Honesty- How it Benefits You and Others
Honesty is going to take you places in life that you never could have dreamed and it’s the easiest thing you can practice in order to be happy, successful and fulfilled. .
Honesty is part of the foundation of my core values and principles. Honesty cuts through deception and knifes its way through deceit and lies. Honesty leads to a fulfilling, free life..
Honesty is not just about telling the truth. It’s about being real with yourself and others about who you are, what you want and what you need to live your most authentic life. .
Honesty promotes openness, empowers us and enables us to develop consistency in how we present the facts. Honesty sharpens our perception and allows us to observe everything around us with clarity..
As an author and executive coach, I work with leaders that need to focus on honesty first with themselves, and in how they deal with people..
The Tangled Web We Weave.
The opposite of honesty is deception — or lying. Lying is equally bad whether you are deceiving others or yourself. When you lie, you delude yourself into believing what you’re saying. You start digging a hypothetical ditch, even if with an infant-sized spoon, that will keep getting bigger over time. You confuse yourself, confuse others, lose credibility and put yourself in harm..
The worst type of lying we practice, in order to deceive, is when we lie to ourselves. We start messing around with our concept of morality, right and wrong, as well as our dreams and desires. .
Times that I lied in order to do something that I knew was wrong, I could feel it. My inner core warred and rebelled against what I was mentally committing to doing because it was in contrast to who I really am..
When I look back on it, every time I lied (that I can recall) I was trying to excuse or misrepresent my own shortcomings or to compensate for something. I was trying to pursue a sinful desire that would only, at best, produce temporary pleasure. Lies I told were often due to a lack of effort, positive morals or thoughts..
Other times, I was convincing myself I wasn’t good enough or able to do something my heart was really set on. Lying or presuming I knew something I didn’t really know was the easy path. .
This discouraging thought manifested itself in ways that I couldn’t possibly perceive at the time. It set me back by delaying the pursuit of my dreams. It took away my ability to take chances that my heart was willing to take but my mind was blocking me from taking..
Despite its temptation, ease of use and false promises, lying gets us nowhere in the end. We stay right in our own tracks or much worse, go backwards..
Honesty and seeking the truth is always the way to go. Honesty engenders confidence, faith, empowers our willpower and represents us in the best way for others to see and witness our example. Honesty improves our vitality. In an honesty experiment conducted by two University of Notre Dame professors, results showed that telling the truth is good for our health:.
Telling the truth when tempted to lie can significantly improve a person’s mental and physical health, according to a “Science of Honesty” study..
The above results were presented at the American Psychological Association’s Annual Convention four years ago..
Respectable, admired behavior is always carried out with honesty. Telling the truth and backing it up with actions show respect for what’s right and an esteem for ethical and moral integrity. Honesty is one of the key components to character and one of the most admired traits of any successful, responsible person..
Success, for me, is not quantified in terms of dollars, sales or number of Facebook followers. Particularly not the latter! I value success in terms of character, self-awareness, honesty, emotional intelligence and hard work. How we treat ourselves, others and how we use our talents to improve the lives of others..
An emotionally intelligent person is a person of impeccable integrity and honesty; someone who can perceive and recognize the quality of honesty in another. Business transactions and the everyday transactions of human relations must be carried out with a code of trust and honesty or else everything will break down.
Where Honesty Will Lead You.
I’ve always carried myself with a candidness (and I’d like to believe genuineness) which demonstrates a reflection of my thoughts. At times, I’ve been candid to a fault. But overall, I live with zero regrets. I believe candidness, openness and honesty has benefited me more than any other qualities in how I comport myself..
Honesty has endeared me to many people of influence and, simply to my friends and loved ones. Honesty is never contrived or inauthentic — it’s always the genuine article. I’d much rather lay all my cards on the table and be forthcoming and transparent about my aspirations and intents..
As I matured during my 20s, I learned to leave deception and lies to the CIA agents in the movies — in the land of fiction, where they belong. Honesty is the best use of everyone’s time. It’s led me to form a network of family, friends and business partners who I trust and respect, as we can all mutually benefit from this truth..
There’s no coincidence that perhaps the most respected American in history, President Abraham Lincoln, is often referred to by the moniker, Honest Abe. Lincoln was shrewd, direct and honest in all of his human relations transactions and dealings. He was fair and just, a lesson he learned as a store clerk in dealing with customers at an early age..
A defining first-hand account of Lincoln comes from Leonard Swett, a close friend of the former President:.
“He believed in the great laws of truth, the right discharge of duty, his accountability to God, the ultimate triumph of the right, and the overthrow of wrong.”.
And why not pass along Lincoln’s own words on the topic:.
“Resolve to be honest at all events; and if, in your own judgment, you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation.”.
Do you want to be one of the most respected, highly thought of people among your social sphere and even your geography? Follow the example of the man thought of by many as the greatest American who ever lived. Honesty should be the bedrock of your foundation, as it will define who you are before you even allow others to know more about you..
Honesty Helps You Find the Answers You’re Looking For.
Honesty cuts through red tape, distraction, frustration and indecision. Honesty gets you where you want to go faster because you live how you really feel. You may not always know what you want in your future — whether that’s one month, six months or two years from now — but your intuition will give you a feel for what is in harmony with your heart..
Honest intentions in speech and action gain the attention and respect of others. These people become the ones that you not only want to influence but be influenced by. The company we keep and surround ourselves with help to define our outlook on life, as well as lift us to places we couldn’t have arrived at entirely by our own efforts.
How Honesty Could Make You Happier
I’ve been keeping an honesty journal for the past several months. With honesty much in the news lately — you might even say honesty is having a cultural moment — I wanted to reflect on my own.
My 6-year-old daughter once told me that telling the truth made her feel “gold in her brain.” Could upping my personal honesty light up a pleasure center in my own brain?
My plan was to jot down different instances throughout the day where I had to make a choice about honesty and notice how it felt.
The day I started the journal, the same 6-year-old daughter asked me during her bath if the cat really went to sleep last year, and if that actually meant that I had killed him. I rinsed her hair and sighed, wondering if I should wait to start this honesty project until my children were grown.
But I braved it and told her that yes, I had made the choice for him to die, because he was suffering and I wanted him to be at peace. She lost interest about halfway through my explanation, which was O.K. with me.
A bigger opportunity arose with my 8-year-old son. Though he didn’t know anything about the journal, after a few weeks, he seemed to open up in a new way, asking me things he was too embarrassed or scared to ask before,
like what the word “pimp” meant and why people kill themselves. In fact, one of my biggest takeaways was that we shouldn’t lie to children when they are asking us about grown-up words or ideas — otherwise, they will just ask Siri. If it’s between YouTube and me to explain prostitution, I pick me.
Still, I wondered about those little lies we tell to avoid hurting people’s feelings. Researchers at the University of California San Diego Emotion Lab are looking at “prosocial” lies —
the white lies we tell to benefit others, like telling an aspiring writer a story is great because you want to be nice and encouraging, when in reality you know it needs work and will meet rejection.
A recent study at the lab suggests that we are more likely to tell a prosocial lie when we feel compassion toward someone, because if you feel bad for someone, the last thing you want to do is hurt him or her with the truth. These lies feel better in the short term, but they often do more harm than good in the long term.
After all, the brutal truth can be painful, but people need to know it if they are to improve their performance, especially in a work or school situation.
But was brutal truth what I really wanted when it came to my marriage?
My focus on honesty at times did lead to better interactions with my husband. When the New York Times Magazine article about open marriage came out, for example, it sparked my curiosity. Since I was keeping an honesty journal, rather than keeping it to myself, as I would have done in the past, my husband and I had an honest discussion about it.
Other times, the compulsion to be honest strained things between us. That I disagree with some of his parenting techniques doesn’t necessarily need to be pointed out every single time. I came to realize that, within relationships, there is a third category between dishonesty and telling white lies, called not sharing everything.
Over all, I found that I struggled more with the small instances of honesty, rather than the big. So, when a client accidentally paid me twice for a project — sending a duplicate $1,000 check a week after they’d already paid me — there was no internal debate. It was $1,000, so obviously, I notified the client.
But when the McDonald’s drive-through cashier gave me an extra dollar in change and the line had been SO long and all I wanted was a Diet Coke and my kids were acting crazy in the back seat and why was this stupid McDonald’s always so slow anyway?!…
it was a different story. Even though I gave the dollar back, I almost didn’t, because an extra dollar was such a small thing and seemed somehow justified. Had I not been focused on honesty, I’m not sure I would have given it back.
My experience was consistent with what the behavioral economist Dan Ariely wrote about in his 2012 book, “The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty.” His research showed that we fudge the truth by about 10 percent or so.
We cheat when we are fairly certain we can get away with it, but just by a little, and about things we can justify. We do it more if we see other people doing it. We do it less if we are reminded to be honest. My journal pointed these instances out to me rather starkly
It struck me that the choice to lie or be honest was often a choice between two equally undesirable things. Telling my daughter the truth did not make me happier, but lying wouldn’t have either.
I also quickly came to realize that the Facebook version of Judi Ketteler, whose life was so together and children so well behaved, was a very particular version of me, a notion explored by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz in his book “Everybody Lies.”
Dr. Davidowitz, a data scientist, tackles the discrepancy between the ideal version of ourselves we present to the world via social media and the often-miserable confessions we make to Google as we search for the things we would never post in a status update.
My social media self wasn’t a lie, but if I was going to focus on truly honest behavior, it seemed better not to indulge too much — hence, I pulled way back from posting on Facebook.
Even though honesty felt like a struggle, I started to like how it felt. Research from the University of Notre Dame has shown that when people consciously stopped telling lies, including white lies, for 10 weeks, they had fewer physical ailments (like headaches) and fewer mental health complaints (like symptoms of depression) than a control group that did not focus on honesty.
When people were more honest, they also tended to feel better about their relationships and social interactions, the researchers found. This rang true for me, mostly because I felt better about myself.
I like the saying, “Everybody wants the truth, but nobody wants to be honest.” I didn’t always want to be honest. But I wanted the truth, and this focus on honesty helped me feel that I was doing my part.
The bottom line is that focusing on honesty is a way to actively engage with the world, versus passively complaining about it. It might even make you feel as if you have gold in your brain.
M I Ro