When I was in college a professor gave me some wise words. “If you want to be successful in life, you must be open and honest.”

It sounded so simple and profound but it’s amazing how often I have reflected on those words and tried to really understand what they mean to me. I’ve come to realize that it means many things and it can be applied in almost any situation. Here are just a few ways I have thought of this advice both as a human and a writer:

Be honest about your current place and goals and be open to different paths in your life. Sometimes we get so fixated on what we want, we don’t realized that our supposed dream is making us miserable and the path that can make us happy is just one door down.

Be honest about your strengths. Be honest about your weaknesses. Be open to change and growth.

Be honest about your questions, doubts, fears, the gaping holes of logic in your universe. No one has everything figured out. Be open to answers and strength that may come from unexpected places.

Being open means that sometimes you must put yourself in uncomfortable situations and then be honest about why you feel uncomfortable.

Be open to different points-of-view, different life-styles, different beliefs. Place yourself in their shoes, their history, their life experience. Be honest in understanding why you are the way you are and why other people are the way they are.

Be open and honest with those you love. Sometimes we must say things that are uncomfortable, that may cause pain, that open a chasm of unknown. Real love rises above all that. If we are honest with our loved ones, we are equally open to forgiveness and change.

Open and honest is not just words and actions, but a state of mind. We can be honest about the way things really are. We can be open to the way things could be.


  1. Great post. I like how you have changed it into a state of mind instead of just an idea. It’s hard to remember to do more than just say, “yeah, I should be honest with myself” or “I’m open to change.” Thanks!

  2. Be honest about your limitations and open to finding a new way!

    • Liesl

    • June 21, 2011

    • 7:51 pm

    Kayleen, it’s something I’m always thinking about. Easier said than done for sure!

    Rebecca, I like that! Applies in so many situations!

  3. This is a great truth! It helps you set reliable goals and achieve them.

    • Anita

    • June 22, 2011

    • 5:52 am

    What a wonderful philosophical post! And there’s a lot of realism woven in. If we always keep an open mind, we’ll be aware of new paths appearing that we might’ve not otherwise noticed. VERY NICE. 🙂

    • ali

    • June 22, 2011

    • 4:41 pm

    What a great post. I loved the third one ~ being open to answers that come from unexpected places. 🙂

Sign up for Liesl's Newsletter

To get the quarterly updates on events, book releases, and reading/writing inspiration, just enter your email address below.
Email address
Secure and Spam free...
%d bloggers like this: