Hello, I’m life coach Peter Winslow. Recently a client of mine asked me if I believe there are people who never lie. Immediately I recognized her question as the basis for an ancient and ongoing philosophical debate in the discipline of Epistemology.
Are there people who never lie? Depends on what your definition of “lying” is.
One of my first and foremost teachers of self-empowerment, a man named Marshall Silver, once told me that in fact, everyone lies. Whether it’s a little “white lie” used to spare someone’s feelings, he said, or a giant-sized whopper intended to manipulate the masses—everyone has stretched the truth to some degree in one way or another.
More than that, when we promise more than we can deliver, hide from the consequences of our actions or even doubt ourselves and our abilities, does it constitute a breach in honesty?
In his seminal book titled The Four Agreements, author Don Miguel Ruiz admonishes us to “Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity; say only what you mean. Avoid using your word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.”
It can be very challenging to maintain this level of integrity, especially when you realize your honesty doesn’t always endear you to others. There will always be those who fear the truth, and think nothing of holding it against you.
When you endeavor to be impeccable with your word, you impact the people around you in a myriad of ways known and unknown to them. As a life coach I have consistently seen that honesty, openness and sincerity form the basis of all stable relationships, and your word is your most precious and powerful possession. It continues to create outcomes long after you’ve left the conversation.
When we cultivate honesty, we find our experiences in alignment with our deepest aspirations and intentions. People seek our friendship and connection, often willing to collaborate with us on projects of great importance. They instinctively sense that through the example of our integrity, their hopes and dreams can and will be realized.