I don’t have kids, but if I had to explain to them the most valuable lesson I learned in life, it’s this one.
And it’s something that we all kind of know.
But I think that the way we approach it is wrong. That’s why it’s so hard to find it.
We don’t realize how critical it is for us.
- What I would teach them is that:
To be honest, it’s the most valuable thing you can do, in all your life, for yourself.
I used to think that being honest it was important because you care about other people.
And it’s true, but it’s the wrong approach to honesty.
Being 100% honest is extremely important if you care about yourself.
Being honest is the key that will open all your doors.
It’s the key to friendship. To love. To sex. To partnerships. To business. To be given opportunities. To people investing in you. To people buying from you. To sharing knowledge, secrets, and intimacy. To anything that it’s important in life.
With honesty, and therefore trust, there is nothing you could not achieve.
- And before I continue, I think it’s important to talk about the reasons I think humans lie.
One of the reasons it’s because of self-interest.
We think that lying will bring us some benefit (or avoid some pain).
And it’s true in the short term. But in the long term it can be catastrophic.
You are trading something now, for something incredibly better in the future.
Specially because honesty compounds over time.
I think if you don’t pay back 10€ to someone because he forgot, it could cost you thousands of euros in the future. Maybe millions if you are an entrepreneur.
With friendship, for example, it’s the same, but it’s harder to see the impact because we cannot measure it with numbers.
Because building credibility takes time, you cannot take any risk.
One single lie, and all trust can disappear.
The other reason I believe humans lie is weakness.
We don’t want to share the truth because we believe we are risking being rejected, or that we will not belong, if they know the truth.
But here is where the magic happens:
When we are vulnerable, and we share the truth, we realized people love us how we are.
And we start feeling enough.
Your confidence will start to soar.
You will be able to look anyone in the eyes with confidence.
Because you will start accepting how you truly are, with your imperfections, understanding that it is okay.
And this, together with the feeling that you are not hiding anything to no one, that you don’t have to remember any lie, and that your intentions are good, you will feel like no one can blend you.
I recommend you to live your life as if tomorrow, someone, somewhere, can put you in a “truth machine” and ask you anything he or she wants.
And then you will not feel fear.
You will feel excitement to prove yourself and to the world that you are a trustable person.
Who knows if this day will come anyways.
- And now I will tell you 2 pro tips:
The first is that the small details make a huge impact.
If you go to a restaurant, and they forgot to charge you something, I would always recommend you to say it, and pay for it.
It’s the cheapest way to tell to the world you are trustable.
These few euros it’s one of the best investments you can do in yourself.
And the second one, it is that you need to be honest, and seem honest.
This will sound strange to you:
I would not lie even when it is allowed to lie.
If you are playing cards, and the rules allow you to lie, don’t do it.
Play without lying, or don’t play.
Same as when you meet someone with a costume, you know it’s not real, but your brain still makes an association.
When you lie even if it is a game, they will associate you with lying.
Plus that you will be saying to the world, that you will not lie, even if it’s allowed.
How powerful is that.
Now that you have more information about how important is to be honest for yourself, the pros and cons, you can choose more consciously what level of honesty you want for yourself.
What will you choose?
Remember that it’s a training that could take you months, or years, to achieve.
For me, it was a few years.
I used to lie a lot because I had an inferiority complex. I felt that the lies made me feel that I had the value to be with the guys.
But if you want to become this kind of person, I would love if you contact me, I would be great to meet you.
P.S: Sometimes you will not want, but you will lie because you will feel shame, or other emotions that will push you this way.
I think it’s okay, we are humans, it takes time to build the honesty muscle, and even then, it could happen (at this point it will just be very small things).
I think we just can apologize and correct ourselves, as soon as possible, explaining the emotions behind the mistake we made.
I would never recommend to wait, to hesitate to correct the mistake, or to let pass a day without fixing it. We should correct it as soon as possible, and trust will be much less affected.
P.S.: And in case you are doubting if it is okay to lie when “only you will know it”, I let you this quote from “The six pillars of self-esteem” by Nathaniel Branden.
It explains you very clearly how this idea is bad for you:
“One of the great self-deceptions is to tell oneself, “Only I will know.”
Only I will know I am a liar; only I will know I deal unethically with people who trust me; only I will know I have no intention of honoring my promise.
The implication is that my judgment is unimportant and that only the judgment of others counts.
But when it comes to matters of selfesteem, I have more to fear from my own judgment than from anyone else’s.
In the inner courtroom of my mind, mine is the only judgment that counts.
My ego, the “I” at the center of my consciousness, is the judge from whom there is no escape.
I can avoid people who have learned the humiliating truth about me. I cannot avoid myself.
Most of the issues of integrity we face are not big issues but small ones, yet the accumulated weight of our choices has an impact on our sense of self.”