Updated: Jun 30, 2022
If you got robbed, stranded by cyclones or had to cross a desert—would you still keep your travel plans?
It's an interesting question.
Because if any one of those things happened to me, I would go home. I wouldn't want to tempt Fortune anymore during my travels. But one famous traveller in the 14th century wasn't deterred when all that happened to him. In fact, this same traveller took on serious jobs, married (and divorced) women he met and more. Then finally, in his old age, he went back to his home country.
This famous traveller was not Marco Polo.
It was the Moroccan traveller named Ibn Battuta. And as you can tell, he lived one heck of a life.
Nothing stopped him from travelling.
He was willing to explore the good and the bad and loved every bit. Ibn Battuta lived many lives in roughly 40 countries. And you can read all about this in his book titled 'Travels.' Where you can find all his stories and vicariously experience his adventures.
But another way to experience adventure without travelling is by practising truthfulness.
That seems like a less sexy way, but it's true.
Being more truthful will get a daily rush of excitement because it's not easy, especially when it isn't ideal. But with truthfulness will not only come a sense of being alive but improvements in many areas of your life.
And in this article, I'll give you three reasons why truthfulness will improve your life by at least 10% this year.
The three reasons are:
Okay, let's hop on to the first reason: Self-Respect.
When you can speak the truth, this shows that you are not willing to lie to yourself.
And this is a sign that you respect yourself.
Even though telling the truth might be scary, you respect the fact that you are capable of whatever can come. When people don't want to be truthful, they think they are incapable of the consequences. So they would rather lie and pretend everything is good.
Oddly enough, your level of self-respect will determine the status of your courage.
And this isn't me blowing smoke.
Thucydides, one of the most celebrated historians in Antiquity, stated that self-respect is the prerequisite for courage.
This makes sense.
Only a person who respects themselves will have the courage to take on whatever life throws at them. And this includes the consequences of being truthful.
In addition to self-respect and courage, truthfulness will also make you leave a strong impression on others.
What kind of impression?
One that makes you polarizing. For whatever reason, people shy away from being truthful. It's as if honesty is a sign of troublemaking.
Yet, when one speaks the truth unapologetically, it shocks people. Most people today are not used to honesty.
Whether it comes to dating, family, friends, etc. . It's better to fudge the truth to keep the pseudo-kumbaya life.
But, honesty can create conflict.
It can offend people.
And it can shatter relationships.
But here is the thing: you shake off the dead leaves from your life with truthfulness. These dead leaves could be toxic relationships, poor friendships, etc. . By practising honesty, you will naturally set a certain standard when you engage with people.
And if people don't meet your standards, you'll let them know. People will either come to love you or hate you.
That's what being polarizing is all about.
Some people might think they don't want to be hated. But I'll tell you what's worse than being hated. It's when people are indifferent.
Indifference means you elicit no emotion in them, making you forgettable.
But if you are honest in all your engagements, that will shock people into either loving or despising you. And either one is fine as you will quickly see who is worth investing in and not.
So be polarizing.
And with all this, you start to become someone who acts whole.
Or better said, acts with integrity.
When you are willing to be honest with others, you are eager to be honest with yourself.
And from this self-honesty comes the willingness not to betray yourself.
And this naturally leads to integrity.
We hear all the time about people having or lacking integrity. But rarely do we understand the origins of integrity.
Truthfulness, especially to the self, produces integrity. So no matter the situation or who you deal with, you will act in a way that is not incongruent with you.
Too many times, I see guys not being truthful to a girl since they want sex. Or how professionals will not be honest about certain conduct due to getting a promotion or a raise.
And when such acts occur, your mind notes that you are willing to lie and betray yourself.
And most people who engage in self-betray or self-dishonesty will tell you that it's not worth it.
So if you're looking for integrity, then start with truthfulness. No matter how difficult it is.
Yet, I know there will be some who will think otherwise.
They will wonder if truthfulness needs commitment when practising other virtues.
I get it.
I've been there where I did all the great virtues except for truthfulness.
And it still leads to nowhere.
The thing is, if you want a higher quality of life, great relationships, loving friendships, etc.
It starts with honesty.
Because with truthfulness comes vulnerability. And with vulnerability comes stronger relationships, and with that comes leadership.
Honesty is the foundation of life fulfillment.
So no matter what other virtues you practise, it will all pale in comparison.
And keep in mind, to be honest, is to be courageous. The first brave act in anyone's life is to be honest with themselves.
Truthfulness helps you to learn how to have mettle.
Which naturally translates in all areas of your life.
So if you're serious about wanting to improve your life, then start being honest. No matter how frightening it is.
So what's a relevant example?
In MMA, there is an inside joke that the most average fighter, Artem Lobov, is the Greatest of All Time.
It's a funny joke that produces memes.
But a couple of months ago, Artem retired from MMA. And the reason for it was due to him admitting a harsh truth: He wasn't good enough.
He admitted this publicly, and it must have been painful, as he wanted to continue in MMA. But he knew he couldn't lie to himself; otherwise, he would get himself hurt by better opponents.
When Artem made this announcement, the MMA fans showed immense respect for him. There was something in that honesty that elicited admiration.
A man that was made fun of by fans was now applauded by them. Even though Artem showed gall in the octagon, it was the act of truthfulness that garnered respect.
So don't think that being truthful goes unnoticed.
Some of the most courageous acts in human history have come from someone being honest, despite the severe consequences.
That being said, people will make a common mistake when learning to be truthful.
Shying away from honesty due to conflict.
One thing we have to realize is that life will only get more complex as you get older.
And you have two options:
Grow as an individual to deal with life's challenges.
Or stay stagnant despite the increased challenges.
People who stop being truthful due to conflict fall in the latter.
There is no nice way to put it.
Your actions will determine if you become your ideal self or a bitter, shrivelled version.
Like I said in my previous content, you are either feeding the Hero or the Coward in you. And choosing not to be truthful due to conflict is constantly feeding the Coward.
Because I was a coward, I practised all the other virtues, but truthfulness and my life did not change. Even though I was reading, working out, and being social, the fact that I couldn't be honest kept me in the same spot.
And looking back, it wasn't worth it.
You don't have to make the same mistake. Learn from me and embrace the Hero part of you that is willing to be honest. And ready to deal with the consequences.
Life is too short to be a Coward.
Anyways, let's hop onto the summary.
Being truthful shows self-respect, makes you polarizing, and someone with integrity.
Honesty shows you respect yourself to take on the consequences. And with honesty, not only comes self-respect but courage.
Telling the truth will make you polarizing. Most people are not used to others being honest. So this will either have people love or hate you.
With truth comes integrity, as you are not willing to lie and betray yourself, even when it's convenient.
People tend to avoid honesty if it creates conflict. Yet, this is a poor mistake to make. Not being truthful will invalidate other virtues you are practising.
A lot of self-help content talks about doing many things to make your life better.
But it's rarely that complicated.
It starts with yourself. It begins with you being honest. And over time, this one virtue will spring forth many opportunities. Especially in your love life, social life, career, etc. Which will help you create one heck of a life. One that might even rival Ibn Battuta's life.
The Charismatic Nerd