Having integrity and being honest are fundamental requirements if you want to grow spiritually and follow your true destination of personal development. It’s not simply about being honest with people. Whilst that will make you a better person and a more accepted one it’s more importantly about being honest with yourself.
Honesty v Dishonesty
Personal development or self-growth is all about fostering the positive qualities within yourself to enable you to lead a fuller, more enriched life and to rid yourself of negative qualities, feelings and emotions which have been holding you back.
If we’re honest in all that we do and say, it means we are genuine, real and true whereas dishonesty symbolises all that is fake, fictitious and unreal. Living your life honestly and with integrity means that you’ve decided to live openly and to show your true self to others and that you can be relied upon to be genuine. On the other hand, dishonesty is all about shade and concealment and living your life in ‘dark corners’. When you’re dishonest, it means that you remain living in the dark and cannot grow spiritually.
Honesty and integrity produce trust – trust in ourselves and in all those around us. Trust in turn produces confidence which we all need to conquer life’s problems and which also encourages us to take risks in order to fulfil our goals.
You’ll have no doubt heard expressions such as “what goes around, comes around” and “you get back, what you give out in life” and that’s very true. If we don’t live our lives honestly, we become shrouded in mystery. People are very adept at sensing dishonesty in others even if they think they’re the best liars on earth and if you hide behind a dark mask of suspicion, you can be assured that the people you’ll attract will turn out to be very similar to you and it’s therefore inevitable that one day you’ll be on the receiving end of someone’s dishonest actions or words.
Honesty at the Core
One of the key elements in any relationship, be it a personal or professional one, is the ability to trust and be trusted. Without trust, we have no credibility which is at the core of being able to influence people and provide strong leadership. Without honesty, there is no foundation upon which to build a personal relationship with someone you love.
The risk of temptation is most prevalent when we live our lives hovering between honesty and dishonesty. You’ll have no doubt been in a position where you’ve had the opportunity for gain in perhaps your career or some other situation attached to money or power. Some of you might even consider yourselves to be basically good and honest people but have, on occasion, turned a ‘blind eye’ or have been “economical with the truth” in order to gain something. However, if you truly respect yourself, you’ll often find yourself reflecting later and feeling bad about yourself because your gains were obtained through dishonest means. Therefore, you find that they were not really gains at all as they were obtained dishonestly and you may find your ‘inner self’ starting to beat you over the head over your indiscretion. So, were they really gains you made at all? The answer is ‘no.
Of course, being brutally honest all of the time can also backfire on you. There may be situations where telling the whole truth causes you to inflict a lot of pain and distress on somebody else. For example, John may have told Paul that he can’t go on a weekend fishing trip with him because he has a family commitment arranged that weekend. You know differently and that the real reason John isn’t going is because he hates Paul. When Paul asks you if you know whether the reason is genuine, what do you say? Well, in instances like this, it’s often better to be economical with the truth. You might say that you don’t know why John can’t go or that you think he has something on that weekend.” Of course, this isn’t telling the complete truth but you are sparing Paul’s feelings on something that won’t, after all, have dramatic implications for Paul’s future. Clearly however, the compromises you might wish to make with regards to your total honesty have to be clearly thought through. Some may even say that it’s better to be brutally honest all of the time than to be indecisive in what you say or do which could make matters worse.
However, in taking the decision that you are going to live your life honestly and openly, you will find that your life becomes enriched as a result as you reveal your true self which in turn will be reciprocated in the respect and honesty you’ll receive from others.