11 Quotes About Honesty From Famous People

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Honesty is not always the easiest policy. As Benjamin Franklin famously said, though, it is always the best policy. 

To help you stay honest, here are 11 powerful quotes about Honesty from famous authors, entrepreneurs, and more.

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"Honesty is more than not lying. It is truth-telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving."

Portrait of James E-.Faust | James E. Faust | 11 Quotes about Honesty from Famous People

-- James E. Faust

A reminder that Honesty is not only defined by speaking the truth. That is the most tangible measure of Honesty, yes, but it is certainly not the only one.

To be really honest, and not just truthful, your actions need to be honest too. The opportunities you pursue and the people you try to please should be the ones that speak to you and make you happy, not just the options you feel you have to fool to get ahead.

"A lie has speed, but truth has endurance."

-- Edgar J. Mohn

Lying very well may be more beneficial than telling the truth… in the short term. Lies require indefinite amounts of maintenance and cover-up, though. If you tell the truth, you don’t need to worry about all that.

"Honesty needs no disguise nor ornament; be plain."

-- Thomas Otway

The good news about being honest is that it doesn’t require you to do anything. In fact, dishonesty is the option that requires an extra step. To be honest, you just tell the truth like it is. Of course, being that bold involves a bit of confidence, but it’s actually easier. 

"I want to be able to just be me. I never want to be in an environment or around people where I have to watch what I say."

-- Naval Ravikant

Wouldn’t it be nice just to be able to be yourself? You never have to put on an act to keep up appearances or convince others that you’re something you’re not. That could be a reality if you start living honestly because the people who don’t like the true you will leave and those who accept you will be the only ones left.

"An honest man is believed without an oath, for his reputation swears for him."

-- Eliza Cook

If you gain a reputation as someone who is always 100% honest, you won’t have to waste time convincing people of things with promises or other methods of persuasion. Anyone who knows you and is aware of how honest you are will take you at face value.

"Truth never damages a cause that is just."

-- Gandhi

As long as you’re doing something that is completely justified, you can always tell the truth without hurting your cause. In fact, the truth is the quickest and most efficient way to accomplish something you believe in.

"Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it'll always get you the right ones."

-- John Lennon

We’re not going to sugarcoat it: most of the time, some people won’t take kindly to your Honesty. It might make some people run in the other direction.

Another way to look at it, though, is that being honest will weed out the people who won’t accept the real you. Because of that, Honesty will help you find your true friends.

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"Honesty is the fastest way to prevent a mistake from turning into a failure."

-- James Altucher

If you can learn from a mistake, you can turn the potential error into an opportunity to better yourself. But in order to learn from it, you need to be completely honest by admitting to yourself that you messed up and asking yourself why.

"Always tell the truth. That way, you don't have to remember what you said."

-- Mark Twain

Portrait of Mark Twain | Mark Twain | 11 Quotes about Honesty from Famous People

Another perk of Honesty is that you don’t need to keep track of any false histories you create. When you lie, you create a fiction that you have to remember for the rest of your life, or else you risk being caught. When you tell the truth, you can forget it and put it in your past without having to carry something around with you.

"We tell lies when we are afraid... afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger."

-- Tad Williams

There are a lot of quotes about Honesty revolving around the idea that lying is simply a way of running away from fear. And Williams points out that every time we lie, we reinforce that fear further. Someone who surrounds themself with lies has a lot to be scared of because their precariously-built house could come toppling down at any moment.

"Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind."

-- Austin O'Malley

Some untruths seem very small, whether they are spoken lies or other forms of dishonesty. Some seem so small, in fact, that it looks okay to perpetuate them. After all, they’re not hurting anyone. Those untruths are known as “white lies.”

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The thing is, telling white lies “desensitizes” your brain to untruths. Eventually, bigger and bigger lies will start to seem like white lies to you, and eventually, you will begin hurting others — and yourself — with your lies without even realizing it.

Honesty is such a pleasant characteristic. It requires confidence, though, to be 1–% honest to everyone. Hopefully, these 11 quotes about Honesty from people who thought about it a lot will help give you the push you need to gain that confidence.


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