Because we see truth through the filter of our beliefs, each of us sees the truth differently and those differences can lead to misunderstandings or worse, lead us to live unfulfilled lives. There are three crucial questions to ask before speaking the truth. These questions will make your life and the lives of those around you more peaceful and much, much happier, enabling you to live in charge of your life. Truth Question Number One: is the "truth" in fact true? It may be a lie or it may be your perception, version or impression of the truth. It may be something which sounds good or right, or something that you believe ought to be the truth, but is it in fact "a truth" of the universe? If it is not "the truth," then there is no reason to ever say it. Truth Question Number Two: is it a truth that really has to be said? If you follow this rule, you will reduce the number of problems arising out of telling the truth by at least 50%.
If telling the truth will change you and no one else, tell yourself and be quiet. If telling the truth will change you in a positive manner and not hurt someone else, by all means tell it. But if telling the truth is going to have no more effect than writing on water, there is no need to say it. If telling the truth has no beneficial outcome other than for you to hear the sound of your own voice, there is no need to say it, because you already know what your voice sounds like. Truth Question Number Three: can the truth be said and heard in a kind and loving manner? Following this rule will save you the remaining problems that arise from telling the truth. It is not sufficient that the truth be told, it must be told kindly and lovingly.
The listener also needs to be in a time and place that the truth can be heard, otherwise it will be rejected, and rejected truth is no truth at all. Use the three truth questions to enrich and enhance your life so you can live your life in peace and harmony. Consider the following example: Sharon and David were a power couple. Everything they did they did well. They were not driven - they were supercharged. Each of them was extremely successful in business.
They each had founded their own companies and grown them into multi-million dollar enterprises. They were hard-driving, focused, dictatorial. Being right was an important part of their personalities, and with their remarkable minds and memories they usually were right. For both Sharon and David being right and telling the truth were the same. They were always improving the world by correcting everything and everybody around them.
If someone told a story and said it happened on Monday when the truth was it happened on Tuesday, Sharon and David would immediately correct the speaker. It was irrelevant to them if the day of the story was important or not. Sharon and David never even understood the harm they were causing by their constant truthfulness. Between themselves they failed to show each other kindness or gentleness. Only the "truth" was important.
If Sharon asked how she looked in a particular dress, David would tell his truth no matter how hurtful it was. When David asked Sharon for her opinion on his appearance she would tell her truth. Her truths were as hurtful and painful as David's truths.
When it came to their businesses, they each took a no-holds-barred approach. The cruelty of their remarks to each other and business associates was appalling. Their intellectual brilliance could not make up for the hurtfulness of their approach to truth-telling.
Their work and their marriage became a series of one step forward and two steps backward exercises. Their marriage was a war of constant correction, ridicule, berating and belittling, all in the name of truth telling. Once Sharon and David agreed to listen to others, to truly understand the impact their words were having, they began to realize the importance of kindness when telling the truth.
Sharon and David made the exercise that follows a daily part of their lives. It took a lot of hard work and time on their part, but they are happy they have changed. Their businesses are better than ever. More importantly, they have a warm, affectionate and loving marriage, a marriage they each fully support and enjoy.
Art and Anna Kleimer are certified professional coaches with an international practice, and authors of Power Living, Living Your Life, Liberty and Happiness. Visit their website at http://www.coachingtoyes.com