Success Principles

Just How Honest are You?

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What do you think when someone says, “To be honest . . . ”? Do you ever wonder if they are lying the rest of the time? I know it’s kind of a throwaway phrase, but it does raise the question.

Just how honest are you? Do you tell the truth all the time so you don’t have to warn who you’re talking to that you’re about to speak the truth?

Most likely you don’t steal and would never think of taking something that didn’t belong to you. But have you ever stolen time from your employer?

In court we take an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So without the oath, would witnesses just lie? Do they anyway?

Diogenes was the guy who supposedly wandered around ancient Greece carrying a lantern in search of an honest man. Evidently, he believed that no one was completely honest—even back then.

If we believe in the value and virtue of living a life of integrity, we have to look at every aspect of our life and confront with brutal honesty where we might NOT be in integrity.

Do you cheat on your taxes? Even a little? Do you always answer honestly when asked your opinion or for a rendition of what happened? Do you embellish your stories?

Does your walk always match your talk? When you say you will be somewhere by a certain time, do you show up?

Do you lie to yourself? Ever? Most people I know—myself included—sometimes simply fail to tell themselves the truth about certain things. They take a positive attitude too far and delude themselves. They don’t want to admit something isn’t working when it isn’t.

I urge you to take a serious inventory of what you do and how you do it. Review your day and note where you might have been out of integrity. Why did you lie? To avoid pain or increase pleasure? How did (are) you justifying your misrepresentation?

It takes courage to admit our lack of honesty and confront our integrity. But for all the reasons in this article—and more—it’s worth it.

“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.”

—Edward R. Murrow

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