“If I’m honest, I can never feel ashamed.” ~Shinedown, “Some Day”

There is a certain beauty in living life with honesty.

While the benefits of and motivations for choosing “honesty” in life are many — including that truthfulness and honesty are integral to one’s sense of moral integrity — living a life of honesty ultimately means having little to regret.

What does it mean to live with honesty?

Living with honesty is less about persistently resorting to truth over deception, and is more about living your life in a way that is “honest” to who you are on the inside — your strengths, your gifts, and your passions, as well as your beliefs and morals.

In other words, when we discuss the merit and importance of “living with honesty,” we’re focusing on what it means to be true to yourself — to not deceive yourself into living for the wrong reasons, like pursuing a career based upon someone else’s demands or expectations.

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How do we live with honesty?

Living with honesty begins with simple introspection.

Ask yourself, are you being true to who you are on the inside? Is what you’re pursuing in life (as a parent, a professional, etc.) fulfilling your passions, your life goals, or your fullest potential? Are you chasing after what you most desire? Are you doing what would be best at doing? Could maximize your potential any further? Are you most positively helping the lives of others?

Are you deceiving yourself into living your life for the wrong reasons? Choosing to live a life based on others’ assumptions or expectations will ultimately leave you regretting the past and wishing that you could do it all over again.

On a personal level, I took a job for the wrong reasons after graduating college. I made the decision because I felt that it was expected of me; that I “ought” to take a job in politics because that was my “career trajectory” after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science and having had many internships in State and federal government — in spite of growing increasingly turned off by the political sphere.

When it dawned on me that I wasn’t being true to myself and that I wasn’t being honest with myself, I moved in a different direction — one in which I strive to live my life for the right reasons. I haven’t looked back.

What is the benefit of living with honesty?

Being true to yourself should undoubtedly help lead us to what most of us strive for in life — some form of fulfillment. For, if we stay true to ourselves and to our nature, we’re all the more likely to pursue something about which we are passionate; when our careers or life goals are driven by what we love, we’re so much more likely to find that sense of fulfillment.

Most importantly, staying true to yourself means that will ultimately have little to regret in the end.

Regardless of whether you succeed or fail, when you stay true to yourself the choices and decisions you make every day are seldom ever regretted because your motivations for those choices and decisions were not influenced by ulterior motives or anyone other than yourself.

And having so little to regret from living with honesty is something truly beautiful.