Tag Archives: Honesty

History

17 Aug

Our lives are a reflection of all the experiences we’ve had. Each step we take and every decision we make brings us to where we are, both physically and mentally. Nobody is perfect and even when we try to make good decisions, there will be times when they won’t work out. Our plans may not go the way we thought they would, or the road we were on that looked so good, turned suddenly and took us somewhere we didn’t want. When we look back at our personal history, we’ll likely see some things we wish we hadn’t done, and some things that went better than expected. If we’ve made serious mistakes in judgement, we got the chance to learn more to help us moving forward. But if an error is egregious and causes a lot of turmoil, we might try to escape blame. If we push a bad decision off on someone else, or the situation, and refuse to acknowledge our part in it, we will learn nothing. When we don’t learn from our mistakes, there’s a good chance we’ll make them again. It’s not easy to admit we were wrong, especially if there are others involved we want to impress, but truth is truth, and will always surface. We can try to keep a low profile, and pretend we weren’t involved, but that will not work indefinitely. The facts will eventually show themselves and the truth will rise. Dodging accountability only delays the inevitable. They say if we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. Bad decisions and poor choices will never take us where we want to go, and nobody wants a life filled with them. Standing up to what we’ve done, even if it’s been disastrous, will enable us to learn as much as possible from what’s happened, and take all that knowledge forward with us. We are capable of making excellent choices and choosing the best way forward in every situation. We can be honest and clear in our decisions, and find our way to any destination we desire.

There are all kinds of people in the world with all kinds of ideas. If we’re associating with someone who is constantly dishonest, and continually makes bad decisions, we may get caught up in their behaviors and find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation. Repeating someone else’s mistakes will never correct them. We are wise enough to find the answers we need no matter what situation we’re in, and with patience and clarity can choose the best road forward.

Everything we do teaches us something new to carry forward. Paying attention to what we’re learning along the way will help us make modifications and alter our direction if we reach an impasse. We are intelligent and there is nothing that can hold us in place indefinitely. We can draw on all the knowledge we’ve gained, and find our way to any destination we desire. We create our own history with every decision we make, and have everything we need to find great satisfaction and success.

Today if you have repeated a bad decision and are suffering the consequences, think clearly about the road ahead. Learn all you can, and use that knowledge to turn your course toward success. You are highly capable and can do anything, and do it well. Be confident and step forward. Every success is possible and you will reach it.

Finding It

1 Dec

Every day we spend our time doing things that are important to us. What those things are depend on who we are, what we want, how we feel, and dozens of other parameters. But no matter what’s going on, if there is something we want to do, even if we haven’t planned for it, we generally find a way to get to it. It’s often a true axiom that we do what we want to do most. For instance, if we have responsibilities we need to take care of but would rather try out a new restaurant, we might let something go to make that happen. It’s a question of motivation and direction. We may tell ourselves we really need to get something done, and we might even plan for it, but if we don’t want to do it, we may justify putting it off. In the end, whatever we’re looking for, we’ll find. If we’re looking for a way to make something happen, we’ll get it done. If we’re looking the other way, it won’t happen.

There is sometimes pressure from others to do things a certain way and in a certain order, but if we aren’t convinced that’s for us, we won’t make it a priority. However, we might agree to do it their way just to make them happy, and get them to drop the subject.  We can do anything we want to with our time. We are the ones in the end who make the decisions about our lives. And so, it’s important to decide what we really want to do. Do we really want to visit that friend we’ve been promising to see for months but never make it? Do we really want to go to that sci-fi movie because our best friend loves it and we hate it? We need to be completely honest with ourselves and with those around us. If we aren’t going to do what they ask, we may politely decline. If we aren’t going to show, no matter what the argument is, it’s best to say so.

We all want to be nice and helpful. We want to be agreeable and get along with others. Having our own opinions and making our own decisions does not diminish that. We can be completely honest and we can say no. When we’re honest and upfront we may face the disappointment of others when we decline their request, but they will respect us for telling the truth. When things must be accomplished, we should make a defined plan to get them done so we can let them go. Leaving them hanging in limbo will never bring us satisfaction or peace. They’ll niggle at us continually until we complete them.  But when we’ve completed the task we can move on to the things we most want to do. We are capable of organizing our lives and our activities in the best possible way so we can be comfortable and happy going forward.

Today if you’ve been looking for ways to dodge something you need to do, make a plan to get it done and then complete it. You’ll be happy when the chore is over and you can move ahead with something fun. Be proactive and organize your tasks so you feel content and capable. You can do anything you want to do. Today look for the best way, and you’ll surely find it.

The Only Policy

14 May

A man in Texas recently went to an estate sale, and bought an old chest of drawers for $100. As he was loading it onto his vehicle with the help of someone running the sale, they heard all kinds of metallic clanging coming from the bottom of the chest. It turned out there was a secret compartment in it. There was a hidden drawer filled with currency, jewelry, emeralds and diamonds, military dog tags, and Civil War memorabilia. It was an incredible stash of treasure hidden in an old piece of furniture.

Upon seeing all the valuable pieces, the buyer said he never imagined keeping them. He said they belonged to the original owner of the chest who had inherited it from his grandparents. Instead of greedily claiming the treasure for himself, he said, “This is fantastic. Let’s call the owner, and get the stuff back to them.” The owner was astounded when he was told of the find, and had no idea there was anything hidden in the chest.

I’ve been thinking about this, and the decision made by the man who bought the chest. Despite the obvious worth of the items hidden inside, he returned them to the original owner. It could be argued that he owned the items after having purchased the chest, and there is that old saying, “finders keepers.” But that saying has little worth. If it wasn’t ours when it was lost, it isn’t ours when we find it, unless there is no way to find the real owner. What would you have done? Would you have been tempted to keep the loot? Would you have mentioned it to anyone? You could have kept the pieces or sold them and made some fast cash. Would you have done that?

It is said that if you want to know what someone is really like, find out what they do when nobody is watching. I think that’s true. We might believe that if nobody knows what we’re doing when we’re doing something questionable, where’s the harm? Of course, the harm is that whether anyone else knows or not, we know what we’ve done. And we have to live with each decision we make. There is no way to hide from ourselves. What we do is always there. We have to face it every single day.

There is no such thing as being too honest. There is no sliding scale for honesty, despite what some may say. Being honest is like being pregnant, you either are, or you aren’t. Whatever we choose, determines who we are. Even if nobody else knows what we’re doing, we know, and it colors our behaviors from there forward. If we’re honest in all our dealings, we can face ourselves openly, and with confidence. If we’re shady, and deceptive, it may be harder to look in the mirror.

Today if you find yourself in a situation where you have to choose to be honest, and it’s a hard choice, choose it anyway. Take the high road. Be above reproach. You will never regret making an honest choice. They say that “honesty is the best policy.” Well, that’s partially true. Actually, if we want to be truly happy, honesty is the only policy worth living. Choose well.

Playing Patty Cake

22 Apr

How honest are we in our relationships with our family, our friends, our co-workers, and our acquaintances? Do we ever pretend that things are better than they really are? Do we look the other way instead of facing a difficult situation, and hope it will just fade away? Do we just smile and laugh it off when we’ve been offended? If we do, we’re playing patty cake. You know that game that children play. Just like that game, when we pretend that things are different than they really are, when we look the other way, and ignore difficult situations instead of solving them, and instead of facing them head on, we are playing a game. Sometimes we bring others into the game, especially in our families. There’s crazy Uncle Louie who lies every time he opens his mouth, but nobody ever says anything. There’s mean Aunt Louise who talks about every relative behind their backs, and everyone just ignores her. And there’s that cousin whose mother dotes on him like he’s an angel, and once her back is turned he steals cash out of her purse. Everyone knows he does it – his mother even knows he does it, but it would be too unpleasant to address, so everyone looks the other way. Keep the peace. Don’t rock the boat. Play patty cake. This might work for a while but eventually, the truth comes out, and despite the denial, the problems have to be faced.

Maybe you know a family that does this. Maybe you do this. Maybe it’s been going on for years. Everything is smoke and mirrors. Everything is orchestrated to avoid the truth, to deny the reality of anything unpleasant. In this situation, it’s impossible to be honest. People who play patty cake often can’t keep their promises. They always have an excuse. Despite that, often they are the ones who are always telling others how great their life is, how perfect their family is, how wonderful they are. Of course, if you never look at anything negative, if you never face the truth, you can make up any sort of life you want. If you believed what they say, you would think they were perfection personified. The greatest that ever lived.

But they aren’t. They are dysfunctional, and they are in denial. They are living a lie. If we pretend things are different than they really are, we are not living a real life. It’s all make believe. If we don’t face our lives as they really are, we aren’t living our lives as they really are. We are living in a dream state, a pretend existence. Nothing is real.

If we want to be happy, really happy, we have face life as it really is. We have to face the truth, even if it hurts, even if it’s unpleasant, even if it’s hard. If we face the truth no matter what it is, and let go of the illusions, in the end we will find more joy, and happiness, and we’ll be genuinely at peace. What could be better? So today, if you find yourself thinking about playing patty cake to get through a difficult situation, stop, and think again. You can handle whatever comes your way by being honest, and straightforward. And when you’re on the other side of the problem, you’ll be happy knowing you faced it instead of looking the other way. It’s the only way to live if you want to be happy. And we all want that don’t we?

What’s on the inside?

17 Apr

I just love to open a brand new box of chocolates. I tear off the cellophane wrapper, open the box and gaze at the gloriously beautiful, decadent, and alluring pieces of delicately designed morsels before me. I lean close and breathe in the wonderful aroma. I’m perfectly happy anticipating the first, delectable bite of deliciousness…but first, I look at the map. I review the map telling me what’s inside those little lovelies because I absolutely detest lemon creams. I hate them. I don’t know why anyone would put lemon with chocolate. Raspberry – delicious, cherry – wonderful, truffle – always, but lemon? No. I hate them. And since you can’t tell what’s on the inside from looking at the beautifully created outside, the map is invaluable. At least to me. Now maybe you don’t care, and lemon is just as good as any other flavor, but for me, it’s a deal breaker.

I have a friend who is very successful and well spoken. She seems cheery and polite most of the time, and she always says the right things to the right people. She seems almost perfect. But when you really get to know her, you realize it’s all an act. Her laughter at the boss’s jokes is fake. In fact, I actually don’t think I’ve ever heard a genuine laugh come from her. She smiles but there is no joy on her face. She moves in rehearsed ways, she says all the predictable phrases, and she changes the way she dresses to match the group she’s with. There doesn’t seem to be anything genuine about her. Everything is fake. When I first met her I thought she was so easy to get along with, so jolly and friendly but then I noticed that as soon as whomever she was charming at the moment walked away, her demeanor immediately changed. She would adjust her personality every time someone new came around and pretend to be like them. After a while I couldn’t tolerate being near her. It was almost painful to watch her go through all these imitations of being real. Who is she inside? I have no idea. I’ve known her for years and I have no idea who she really is. I sometimes wonder if she knows who she is. To me, she’s like a lemon cream. She looks good on the outside, almost perfect, but inside there is something less desirable.

In order to get along and fit in we sometimes have to modify our personality traits, but we can still be genuinely who we are. If we aren’t, who are we? Is it enough to be merely a reflection of those around us? Is it enough to mimic the behaviors of those we want to impress? Is it enough to pretend to be someone else? If we do that over and over we could get lost and actually forget who we really are. And that would be a terrible loss. Each of us has unique gifts to bring to this world. We’re all different and we all have something to offer that is uniquely us. If we ignore those distinctions and simply copy those around us, the world misses out on what we really have to offer. It’s a trap we can fall into when we aren’t confident, when we aren’t sure, when we want badly to fit in. It’s a trap and like all traps, once you’re in, it can be hard to escape.

Think about who you are today. Think about who you really are inside. Are you showing that to those around you or are you pretending to be someone else because you think you’ll be more accepted? Everyone appreciates an honest person who is genuine and clear about who they are. Even when there are disagreements, it’s important to be truthful about where we stand, how we feel, and what we’ll do. If we can do that every day, be completely honest and not play games to fit in, people will come to trust us, to understand what they can expect from us, and know that no matter what comes we will tell it like it is. And when people trust us, we open far more doors in every situation than if we just try to fit in. Be yourself today. Really be who you are. Be confident. Be truthful. Be honest. Don’t deceive others by trying to be something you’re not. Be yourself. It’s the only way to really move forward. And since we can’t go backward, if we aren’t moving forward, we are stuck. And getting stuck gets us nowhere.