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Randall Bell, PhD
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Fly Straight
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Rich Habit #1: Fly Straight
Of the Me habits that people are most proud of, honesty ranked number one.

In the Rich Habits Survey of 5,000 people from all 50 states, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, the Me habit that people were most proud of was honesty. Reading and attending church ranked 2nd and 3rd. We often think of honesty as something we either have or don’t have, but honest isn’t something you are or you aren’t. It’s a habit.

Honesty also isn’t just about telling the truth to others. It’s also about telling the truth to yourself. When I work on a disaster, the first step is to fully assess the situation and gather information. In this phase, I have little to say, but I do ask a lot of questions. An honest assessment is a universal requirement for disaster recovery. It’s also a requirement for personal recovery. We can’t solve a problem if we don’t know what it is.

An honest and thorough assessment is also crucial in our day-to-day lives. The highest levels of achievement can only occur when we assess what we honestly believe, think, and feel. We have to ensure that these three elements are in alignment.

Strong, daily Me habits are critical because we can only make our own assessment by turning off all distractions and contemplating our true core beliefs. We have to assess if our backstage thinking is genuinely in line with our onstage behaviors. We have to identify those areas where we have mastered the art of self-deception and resolve to take action with new Me habits.

Honesty joins together our beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions. And like any habit, practicing honesty isn’t an end to itself. Its spreads out and touches every aspect of life through what I like to call the rich habit ripple. Though at first honesty is difficult, a truly honest life is simpler, stronger, and more resilient than a dishonest one. People are drawn to honest people because they lead by example. Honest people project strength, courage, confidence, and trust. And, in the end, being honest is easier. Like Mark Twain said, If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.


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