The secret ingredient to happiness

Being who you are instead of playing games


This morning I realized something fundamental about what makes me happy and what makes me anxious. Yes, something very simple, so simple that I feel surprised it took me almost 34 years to get to that level of clarity.

Everything that causes me trouble in life is when I projet myself in a life which is not mine, when I play games, when I try to sell instead of serve. I can recall thousands of situations where I used my brain to find strategies and manipulative tactics to get what I wanted. It did not feel right, no matter what outcome I got.

Everything that brings me joy and happiness is when I am true to myself and others. The minute you start living with authenticity, there is no more games, no more cheating, no more trying to prove things to others. You know who you are, you have nothing to prove and you just want to enjoy your life.

When you do live your life with authenticity and you do your best to be consistent with this principle, then there is no more fear. You know what you have to do. Judgment of others doesn’t matter anymore. You are in the flow, you create things everyday in your own way. Everything is a creation, a discussion, a breathing, a step, a gesture when it is blended with authenticity.

Authenticity is freedom and peace of mind.

I think there are different persons to whom we can be authentic everyday:

  • With yourself. Well that’s the starting point, not the easiest sometimes but crucial to me. What I do to check that I am authentic with myself is I ask myself a few questions like “Am I ok with that ? Is that what I really want? Am I proud of this? Am I being an asshole?”. It doesn’t take too long to get the answer, you feel it in your body.
  • With your friends. What a relief when you can just enjoy yourself with friends. What a relief when you can for a minute stop trying to be the best, the funniest, the coolest etc. And just spend some quality time with friends, connecting, listening, having fun and discovering life together.
  • With your partner. This one paradoxically is not the easiest one, but it is certainly the one with the biggest benefits. Your couple become very creative and peaceful when you can be yourself and put your ego aside.
  • With your kids. I believe kids can feel when we are authentic with them. They have a bullshit scanner and they get attracted only by authentic people. They are very good at cutting the crap, and they can feel when you are lying and living someone else’s life. Connecting with kids is a pure and relaxing experience.
  • With your clients. Trust & long term relationship, you are working to serve them, and you do your best to help and meet their needs. They pay you because you add value to them, and they appreciate your authenticity. When you have good intentions, nothing bad can happen to you. Everybody wins.
  • With your colleagues. This one I find it freaking awesome, what if we could just be ourself and let our magic operates. Instead of feeling insecure and developing some silly tactics to get the promotion. I think the winners are the ones acting with transparency and authenticity. This is the real skill. That’s how you develop trust around you, and in business trust is everything.
  • With every person

Overall, authenticity helps you getting closer to what you really want in life. I’m still learning and I enjoy it. Every day in every situation I try to ask myself “am I being authentic here or am I just playing a role?”. The more I practice it, the more I enjoy it. It’s a very calm and relaxing experience.

Try it for a moment, try to act as if there were no more games, nothing at stakes, apart from trying to connect with others and be yourself. It’s refreshing isn’t it?

Thanks for reading, Romain

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