SUCCESS RULE #32 Don’t Lie

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche.

Lying and untruths are never a good thing. Even “small white lies” set the stage for doubt and distrust. When we lie nothing good comes of it either. Oh there may be some short term gain but at what expense? Must you involve others in your cover-up? How much time must you spend in crafting a story? To prevent future recrimination or embarrassment will you have to tell another, maybe bigger lie?

Late for work, blame it on the traffic or an accident. Instead take responsibility. If it’s chronic, the lies are going to dry up. Leave earlier. You say you understand when you don’t. It’s a lie. You don’t want to look silly or stupid so you say you do. Then you get it wrong and look more foolish. Simply explain you want to do an excellent job, and ask for clarification. You’ll be appreciated for it. “I’d be happy to”, you say. It’s a lie. You’re not happy to do it, you’re up to your eyeballs and it’s just one more, “Would you mind” on your plate. Perhaps learning to say no without burning bridges is in order, versus over committing and under delivering.

Some lies may even go undetected. These are the worst. Perhaps an embellishment of who you are or what you’ve done. As a retired military member, I learn of individuals who steal the honor of those who served by lying about their role in the military, medals they’ve never earned, jobs they’ve never held. There is no honor in lying. In truth these undiscovered lies have a greater capacity to erode who we really are, our self-esteem – our very self-worth.

Lying is hard. Telling the truth is easy. When you tell the truth you don’t have to keep track of what you said. No need to spend time crafting a story, figuring out what you’re going to say to whom. Decisions are easier. No need to think about what to lie about, just tell the truth. No real thought, no uncomfortable choices, no guilt, no fear, no recrimination, no embarrassment. It’s healthier, no stress, and no anxiety of being caught.

Finally when you are known for telling the truth, you will have the respect of others. Others will seek you out for your advice and you won’t be asked to cover up for someone else.

When we deceive others it is disrespectful, difficult and complicated

… it is the most personal act of cowardice there is. It cost a lot to maintain a lie, whereas the truth is free.

The truth never changes . . . or does it? Become a fan on Facebook and let me know what you think.

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Be Extraordinary!

Anthony Tormey

Founder & CEO

Leader Development Institute

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