Chapter 1: The Art Of Authenticity #TAOAB
Authenticity, it’s a word that’s loosely thrown around nowadays. And for many people, it may have many different meanings.
Some believe authenticity is about being genuine and real. Others say it’s about being true to yourself.
This Shakespeare quote comes to mind…
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
My version is a bit different. A little less self-centered.
I believe authenticity is not so much about you. It’s about the people around you and how you relate to them.
It’s how you interact, value, and appreciate them. It’s whether your respect, listen and give others a fair shot. It’s through flexibility and having an open mind. This allows you to demonstrate your authenticity to others.
In a world full of Fake It Until You Make It’s, many seem to be jockeying for position on how to be perceived as authentic. Heck, it could be argued that this book is a play at that same goal.
Your level of authenticity isn’t something you determine. It’s left up to others. It’s kind of like branding in a way. You can do your best to try and convey an idea or message about a product, but ultimately it’s up to the consumer to determine what your brand is. They are the judge, the jury and the executioner when your product is on the line. All you can do is pull the strings and hope you connect with them.
You can spin your PR, write persuasive copy, and do whatever necessary to put yourself in a position to win. But at the end of the day, it’s left up to the consumers to decide if you’re truly authentic in your sales pitch.
In this book, you’re going to discover how to tap into your true authentic self. But I have to warn you, it may not be pretty. In fact, it can get downright gruesome if you’re willing to get completely honest with yourself.
This isn’t about some clever tricks you can use so others will think you’re more authentic. This isn’t a promise that people will like you more or buy more of your stuff.
What this is, is an opportunity to get right within yourself. To do your best and serve others in a way that is mutually beneficial to all involved.
Never in my life have I seen a group of people turn their back on a person who’s trying to do the right thing. If your intentions are pure and honest, you’ll garner respect. You’ll attract the right people who are meant to be in your life.
I’m reminded of this story about a priest and a born again murderer. The murderer was released from prison after serving a 25-year sentence for his brutal crimes. During that time, he had turned his life over to Jesus. After leaving the jail, he went to see the priest and was shocked at what he heard.
The priest said… “I admire who you are”.
The murderer was dumbfounded!
He thought… Why in the world would someone like this priest, a man of god and good intentions admire me? I’m simply a murderer who didn’t value life or others. Surely I’m not worthy of this kind of praise?
The priest then exclaimed that he would never know struggle like the murderer had. He would never know the depths of his lows and how hard it was to climb out the hell he’d been buried in for so many years.
For the priest, his worst sins were having dirty thoughts about women and stealing candy as a young lad. Beyond that, he was straight as an arrow and a goody two shoes. His experience with redemption paled in comparison.
Yet because of the amount of effort it took the murderer to get right with himself and the Lord, the priest had nothing but love for this man. In fact, he even looked up to him knowing what he’d been through. He forgave him the way he knew God would. He saw potential in him.
Whether or not you believe in God is irrelevant. The point is, people will almost always give others a shot if they believe they’re trying to rectify the mistakes in their life.
Almost all of us root for the underdog. It’s in our blood. It arouses a sense of fairness and justice in what can seem like a very unjust world.
So no matter where you’re at in your life right now, know this…
You can change. You can thrive. There are millions of people that will back you up if you’re willing to expose your deepest authentic self.
Throughout this book, you may connect with yourself and others in a way you may have never thought about before. It has the potential to free you from the mental shackles you may have placed upon your mind. Or maybe the restraints were placed upon you from societal conditioning, teachers, or religious organizations.
No matter what’s holding you back, tapping into your true authentic self is the key to self-liberty.
I’m not here to judge, preach or pretend I have all the answers. I’m as flawed as the next guy. What I am here to do is to poke, prod, and provoke a dialogue that will allow you stop lying to yourself and others.
What is authenticity?
I don’t know. I have some ideas but I’m not entirely sure. I’m hoping maybe I’ll figure it out while I write this book.
So please don’t expect me to be some kind of expert on the topic. I’m simply revealing what’s in my heart while I sift through this cluttered mind that often plagues me with too many ideas.
However, I do know this…
People have continually told me that I’m one of the most authentic people they’ve ever met. Those are their words, not mine. I wouldn’t write something like that about myself. I’ve received hundreds and hundreds of messages saying the same thing. Over and over again.
Clearly I’m onto something.
Whatever it is, I hope to shed more light on the subject as I pour my heart and soul out to you during the remaining chapters.
With much love and appreciation, I thank you for taking this journey with me.