Each day I am amazed how true I find the old maxim, “Honesty is the best policy” to be. Honesty, it seems, is a largely overlooked part of our society today. Quite often it seems easier to tell a “harmless” lie, than the truth. There are several reasons one might choose a lie over the truth. One constant truth to remember is that the things we say are usually a reflection of the things we do. So we will often times make a mistake and rather than tell the truth about it, we will lie so that we aren’t poorly reflected.

You may consider yourself an “honest person”, and I do not doubt that you are. I believe this post talks about making a transformation from being a generally decent honest person to someone who practices honesty as if it is a sport.

It is a simple enough point to grasp. The reality is that honestly, honesty is the best policy. Over the past 21 days I have conducted an experiment. I’ll call it my, “Living Honestly Experiment”. It went like this:

For 21 days I would make it a practice to be completely honest in everything. This is one of those things that seems obvious and simple. However when you begin to actually practice this art, it really is challenging. Here is the method I used.

Living Honestly Experiment

  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Goal: To incorporate something positive into every day life, that you otherwise might not have.

Step One: Write in large letters on a sheet of paper, “Be honest today” before you go to bed. Put this piece of paper wherever you normally go first in the morning (I used the bathroom sink).

Step Two: Repeat 40-50x per day, “I will be completely  truthful in everything, no matter what”. The no matter what section is the most important part. You will face instances where telling the truth will seem anything but smart. You may risk being fired, shot, verbally abused, physically abused, ostracized from your friends, and a myriad of other horrible things. But you must be honest

Step Three: Ask yourself every time you finish speaking, “Was I just truthful in what I said?”. If the answer is no, take corrective action immediately.

Repeat these simple steps rigorously for 21 days and then ask yourself the following questions

  1. What changes have occurred in my life during this experiment? Are they a result of it?
  2. Has this experiment positively impacted my life?
  3. Has this experiment positively impacted the life of those around me?

Lies become a comfort zone that will stunt your growth. Rid yourself of them and allow yourself to truly prosper.

My experience with this test was mixed. I will say that the end result was completely positive in the grand scheme outlook. But there were some spots where it was really difficult to do. Here are my answers to the 3 questions.

  1. Without going into too much detail. I made 4-5 new friends over these 21 days. I think this is due in part to the experiment. I became a different person when I made it a point to be completely honest and I think people were attracted to that. I experienced an increase in my creativity and proliferation in terms of the work I was doing. I received a 98% on a final exam in Accounting. My grade going in was a D. I made several valuable business contacts and had 3 offers from investors to finance a start up idea I had. I did nothing to seek the investors out just happened to be discussing an idea with them and they offered to finance it.
  2. Absolutely, it’s hard to explain how. I just find myself feeling like I can conquer anything now.
  3. Again yes but this of course is harder to track. I have had more happiness in relationships with others when being honest.

Sure my last two answers are somewhat vague. This really is something you have to try to understand.

At the end of the day, people respect honesty.