Day 74: 23.7 miles/1:23
”Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it.” ~ William James
On this morning’s ride I started thinking about one of my favorite words, “authenticity.” One of the more interesting impacts of the new economic times is the opportunity and the expectation to be more authentic. With everyone going through some sort of transition in their lives, our community is more receptive to interacting with others at a refreshingly candid level. As a result of their experiences and challenges, many people have begun to examine their behaviors, their values, and their roles in their world and are quietly exploring what their purpose and passion really are.
Authenticity is a very powerful word. It is about being true and being real. While the many were forced to redefine their roles, there are many others who simply started taking to be truer to one self. Being authentic is being comfortable with who we really are, without fear, and with great energy and opportunity for our potential. The bigger challenge in this transition is learning to be comfortable with being ourselves. There are many people who have been actors on the stage, playing some sort of role that is not really reflective of their passion and purpose for a long, long time. Discovering who they are and how to be comfortable putting that into action can and will be a challenge.
I like to encourage people to simply examine those activities and interactions that give and get energy. We all have activities that we enjoy doing, we do them very well, and we often interact with others while doing them that allows everyone to share the joy of the experience. Those moments are a reflection of activities and experiences that bring out the real you. Recognizing what those are, why they are so energizing and how to do it more often is the first step in allowing yourself to be you – to be authentic – on a regular basis.
Being authentic is a critical component of your mission, as well. For being the real you is the only way you can find joy in your success, the only way to engage and inspire others to join you, and the only way to sustain the energy required to push you to your goal. If you are striving for a goal that is not authentic to you, that you do not believe in or get excited about, you cannot and will not be able to elicit enough spark to finish the journey.
Take time to explore the aspects of your daily activities –the interactions, the conversations, the events, the collaboration, the success—and discover what occurred in those experiences that truly excited you and gave you energy. Those were the times where you were being yourself at what you do best – where you were the real you. Discover how to make that aspect of your life more consistently present. It is where your gifts shine and your tank is refilled. It is the place from which all of your greatest successes will emanate.