as being like a prayer – because if one confesses, it is hoped, that one is forgiven. I felt like the worst shit on earth.”
Very moving, right? Inspiring even.
Except it isn’t true.
The picture isn’t Alvaro Builes, it’s bullfighter Francisco Javier Sánchez Vara.
The words aren’t from Builes either – they come from a newspaper article by Antonio Gala Velasco.
Basically, the picture and the story could appropriately be described as B.S.
Here’s an actual picture of Builes. He was only ever a novice bullfighter, and he gave it up because a bull made him give up – he was caught by a horn and left paraplegic. It was only the contempt he felt from those that treated him that led him to campaign against bullfighting.
It was the power of the internet that first brought the picture to my attention, and it was the same power of the internet that meant it only took me a couple of minutes to get to the true story.
Although the principle may be inspiring, it’s the importance of checking facts that is the point behind this article.
In the areas of self improvement, goal achievement, personal development and so on, I have written for many years about the power of reading the stories of others – picking up tips and ideas, concepts and inspiration.
That doesn’t mean that you should take whatever you come across at face value! Do some research, take some time to check the facts.
It may mean that something you wanted to believe is revealed as untrue, but the value of that is greater than building your progress on false facts. If you still want to take inspiration from something you come across, then fine – run with it and use it, but unlike generalised motivation, I find it’s better to check when it comes to facts involved it stories.
It’s the same with advice people give you. I think it’s best to listen to advice from any source (listening does not mean you have to act on it by the way!). As this advice comes in, whether it’s how to do something, or who to speak to, don’t just blindly believe it.
Even if it comes from someone who has achieved great results, the advice they give might not quite tally up.
So, on your journey to improvement and development, as you move towards your goal, be open to new ideas – that’s always a good idea, but remember to check your facts so that you don’t end up believing the B.S!
That’s it for today – do let me know what you think!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. You might enjoy another article, ‘Goal Achievement – Are You Neil Armstrong?’