Your Name and Your Word

No matter what you do, if you want to stay ahead in the game, always tell the truth. The old saying “TELL THE TRUTH AND YOU’LL NEVER GET CAUGHT” is the simplest advice I can give anyone. If you want to sleep well at night each day of your life with no regrets, nothing will give you greater peace of mind than living the truth. You will never be haunted by nightmares of things you said or did that cheated or deceived someone out of what was rightfully theirs. For me, telling the truth strikes at the very heart and soul of who you are. When I see and hear people lying to each other, I get angry. When it’s done to me, I feel violated. The truth is that sacred.

In spite of all the liars and cheats that roam this world, there are a large number of people who will never violate their obligation to be truthful. If you have people in your life like that, you are fortunate indeed, for they are living examples of hope for the future. In my life, I had the privilege of knowing three such people who had faith in me:

Jack LaLanne, the fitness and health guru, for his honest and candid remarks to me that changed my health habits for the rest of my life.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, theologian and author of The Power of Positive Thinking, for his faith in my positive attitude and ability to help others.

Lowell Thomas, world-renowned news broadcaster, writer, and global adventurer who, after hearing me speak, encouraged me to write a book about my experiences (which I have now done five times).

They are the special people in my life who pointed me in the right direction. Their inspiration, encouragement and honesty played a significant role in helping me personally chisel my way through life to a rewarding and successful career based on truth and integrity.

One of the most important things you can do to make sure you always tell the truth is to look around you and take note of all the things you have experienced and attained in life that came from being truthful. These things are truth’s gifts to you. It might be as simple as a car or a home that was acquired through your honest hard work. Maybe it’s a family vacation you’ve saved up for. Or, most of all, think of the relationships you have made with others—a spouse, your kids, or maybe just a very special friend. Think of the honest and faithful relationships you have formed with them by being truthful and trusting.

That’s what truth will get you in this life: rewards and gifts attained with integrity. If you don’t think you have much, let me tell you about something you do have that’s quite valuable that you can share with others right now. One of the few things you can always give in this life, and still keep, is YOUR WORD. Cherish it. It has your name on it. Keeping your word and telling the truth speaks well of your character and earns the respect and trust of the people around you.