Thursday, March 15, 2012


What does it mean to be authentic? To live an authentic life? According my dictionary, the definition of authentic is:

- Not counterfeit or copied.
- Conforming to fact and therefore worthy of belief.

   - Unquestionable
   - Reliable

The most difficult part of this is that thorny issue of "fact," that which is unquestionable. On one hand, if authentic is 'conforming to fact,' whose facts set the standards? On the other hand, there are facts held by others that i personally don't believe or accept, yet i do accept that they are worthy of belief.

So if, as i believe, it is impossible to come up with a list of facts that everyone, with no exception, will agree are unquestionable, incontrovertible, is it impossible to live an "authentic" life?

I don't accept that. Living an authentic life is living your life completely in accord with your beliefs. Decide what they are, and then live them. No wiggling around in order to satisfy (or make) friends, no wiggling in order to keep the boss happy so you might get a promotion, no wiggling in order to find the perfect mate or to keep peace in the family. No wiggling.

According to my beliefs, there is one unquestionable fact — everything changes; with zero exceptions. Everything. And that includes your beliefs. They may change over years and decades, they may change from minute to minute as "facts" unfold. But, they will change.

Also according to my beliefs, there is one absolutely key ingredient in living a truly authentic life, and that is the commitment to understanding what your beliefs are at all times and noticing them as they change.

In all the myriad of small, seemingly trivial, thoughts, words, and actions you offer the world each and every day, how often do you make an offering contrary to one of your beliefs simply because it is expeditious, simply because doing so is easier than sticking to your beliefs?

Note, i am not asking about the big decisions, the big things that seem to matter, i'm asking about the other 99% of your day, all the trivial things that don't seem to matter, but are done as part of the routine of living.

Join me as i ask myself today, am i living an authentic life?

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