While most of us were taught from a very young age that lying is wrong and that we should always tell the truth, the fact is that most of us have found ourselves in situations where we have used some degree of lying for some reason we thought warranted the breaking of this long-learned “golden rule”. Perhaps we’ve lied to a teacher to explain our way out of home-work we haven’t completed, or to a parent for playing cricket with friends when we were supposed to be doing something else.
As we start growing up, we realize that the world is not black-and-white, and it is hard to get by without occasionally using dishonesty as an excuse to move through the world’s grayness.
I once read the following quote:
“Being nice to someone you don’t like is not being two-faced, it’s a sign that you have become mature.”
I was totally sold on that. I thought sure – that’s the reason why people have better connections in life – they’re being nice to others.With time, however, I can say that it is probably the worst quote I have ever allowed myself to believe in.
All too frequently the “excuses” we make in life are actually lies, and we rationalize our tendency to use them to make our way through life here and there. What we don’t realize is that our minor, seemingly insignificant lies quickly turn into habitual lying, and we continue to rationalize this behavior and employ it in our daily lives. It becomes a way of life!
Eventually we even start lying to ourselves, and we begin to become confused as to what is true and what is a lie. This process begins innocently. We’re supposed to be up at 8:00AM, but we give ourselves an excuse to take an extra 15 minutes to rest. Next we start making excuses for 30 minutes more and very soon we perfect the art of procrastination, and then we start making excuses for why our work isn’t completed. Eventually we find that we are not where (or who!) we want to be in life, and we can’t understand how we arrived at this static place, having wasted so much time and opportunity.
One week of life without lying, and my commitment for the future:
I never used to lie, but I did make lots of excuses for everything, to everyone. I had previously never realized how small excuses quickly turn into a bad habit, and before I knew it I had turned into somewhat of a liar!
Last week I decided to take a stand. I made a conscious decision to never lie to myself or anyone else. Going into this plan, I knew that in the process there will be people whose feelings will be hurt, but I figure that a bitter truth is always better than a sweet lie.
In the past week, I was completely honest in everything I did. I don’t know what the true impact was of this one-week experiment, but I have realized that I don’t doubt myself anymore. I don’t question my thoughts or decisions because they’re not filtered or quantified with words like “but” and “or” and so on. As a result, I feel more confident in myself.
Instead of making excuses for every little thing, I started being honest with everyone around me (including me!). The transition was somewhat difficult as life transitions always are, but after 24 hours x 7 days, I can tell you that this experiment totally works.
I suggest that you make the effort to try this experiment in your life. Try to be completely honest for a period of at least one week, and see what the impact is on your life.
I will be sharing more about this concept in the coming days, and will let you know how this small life change is working out for me.