“Let no one have the chance to accuse you, with any truth, of not being sincere or a good man: make sure that anyone taking this view of you is a liar. This is wholly up to you – who is there to prevent you being good and sincere?” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book Ten
A mentor shared his one piece of advice before a I started my first job. He said, “integrity is the one thing you will always have control over so guard that closely.” I knew how slippery a slope telling lies can be. I had gotten caught up smaller lies that led to bigger ones when I was younger and it brought great angst
After receiving that advice from my mentor, reading Marcus Aurelius writings about it, and reading Mr. Money Mustache talk about the importance of honesty, I have since adopted a policy to always tell the truth and to do the right thing. I have always kind of told the truth and mostly tried to do the right thing, but for over 3 years I have actively made the decision with each decision to guard my integrity and to do the right thing. When I say I actively made decisions for 3 years, it really is not a difficult task once it becomes a habit.
There are visible benefits to making this conscious effort and turning it into a lifestyle such as: peace of mind, deeper relationships, and trust with others to build more social capital. There are also benefits that cannot be seen right now; for example, no one would ask someone to be their business partner unless they knew they would be a trustworthy individual.
There are many things in life that are outside our control. However, telling the truth and being sincere is within our control, and, it is never too late to start down this path.