The person who is honest only for a “price” should be rated as dishonest.

The person who is honest only for a “price” should be rated as dishonest.

There are no degrees of honesty. There are only absolutes. Either you are honest or you are not. Honesty does not come for a price; honesty is its own reward. It’s also the most efficient form of human behavior. Honest persons never have to worry about which lie they have told to whom, and they never have to worry about getting caught. Thus, they are free to focus all their energies on more productive things. Make it a habit to be honest in all your dealings. If you can’t be truthful in what you say, don’t say anything at all. Remember, small lies start out innocently enough but soon assume lives of their own. A small lie requires a larger one to conceal it, and soon more, even larger lies are required. Don’t tell that first lie or take a single thing that doesn’t belong to you, and you’ll never have to worry.

There always remains an opportunity to make a new start.

Though it may not seem so when you first encounter a serious blow, you can never lose two of the most important assets you have. These are the power of your mind and your freedom to use it. Once you have turned them to understanding what laid you low, you can begin forming new plans. You may not have the money you once had; you may lack the allies you had cultivated. But you still have the benefit of a universe that eventually rewards honest effort, as well as gaining the experience of mistakes you will never make again. Remember, no matter where you are now, whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.

Actions, not words, are the greatest means of self-praise.

There are times when you will be asked to put yourself forward, to compete for a position or a contract, and you will have to speak about your accomplishments. Naturally, you will want to put the best foot forward. Be certain, however, that when you do so, you are confident that honest inquiry will support what you say about yourself. If your actions have been wise and responsible, the record will show this. Leaders in any organization are those who say, “Let’s get going. Let’s do something rather than wait around to see what happens.” When your past actions demonstrate that you are a person who accepts responsibility and shows others the way, your career and relationships will benefit you accordingly.

If you don’t believe it yourself, don’t ask anyone else to do so.

It is virtually impossible not to transmit your doubts and insecurities to others through body language, tone of voice, inflection, word choice, and other subtle characteristics. When you show by your actions that you lack self-confidence, other people also begin to doubt your ability to perform. You can gain the respect and confidence of others. Begin by making a list of all the things you like about yourself and the things you would like to change. Make a conscious effort to build upon your positive strengths and correct your weaknesses. It may not be easy, but if you assess yourself objectively and persevere in your efforts, you will eventually prevail.