Authenticity in everything. I had never heard that phrase before — and then I opened up a piece of Dove chocolate last week. At some point Dove must have solicited submissions of short sayings to be put on the inside of the individual wrappers. What a great marketing idea first of all – I bet those people bought tons of Dove chocolate to try and find their words of wisdom. But secondly, they really do offer some great ideas.
Ok, that’s the background, but why did I decide that I like this one so much? Let me provide my interpretation of ‘authenticity in everything.’ Be yourself. Everyday… Just be yourself.
I suppose that this entails three steps: 1) Know yourself. 2) Love yourself. 3) Be yourself.
I didn’t know who I was in high school. I have this hypothesis that I probably don’t know myself all the way now either. I am probably just an iteration of the person that I will become over time, but I do know the kind of person that I strive to be and I know that I can take certain actions to get there. I also know that I’ve done plenty of soul-searching and self-discovery in college. All of that allows me to know myself… which leads to loving oneself.
In order to love oneself, you have to not only know oneself, but then you must also be comfortable with oneself. What are my strengths and weaknesses? In what ways am I weird? What kind of first impression do I give off? What do people tell me that I need to work on? What do I want to accomplish in life? How do I want people to think of me?
Ok, I’ve considered and processed the answers to those questions. Now I just need to let the results sit and marinate with me. I can handle that. I’m kind of weird. Sometimes I just want to sit at home and read instead of going out on a weekend. I get on the ground and act like a fool with my dog. I collect Hot Wheels. Big whoop. I love all of those things and in some ways they define my person. So, step two – let it marinate and then love it. Don’t get me wrong – work on your weaknesses and develop your strengths, but don’t shy away from the person inside.
Finally, live it. Be yourself. Be weird in front of your friends. Do what you love to do. Act in such a way that you live up to the individual that you want to be. Make mistakes. Learn from them. Take the last second shot. Miss it. Take it again. Make it. Whatever you do, don’t cheat yourself and your friends. The people that I care most about are the people that feel comfortable enough to relax and be themselves when they are around me and vice versa.
So today, be authentic. “Live the life that you have imagined.” Be the person that you want to be and the person that you are. Authenticity in everything.