[ From DailyOM ]
Promises are easily made. Keeping them often proves more difficult because when we are pressured to strive always for perfection, we find it simpler to agree to undertake impossible tasks than to say no. Likewise, there is an infinite array of circumstances that conspire to goad us into telling falsehoods, even when we hold a great reverence for truth. When you endeavor to consistently keep your word, however, you protect your reputation and promote yourself as someone who can be trusted to be unfailingly truthful. Though your honesty may not always endear you to others—for there will always be those who fear the truth—you can nonetheless be certain that your integrity is never tarnished by the patina of deceit. Since frankness and sincerity form the basis of all life-enriching relationships, your word is one of your most precious and powerful possessions.
When we promise more than we can deliver, hide from the consequences of our actions through falsehoods, or deny our true selves to others, we hurt those who were counting on us by proving that their faith was wrongly given. We are also hurt by the lies we tell and the promises we break. Integrity is the foundation of civilization, allowing people to live, work, and play side by side without fear or apprehension. As you cultivate honesty within yourself, you will find that your honor and reliability put people at ease. Others will feel comfortable seeking out your friendship and collaborating with you on projects of great importance, certain that their positive expectations will be met. If you do catch yourself in a lie, ask yourself what you wanted to hide and why you felt you couldn’t be truthful. And if life’s surprises prevent you from keeping your word, simply admit your error apologetically and make amends quickly.
Since the path of truth frequently represents the more difficult journey, embarking upon it builds character. You can harness the power of your word when you do your best to live a life of honesty and understand what motivates dishonesty. In keeping your agreements and embodying sincerity, you prove that you are worthy of trust and perceive values as something to be incorporated into your daily existence.