I pledge to tell the truth

unlock the doorToday’s post is brought to you by Guest Blogger Stuart Mills of Unlock the Door.  I’m delighted that Stuart kindly agreed to Guest Post here at decide2do.

In Stuart’s words, his site, Unlock The Door,” is a personal development website which provides you with the keys that you seek to unlock the potential in your life, and to access the better person within yourself.  Here is my mission in life: to help others, to serve the Universe, and to leave this world a better place than when I found it. Pretty big ambitions, but I’m determined to stay true, and I have a vehicle to drive me forward. It is Unlock The Door. This place is for people who are genuinely interested in improving themselves, who have an interest in being better at what they do. What this place is about, is giving without expectation of getting.”

Join me in welcoming Stuart to this neighbourhood.  I hope you’ll chime in with your comments after reading his great post.

We’re all liars

That may seem a little harsh to some of you, but the bare truth of it is that we can be all classed as liars, because we have all lied before. Like with writing and blogging, we may not be blogging or writing right now, but because we have written or blogged in the past, we can still call ourselves ‘writers’ or ‘bloggers’. The same applies to lying.

I say this not to put you down or to dishearten you – I say this because I want to reveal this paradox. It’s a truth that we all lie. If we say we never lie, then that in itself is a lie, because we have lied before. It’s part of human nature to lie, as is telling the truth. It’s all a natural process.

What’s more confusing is that even if we lie, we sometimes get mistaken for telling the truth, and if we tell the truth, we sometimes get mistaken for lying. It’s a fine mess of words at times!

A Tale Of Truth

I once read a story told in Doing Nothing by Steven Harrison, where a king of a large city was once disturbed by the relative appearance of truth. He wanted to find the ultimate expression of truth, which no-one could deny or question. So, he decided to enforce absolute truth by law.

He created a simple law – if anyone entered his city and didn’t tell the absolute truth, they would be hanged. The king was content – he was sure he had found the ultimate expression of truth beyond any doubt. Many people entered the city, and some were hanged for telling lies, whilst others were pardoned for speaking the absolute truth.

Nearby the king’s city lived a madman, a mystic who was feared and revered for his way with words. When he heard the king’s decree, he laughed out loud, and decided to go to the city to present himself before the king. The madman arrived in the city, and spoke before the king,

“By your decree, today you will hang me for telling this lie.”

The king was stunned. He could not hang the madman because then the mystic would have spoken the absolute truth, but he couldn’t let him go free because then he would have lied. Instead of doing either, the king gave up his city and went off with the mad mystic to learn the true meaning of absolute truth.

The Web

Is it now possible to see how a mess can easily be made with words? Words can tangle, words can entrap. What one person may think is a lie, the other person may think is true. It’s easy to see why some politicians have a bad reputation as they spin their words to carefully avoid being caught out.

The game of words is a complex one, and one which everyone tries to survive. In work situations, in home situations, with friends and peers – we all speak words in order to convey our emotions , to survive the madness of the world, and to try and get ahead at every opportunity. Here are some examples:

–        We threaten and shout at the kids when we want to get some peace

–        We try and convince a potential customer to buy from us

–        We sweet-talk our partner into buying something for us, promising a reward later

–        We moan about the economy in the hopes that others will befriend us

–        We gossip about friends in order to feel superior to them

It’s easy to get tangled up in the web of words. Our unconscious desires for respect and appreciation take hold, and we find ourselves saying things we might not really mean.

But there is a way to get out of this web, and to lose the strands and strings that tie you into the chaos of the words of today.

You can be an arrow.

The Arrow Through The Web

What do you think about when you think of an arrow? Straight? True? Sharp? These qualities are the qualities which I now adopt when speaking words. And I think you could benefit from this approach too.

An arrow is an object that flies in a straight line for a set amount of time, sometimes for long distances, and never deviates from its path. If shot well, it will hit the mark. In this tangled chaos of words, we find ourselves going back and forth, following lines and threads which lead to more lines and threads, and there never seems to be an end, all because we rely on lies to help us survive.

So, why not be true? Why not be straight as an arrow, and avoid lies altogether?

Here is my challenge to you, if you’re ready to accept it. Don’t tell any lies. Avoid telling any form of lie (white lie, bold lie, half-lie, etc.), and only focus on telling the truth. No matter how hard it is, and no matter how much you think the other person will hate you afterwards, always tell the truth. Whatever words come out of your mouth, make sure they are true.

Don Miguel Ruiz talked about this in his book, The Four Agreements.  He said that words had power, and those who used words for their own gain were practicing black magic and were creating chaos. You can use whatever imagery you want, but the meaning remains the same. Words have power, and you can either add to the web, or you can puncture through it.

A Confession

I’m not perfect. I don’t advise challenges if I’m not ready to do them myself, or have already done them, and I set this challenge for myself just as much as I set it for you. I still find myself telling little lies here and there, and I wish I wouldn’t. It may appear to solve problems, or avoid problems at the time, but I know that it will catch up with me at some point. What goes around, comes around.

And so, I set this challenge to follow it myself, and to do my best in eliminating the lies that I speak. I will stumble many times, but I won’t ever stop trying.

So, are you in?

Stuart is a personal development blogger who wants to help you improve at life. He thinks you’re awesome. You can often find him at Unlock The Door (http://unlockthedoor.net/), where he writes constantly to make it a better day for everyone, and you can subscribe to his content here http://feeds.feedburner.com/unlockthedoor

  • http://websitesgiveback.com/blog/ Elena Patrice

    Stuart is so nice to see you on Kaarina’s site!  Awesomeness coming together! Whoo hoo!

    This is a very interesting post because the internet offers such anonymity and can be so incredibly deceiving on one hand. We’ve all heard the horror stories on dating sites, business deals, etc. It’s odd because in one respect I have more trust in some of my blogging relationships than I do with some people I’ve known for countless years face-to-face (perhaps that makes me the fool!). As much as there can be deceit and a web (pun intended) of lies; I choose to also believe that it’s a place of incredibly honesty as well. Perhaps it’s the circles we choose to “hang out” in. I’m drawn to straight-shooting, sometimes painfully honest blogs – we all know these because we all frequent them. Personally for me, I find it hard to lie because it sucks the life out of me and has a massive snowball effect. I’m really at a point in life where you take me like I am or not – I’m not going to lie about my deal to make myself look better or feel better. I’m actually working on a post about when all the curtains come down and you’re standing there raw and with nothing to hide, what then (so this post helps). Never have I questioned your honesty Stuart, that’s why I like you and why I trust (key) what you write. Rockin’ post … as always! ;)
     
    Be safe. Much kindness,
     
    Elena

  • http://websitesgiveback.com/blog/ Elena Patrice

    Stuart is so nice to see you on Kaarina’s site!  Awesomeness coming together! Whoo hoo!

    This is a very interesting post because the internet offers such anonymity and can be so incredibly deceiving on one hand. We’ve all heard the horror stories on dating sites, business deals, etc. It’s odd because in one respect I have more trust in some of my blogging relationships than I do with some people I’ve known for countless years face-to-face (perhaps that makes me the fool!). As much as there can be deceit and a web (pun intended) of lies; I choose to also believe that it’s a place of incredibly honesty as well. Perhaps it’s the circles we choose to “hang out” in. I’m drawn to straight-shooting, sometimes painfully honest blogs – we all know these because we all frequent them. Personally for me, I find it hard to lie because it sucks the life out of me and has a massive snowball effect. I’m really at a point in life where you take me like I am or not – I’m not going to lie about my deal to make myself look better or feel better. I’m actually working on a post about when all the curtains come down and you’re standing there raw and with nothing to hide, what then (so this post helps). Never have I questioned your honesty Stuart, that’s why I like you and why I trust (key) what you write. Rockin’ post … as always! ;)
     
    Be safe. Much kindness,
     
    Elena

    • http://www.unlockthedoor.net Stuart Mills

      Elena! Great to have you check out my little offering, glad you liked it!

      The internet is also known as the world-wide-web, and with good reason. It’s a mass system of communication, and like any other mass system, there’s potential for corruption. A lot of false tales and treachery have made their way onto the web.

      You made a great point about anonymity – who are we to trust? I agree with you about some online friends, I get on well with some bloggers who I’ve known for less than a year, than ‘real’ friends who I’ve known for years.

      Thanks Elena :-)

  • http://www.unlockthedoor.net Stuart Mills

    Kaarina, thanks a million (and so much more) for featuring me here on Decide 2 Do! Have I ever told you that you’re amazing? ;-)

    I’ll be around to respond to comments, looking forward to it :-)

    • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

      Stu, thanks for your very kind words and for this awesome post. I appreciate both:)  Cheers!  Kaarina

  • http://www.thegoodnessgrows.com Mimi Meredith

    Stuart, I’ve made this pact with myself before. And I found it liberating and simplifying. Yet here I am, agreeing to accept the challenge again, because I just can’t ever quite get my act together. Thanks for reminding me of this important truth. Here’s to simple truths and impeccable words.

    • http://www.unlockthedoor.net Stuart Mills

      Hey Mimi, thanks for commenting!

      Don’t worry about it, I’m sure I’ll stumble in this challenge. But the realisation of the stumble is the key, because then you know that you’re off track. Get back on track, and pick up where you left off :-)

  • Anonymous

    Hey Stu, good to see you at Kaarina’s today. That is an extremely tough challenge; not because I’m a habitual liar, but sometimes a little white lie is appropriate if the answer will intentionally hurt someone. I’m not saying it’s right and maybe someone will respect you more because of it; but I think there is something called tact and people who are brutally honest don’t seem to have much of it.

    If you want a laugh, go to the YouTube Honest Abe Geico commercial. His wife Mary Todd is asking Lincoln if this dress makes her butt look fat; of course Honest Abe can not tell a lie. It’s pretty cute.

    Thanks for sharing buddy; I didn’t realize your birthday present was going to be you blowing up all over the place. Good job…….

    • http://www.unlockthedoor.net Stuart Mills

      Hey Bill – I agree, it’s a very tough challenge because of the society we find ourselves in. And it’s a challenge where it’s OK to fail, as the worst that will happen is you looking like everyone else ;-)

      I’ll check out that video, thanks for sharing amigo :-)

  • http://spinsucks.com Gini Dietrich

    Stuart, this is so true! I have a brother (the one closest to me in age) who can tell a fantastic story. I mean, FANTASTIC. He will have you rolling on the floor from laughing so hard. But he embellishes just about every part of the “true story” he’s telling. Sure it makes for a great story, but we’ve all come to listen to about 1/8 of what he says because we know the rest of it is, well, a lie.

    • http://www.unlockthedoor.net Stuart Mills

      Hey Gini!

      Interesting to hear about your brother, sounds like he knows how to entertain! If he uses the words to entertain people, that’s better than lying to harm others ;-)

  • http://vizsource.info/ Kim Davies

    Hi, Stuart. 

    Great to see you here in Kaarina’s home. And, what a true post. It has made me feel so guilty though. :(

    Kaarina knows a huge secret about me that has made me feel like a fake online. And every time somebody writes about being true, about not telling lies, I shrivel with the guilt I feel. I also opened up with Griddy about this in her post but considering the conversations that post got, I don’t think anybody noticed my confession.

    So, where do we draw the line at lying? If somebody asks you to lie for the benefit of a company, would you do it? I did. And although that lie has not affected the way I blog and the personality that I am trying to put out, it still bothers me.

    I have long wanted to write a confession on my blog about this secret, but it is not my decision. 

    Very troubled,
    Kim

    • http://www.unlockthedoor.net Stuart Mills

      Hi Kim, thanks for sharing that with us here.

      What we did in the past isn’t always pretty – I’ve done and said some pretty horrible things that, if I could go back in time, I’d correct. But it’s these very same experiences that shape us into who we are today. If you hadn’t have had that experience Kim, would you then know what you know now?

      Try not to be hard on yourself – it’s the human condition to be imperfect, and that means making mistakes, lying, etc. It’s how you behave now that matters :-)

      • http://vizsource.info/ Kim Davies

        That’s what’s troubling me, Stuart. It is not in the past, it is very much in my present and it’s what makes me feel so guilty every time I read posts like yours. :(

        • http://www.unlockthedoor.net Stuart Mills

          Ah, sorry my posts have that effect on you ;-)

          Do you wanna talk about it? I can try and help if you wish, maybe over e-mail? :-)

          • http://vizsource.info/ Kim Davies

            Would you, really? Thanks! I’d appreciate that.

          • http://www.unlockthedoor.net Stuart Mills

            Be happy to! My e-mail is unlockthedoor@hotmail.co.uk :-)

          • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

            Warms my heart to see that, here in my little neighbourhood, what “social media” is all about (connections, relationships, friendships, community and conversation) is happening…live.  So happy for you two to connect on this.  Cheers!  Kaarina

          • http://vizsource.info/ Kim Davies

            A confession is forthcoming, Kaarina. :)

          • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

            Remember: to everything there is a season and a reason. Only if and when you’re ready, my friend.

          • http://www.unlockthedoor.net Stuart Mills

            I like that Kaarina – “to everything there is a season and a reason” :-)

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  • http://www.expatlifecoach.com/blog John Falchetto

    How Stuart, a life without any lies? Could society work and function? Great question.

    I think beyond the lies we tell others, there are much worse lies. The lies we tell ourselves and somehow start believing as truths. These are probably the most dangerous ones.

    • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

      John, what an important thought that the worst lies are “The lies we tell ourselves and somehow start believing as truths.”

      I have always stood fast to the quote: “This above all, to thine own self be true.” I’m with you on honesty to oneself.  Cheers!  Kaarina

    • http://www.unlockthedoor.net Stuart Mills

      I agree John, these are dangerous lies indeed, but then I reckon these are the most common of them all.

      Why do we tell a lie? To get the other to take it as truth. There’d be no reason to tell a lie if we knew the other didn’t believe it :-)

  • http://hajrak.blogspot.com Hajra

    Hi Stuart,

    Great to see you here.. you sure are going place… literally ;)

    Well, though I agree with the post about telling the truth and not lying; but not lying ALWAYS, ANYTIME or EVER is something I don’t agree with. Yes, people come attack me but that’s what I believe in. 

    Ok, I may not sound smart but if my nephew is a terrible singer and he performs; I will say that he is way better than anyone can ever be. That is a “lie” but there is no way, I am hurting someone as special and little as him. 

    My friend may not look as pretty as a princess on her wedding day, but I will “lie” –  shower her with compliments to make her feel special…maybe I might be truthful and tell her to improvise on where I think she has done it wrong; but if that is something she doesn’t agree with then I might just nod along..her special day, her way. Am I lying, or am I just being careful that I don’t hurt her and spoil the day. 

    So, though I don’t completely agree, I don’t completely disagree too. I do feel I lie at places I shouldn’t have, I am not saying I am perfect –  in lying to make someone feel nice; or that we should lie wherever we can. No, but saying the absolute truth always…might be a little difficult for me. 

    But then again, lying for reasons totally uncalled for is something I regret too. What I do to “stop lying” is that when I don’t agree or when I think I might lie, I just tend to keep my opinion to myself. If I can’t say the truth, if the situation doesn’t allow me, if saying it will have a lot of unpleasant, unwanted consequences, then I might just be quiet and nod it off.

    Thanks for such a thoughtful post. Maybe, I should try eliminating lying as you suggest! 

    P.S. Sorry for being the “bad guy” here, but I just couldn’t “lie”! :) And I still love your posts just as much…that is the truth; the absolute truth!

    • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

      Hi Hajra, and thanks for dropping by. And you’re no “bad guy” here…your points are well spoken and well taken.  The old saw “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all” puts me in mind of your approach.

      I’ve always said: If you ask me a question, I’ll answer it.  But I think, as @bdorman264:disqus says below, there’s a fine line between brutal honesty and brutality.  I think, in many ways, what you’re talking about isn’t really “lying”…it’s couching your comments in a way that is appropriate for the person, the occasion and the circumstances.

      Love your P.S.  And I totally agree…Stu’s posts are great!  Cheers!  Kaarina

      • http://hajrak.blogspot.com Hajra

        Thanks so much Kaarina! I think I am talking about brutality and brutal honesty! :)

        • http://www.kaarinadillabough.com Kaarina Dillabough

          :))))))

    • http://www.unlockthedoor.net Stuart Mills

      Hajra, please don’t apologise – there’s no bad guys here, it’s a free country and you’re entitled to say what you please :-)

      As Kaarina said, I believe the “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything” line comes into play here. I’ve held my tongue numerous times when I wanted to be ‘brutally’ honest with someone. Before, I regretted holding my tongue and not saying something, but now I prefer to do it. I’ve gained that control over my speech, because I’m more aware of the long-term consequences.

      Everyone’s different Hajra, and from what I read, you’re coming from a good place. There are others who might read this post and COMPLETELY disagree – that would be an interesting debate ;-)

      If you wish to try the challenge, good on you! I’m with you all the way! Maybe together, we can help the world to cut back on meaningless lies ;-)

      • http://hajrak.blogspot.com Hajra

        Thanks so much!

        Just today, I had a patient who got into big trouble because he was a compulsive liar! Reminded me of your post! :)

        • http://www.unlockthedoor.net Stuart Mills

          It’s a small and crazy world we live in ;-)

  • http://www.thejackb.com/ The JackB

    Not to bring religion in, but I don’t know how to avoid  it in this case. In Judaism there is a concept of Shalom Bayit that I try hard to follow. The literal translation of the Hebrew is “Peaceful House.”

    The point of it is very similar to what has been discussed here and that is to maintain peaceful relationships at home, but there is no reason not to extend it outwards.

    And then there is a whole discussion about how embarrassing a person is similar to killing them that is tied into this as well.

    Anyhow, I wrestle with all of this. I don’t like it when people ask me if clothing makes them look fat because I don’t want to lie. But I don’t want to needlessly hurt their feelings either

    • http://www.unlockthedoor.net Stuart Mills

      Hey Jack, thanks for stopping by!

      It is hard, I agree. I’d never pretend it was easy to go without lying, and I certainly haven’t reached that ideal myself. But that’s what it is, ‘an ideal state’. It’s something that we haven’t got to yet, but it’s something I believe, we should be aiming for. And if everyone aimed for it, and at least tried, then the world would be in a better place than where it is now, where people freely lie without prior thought.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts – as always, they’re valued :-)

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