I lie every single day. Whilst there is certainly an exhilaration in truth, but there is also perpetual conflict. Your truths will offend, they will cause difficult conversations, sometimes it just doesn't seem worth being honest; the price is too high when all it takes is a lie.
In his interview with Philippe Bartu, an ever-so-slightly incredulous Michael Serwa asks where's the gain? It's an interesting exchange of ideas, view it here
After interviewing Dr Brad Blanton (creator of the Radical Honesty website/community and author of many publications on the subject) for Esquire magazine, A.J Jacobs makes some fairly amusing if not rather uninspired observations: children offer unfiltered truths, life gets a bit more complicated when lying is absent, blurting out sexual desires to relative strangers doesn't necessarily create a positive outcome...you get the picture. It's an interesting interpretation (read it here) of the concept, as is Blantons. He may have coined the expression, but telling the whole truth has always been an option open to all of us.
Don Miguel Ruiz distills some Toltec Wisdom into The Four Agreements - probably one of the most practically applicable philosophies I've come across. In context, alongside the other three agreements, Number One agreement reads: Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
Gentler advice perhaps than Blanton, but infused throughout the book. Agreement Four is Don't make assumptions; by not assuming, we're forced to articulate what we want, again something that requires truth.
There is definite simplicity in truth telling, our relationships become closer (or breakdown more quickly, depending on where our truth journeys are taking us), our worlds become distilled into the essence of what matters, our boundaries made clear. We become adept at laser articulation, with no fear of forgetting our stories or being exposed. As a coach I get paid to tell the truth, with my truth comes challenge and introspection. Stuff gets done, or identified as needless, either way my clients are left with clarity and focus, a deeper understanding of their core values. They know what matters and how to have more of what matters, and less of what doesn't, in their lives. If I let my concern for a clients feelings get in the way of what I perceived as the truth, then I wouldn't be serving them to the best of my ability. Strange then, that I cannot apply this 100% across my life. Maybe some times, some people, don't need my dose of reality, maybe I could just keep quiet and let them go about their business.
However, I turn my radical honesty dial up to 11 when it comes to me. If I can't tell myself my truth, how can I expect others to? When it comes to the self, we must aspire to be radically honest, of this I'm sure.