Tag: Honesty


30 - HAIL your worthHere is something that each of us can strive to emulate and thereby let others HAIL us for practicing rather than preaching those very qualities that will make us better individuals.

Honesty – The focus must be on being truthful no matter what the circumstances. At times, perhaps we may have to be a wee bit more careful with our choice of words, the timing and the tone of our communication so as to not offend others but we must never compromise on the crux of the message. This is particularly true when we have to give negative feedback to others. However, if we are not honest about our feedback the other person would never be made aware of the scope for improvement and success.

Authenticity – We normally try to couch our emotions and feelings in a manner that would be more acceptable to others. So we would try not to express our anger, our fears, our annoyance, our hurt and other times we would more gregarious, extra enthusiastic, perhaps too patronizing. While a certain amount of restraint or a dash of energized emotions is acceptable, bottling up our feelings or displaying it in extremes would make us less believable and even less accepted. Authenticity enables an individual to be natural, spontaneous and touch the other person more deeply than a mere air kiss or a casual hug. A firm handshake, a warm hug, a genuine smile and the joy exuded when meeting a person would go a long way in establishing the authenticity of the relationship.

Integrity – The key to integrity is in standing up to be counted. Can you stand by your commitments no matter what the fears, temptations, allurements, pain. Not succumbing, giving it your best shot despite being on the losing side and being able to stand tall knowing you can be in the line of fire are the key test of integrity. At the core of your integrity lies the values you have imbibed and which you are willing to put to the test. In life a common test of integrity is displayed when people do not snitch when questioned and willingly take on the punishment even when not at fault.

Love – This is tricky because no one likes to lose and yet a worthy winner needs to be congratulated and respected. The essence of love is in the respect one has for everyone, the appreciation of the differences and the genuine warmth one has for those who are around you. You may disagree with others, as it often happens when you are on opposite sides of an issue, yet on a personal level one must be able to acknowledge others as equals and respect the differences.

Try these

Flashback on to people or situations in which

  • You were not honest
  • Where you were not authentic about your emotions/ feelings
  • When you compromised on your integrity
  • You found it hard to love / forgive / respect someone

Identify  three positives in the following

  • A historical character who you despise
  • A classmate who you do have any particular friendship with
  • A teacher who gave you a tough time in school
  • An animal / creature you despise
  • A nightmare situation you have experienced

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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Be true to yourself

Nature has been very kind to mankind and that is why it has put an auto program within us in the form of our senses to help us protect ourselves from danger. Ever realized how is it that when we inadvertently touch something hot we instantaneously draw away from it or how quickly we sense danger when we smell a burning odor or stale food is immediately sensed by the tongue. The senses are programmed by nature to be true to the duty of self preservation.

The problem arises when we have to depend on ourselves for progress, growth and happiness. To this end, we are largely dependent on our academics, intellect, behavior, attitude, skill sets and motivation for setting our goals and attaining them. The very stumbling block for many begins with the academics where we are prone to expect more marks than our effort and intellect, succumb to the temptation to use unfair means so as to boost our marks and / or happily make peace with the results and rationalize that you have done your best. In effect we are just not being true to our abilities, our potential or our conscience. If you get marks that you really do not deserve, does it mean that you are academically superior to the rest? Do you think you can continue your bluff in your professional life? The replies to these questions should be again answered honestly and you would have made an important step in the pursuit of being true to yourself.

It is said that a clear conscience is the best pillow; implying thereby that if one is true to one’s self you can always enjoy a blissful sleep. In having a clear conscience one is not merely troubled by deceit, lies or improprieties that one may have lapsed into but the bigger pricks of conscience are brought about by a feeling of inadequacy that one has not discharged one’s duties effectively, not stood up to protest injustice or when one has merely sat on the fence when having to take a decisive stand. Not keeping ones promise is just a simple example of negligence in discharging ones obligation but there could be larger issues like not helping out an accident victim or not exercising one’s franchise during the elections. It may be pertinent to emphasize here that  while not voting could be viewed as an insignificant event that does not prick one’s conscience it is this collective lack of conscience that ultimately give us poor political leadership. Perhaps if each of us was true to ourselves our environment would have been a much better place to live in.

Look around and be aware of your critics. Perhaps some of those critics are people who have some differences or dislike towards you and many of their criticisms could be frivolous. There could be other critics who fail to appreciate your point of view or the reasons or intent behind your actions/ responses that they criticize. Then there are a few who are very very close to you and it this proximity to you that gives them the liberty to be more judgmental and honest in their critical feedback. What is important for you is to realize that there is always an element of truth in most of the criticisms and it is an excellent feedback to help one improve. The more important lesson though is that your friends, fans and supporters will always far outnumber your critics and most of them will never be true to you when it comes to telling you your faults, your limitations, your weaknesses or the area of improvementYou improve and progress only by being honest and true to yourself, for you and only you know yourself; only you know your fears, your ambitions, your apprehensions, your limitations, your abilities, your insecurities, your frustrations, your desires, your cravings, your hopes, your expectations, your values.

Try this:

  1. Write down your strengths and weakness and also your fears and aspirations. Make as elaborate a list as possible. Now try and honestly rate each point in each of the 4 grids and number it from 1 onwards, 1 being the most important priority. Now candidly visualize how each of the fort points in each grid impacts your decisions / your approach/ your progress.
  2. Identify 3 of the following characters and jot down one honest negative feedback you would give each of them. Think of how you will package that feedback to make it more acceptable to the recipient without your relationship being affected.

–          Friends

–          Colleagues

–          Relatives

–          School/ college mates

–          Subordinate/ junior / employee

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog


Let the truth prevail

Telling the truth may have often resulted in embarrassing situations, perhaps have left painful memories too and may have even triggered anger and fury completely disproportionate to the facts as revealed. Perhaps we may also sly grin at the escapades that we managed by suppressing the truth or outrightly lying. Look back dispassionately and perhaps you may also recall a number of times when the truth was guessed by others who because of their maturity, goodwill and / or need to protect you played along and kept things under wraps. On hindsight more often than not, every time you hid the truth you were left restless, burdened by guilt and with the Damocles sword of being found out looming over your head.

Even today if one were to tell the truth and it is an inconvenient truth, our body language would betray our fear, our quivering voice expose our vulnerability and our feeble attempts at justification would add to our misery. The good part though is that when we speak the truth, our heart is unburdened, the mind is at peace and the consequences seem bearable. Telling the truth is not simply a matter of articulating the reality but it also involves standing up for rights, standing by those wronged, refusing to toe the wrong line and standing up to a brute majority who may intimidate or attempt to cow you down.

The truth is that ‘fear’ is an overwhelming emotion that threatens to derail us telling the truth.  The best antidote for this malaise is the realization that the truth needs no ‘alibi’, it is all pervasive and when shared it shields the reality from being pricked and punctured in any form.  Yes, it is true that it takes a lot of courage to tell the truth and often our quivering voice will expose our human frailty; but the truth when spoken ‘shouts out aloud’ unshackled, unburdened and ubiquitously.

Action Points:

  1. Try playing the card game ‘ Bluff’. Notice how you can catch frequently catch another’s bluff and also how tough it is for you to bluff.
  2. Ask a close family member and an intimate friend to separately list out 5 aspects of your personality that they believe you need to improve upon. When reading the list be aware of the emotions that run through your mind on reading each criticism jotted down by them. How many of the points they mentioned are absolutely true? What and how do you propose to make use of this truth to improve yourself?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog


Trust deficit…

“It is impossible to go through life without trust: that is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.  Graham Greene

The dilemma that the average person faces at home, work and in society at large is how to trust people around us. Even if the exact definition of trust is open to interpretation we cannot escape from the reality that there is what is jargonized as an ‘acute trust deficit’. If we look at our own behavior ( we surely must have told some lies)  and interactions ( we must have blamed others when things went wrong) we would realize that  as individuals we are also not completely trust worthy and so we cannot absolve ourselves of blame. There are a variety of reasons why people belie the trust we place in them and it would perhaps help us appreciate the concept of ‘trust deficit’ better if we can dwell a few moments on these reasons. This is imperative because trust is at the heart of the evolution of human civilization for we are social animals and have to live in the company of one another and TRUST is central to a relatively harmonious and progressive society This makes it even more important for us to understand why we are also responsible for the ‘trust deficit’.

The first and foremost reason for us failing the trust test is that we make casual commitments. When we are nagged by our spouse or close family member to adhere to some set of rules, we often take them for granted and casually agree to it. More often than not, without intent to dishonor our promise we may end up not fulfilling our commitment. Such an attitude / habit if it persists will rear its ugly head in other personal and professional settings and we would ultimately end up antagonizing people and losing their trust. Nothing amplifies this more than our oft stated reply to others ‘ I will revert to you shortly’ and never revert.

Our selfishness accounts for many a deceit that we perpetrate and rationalize as trivial and insignificant. The human race is perhaps most guilty of wanting to hoard, store, amass far in excess of our requirements. We end up becoming miserly, selfish and perhaps prone to sloth, flinching goods we crave for, misappropriating what is not legitimately ours etc. Worse still is our tendency to rationalize our deeds and pull wool over our eyes to justify our illegitimate acts. Fudging our expense vouchers when claiming reimbursements, could be a minor example of such ‘trust deficit’. Obviously, over time those around us would have marked us out as untrustworthy.

Our inability to face our fears nudges us to find escape routes in lies, deceit and blame games all adding up to dishonorable acts culminating in a tangle of ‘trust deficit’. Look back at your school days and recollect how often have we come up with the most ingenious excuses to escape punishment for not doing our homework. Wind your recollections to your professional life and ask if something similar happened when we botched up a job and have to own up to the boss. Do we tend to instinctively search for a scapegoat to pass blame on to, no sooner we see a problem cropping up that could be attributed to our inefficiency, tardiness or mistake. How do our superiors, co workers and team members judge us when the blame game is perpetrated by us?

Greed- be it for riches, power or prestige weaves a web of lies, blatant cheating, despicable betrayals to hammer in the final nail in the coffin of ‘trust deficit’. Biblically when Cain after killing Able uttered those infamous words ‘ Am I brother’s keeper’ to God when questioned about his brothers whereabouts, he had established the concept of ‘trust deficit’ that his descendents would have to burden with. History is witness to the ‘trust deficit’ that each age and generation was subjected too. When sons imprisoned fathers or siblings to usurp the crown; when the Watergates and the ‘read my lips’ became black marks in modern day history and when almost every country is battling corruption at all levels, it is the culmination of centuries of ‘trust deficit’ that has pervaded the very essence of life.

The reality though is that ‘trust deficit’ exists because those who are not guilty look the other way and condone the ‘cheating’ the ‘looting’ and the ‘abuse of power’. We will have to continue to trust our family, our friends, members of our society and the law makers too or else living in society would become a horrendous burden if we viewed everyone with suspicion. However as responsible citizens we have to proactively participate in the process of cleansing the system and restoring the ‘trust’ in every sphere of life.

Remember: “You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough”  Frank Crane

Try this:

  1. How would you realistically (not idealistically) behave in the following situations?
  • You are not well prepared for an exam. During the exam the supervisor has left the room and for the next one hour the class remains unsupervised?  You are desperate because you can just about solve 3 out 5 questions and you are not sure of passing.
  • You find a wallet in a mall with a large wad of currency but no identification of the owner of the wallet. You are unsure as to how the authorities at the mall would trace the owner of the money and you believe they may pinch the money. You are also cash strapped and the college tuition fees are due to be paid in a weeks time.
  • You are traveling with an intimate friend in the car. Due to an error in judgment by your friend who is driving the car, the car knocks down a passing two wheeler. The rider of the two wheeler is very seriously hurt and is rushed to hospital. As the sole independent witness to the incident the police are questioning you. What kind of an approach will you take in answering the questions. (Remember your friendship is also at stake and if the two wheeler driver dies the whole matter becomes extremely serious)
  1. Make it a point to try your best to do the following henceforth
  • Own up your mistakes
  • Stand up for the truth
  • Have an independent point of view on all matters
  • Never condone dishonesty

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com 

You are also invited to visit our weekly Inspirational and Motivational Blog www.poweract.blogspot.com

Being balanced

“Honesty, without gentleness, is nothing but brutality … Gentleness, without honesty, is nothing but sentimentality.”  – Fr. Emmerich Vogt

As individual each of us has our own personal views on a number of issues, happenings and current events.  We also have our own views about people, politics and problems that abound around us. Yet when it comes to expressing ourselves, the vast majority of us would articulate views that would be acceptable to those around us. Yet there are times when we may get very passionate about the point of view and we could suddenly become brutally honest perhaps to our own surprise too. Other times, when the issue is very tricky and perhaps forces us to restrain ourselves, we would be extremely diplomatic and make polite noises without really committing ourselves.  In all the cases, what we are really doing is attempting to being balanced when communicating.

It is important for us to be aware of how we need to be balanced. While honesty is still the best policy, conveying the honest truth especially if it is not easily acceptable or it is terrible news or it is a true but offensive observation should be gently broken and in the right setting.  News about death, about bankruptcy, about a terrible defeat, terminal illnesses etc. are some examples of communication that needs to be honest but conveyed gently. Death of a loved one, particularly a young one no matter what the cause, is always a painful and agonizing moment of truth for there is a finality that is stark and irreversible. Perhaps that is the reason why we would rather chose a doctor, a priest, an elderly family member to convey such news for they are presumed to have maturity and the authority to effectively convey such news.  Annual appraisals are moments in a corporate executive’s life, that brings both dread and hope. The most painful part is not the outcome of the appraisal but the ordeal of having to endure the feedback particularly if the person conveying the feedback has a reputation for plain speaking, is rough rude and ruthless.

On the other hand, if we look back at our school days, we would perhaps look back with regret that we often despised those teachers who were tough in their assessment, frank in their approach and ruthless in their discipline. We may have actually despised their mannerism more than their communication. With the benefit of experience and age we may have concluded that the tough teachers actually molded us better. On the other hand , those who were willing to overlook our weakness, turned a blind eye to our eroding scruples and those who curried favor by being goody goody may have actually hampered our growth. By their gentle but not so truthful ways, they let us persist with our weakness, did not light up the right path and seriously negatively impacted our impressionable minds. We grew up without the firm moorings that would let us drop anchor in the right port of life.

Being balanced therefore means walking a tightrope. It is challenging to be both tough when required and gentle when needed for it is not an easy decision to make. More seriously we must not make the mistake of being sentimental fools nor brutal tyrants for our attitude, behavior, thinking and actions will have an impact not only on us but on all those who are influenced by us.

Remember: Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. Thomas Merton

Try this:

  1. Recollect the names of at least 3 people who have had a major influence on your life. At least one of them must be someone who has been tough on you and yet you believe they had a positive influence on you. Outline 3 reasons why they influenced you positively.
  2. Your assistant is a technical expert who is working on a project that is just days away from being finished. If the deadline is not met there could be heavy penalties. The assistant had got his leave a sanctioned month earlier to attend his brother in law’s (wife’s brothers) wedding. However without his expertise the project will have an overrun and you have the power to overrule his leave.  How will you tackle the situation?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

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