Yesterday, I posted on Appreciation and Assertiveness. The day before, I posted on Acceptance and Accountability. These days have been a time of some deeper reflection on who and what matters most to me. With that in mind and heart… today, we consider Authenticity and Audacity.
#Audacity often gets a bad rap, misrepresented. At its core, it is about Candor, Honesty, Truthfulness, Courage, Integrity and more. It is more about “being” than doing. The being leads to the doing, if you will. We are real and present with Audacity. We assert ourselves as ourselves, with nothing to prove. From introvert to extrovert and all points in between, Audacity is about owning and expressing who we are. There is no need for grandstanding nor drama. My #bestlittledogintheworld Panda practiced Audacity. She was who she was, not overthinking identity. We are what we are when we are, real and even vulnerable in being so. We worry not of opinions that do not matter. We do not count arbitrary likes and loves. We simply put out into the world as we are. That said, Audacity is not an excuse for inhumanity. Audacity unleashes us to be our best selves at home, school, work, business and community. Read and reflect on this #virtue … in what ways does it resonate for you? How can you practice it ever more? How can your team, class, company or community practice it? Audacity advances our true “brand”. It allows people to see us for who we are… and for those looking for us to find us.
If Audacity is about owning and expressing ourselves as ourselves… the putting out to the world of who we are, then Authenticity, I suggest, is about going inward to know ourselves that much better. It is the source code for the functionality of our human software, if you will. When I ponder Authenticity, I ever more understand it to be the journey within… courageously questioning. What am I really about? What matters most to me, honestly? What are my true core values? Here, I do not try to impress myself with “should” style answers. I look at my life to date from earliest childhood onwards and ask “Who am I?” “What has made my Soul sing?” “What genuine passions have I witnessed thus far?” “Who are my true heroes and what are most favorite heroic stories?” “Who has mattered most to me?” “What has mattered most to me?” These questions unveil themes invariably. We start to see patterns that are signposts that cannot and should not be ignored. When I think of loved ones who I have admired, teachers and colleagues and friends… when I think on #bestlittledogintheworld Panda and what I loved about her… when I think of the work and play that I have found joy in… the courses and causes too… the fictional and real heroes of my life thus far… I see signposts that go beyond what I “should” value. They tell me what I truly value. Richard Bolles, in his work with What Color is Your Parachute? referred to it as finding signs in our “members”. Our body resonates when we are aligned… and when we are aligned, we are practicing Authenticity. As we get better at practicing same, we are better able to put it out into the world audaciously. The two, in combination, lead to a healthier, happier way of living. Through trial and triumph alike, they give us our anchor. Explore and practice Authenticity.
For me… if I might be candid (and I will)… for the last 10 years, July 2nd has been a reminder of the single biggest missed take of my life; no drama intended. It was a decision then that not only proved unwise, but threatened my own sense of Trust in my instinct, intuition and inspiration for years to follow.
Today, as I reflect on such an anniversary, I also reflect on my life to date… with courageous, honest eyes. And, I realize that today is the midpoint of the year, with 182 days (26 weeks) behind us and 182 ahead. This day is the middle. I am looking at this date now as midway and reclaiming meaning…. to reflect on what has mattered most for me and what matters most going forward. There is a taking of stock happening today that is fully guided by Authenticity and the intent to practice a deeper understanding of Audacity moving ahead and forward. Had I done so 10 years ago, that missed take would not have happened. That said, it probably needed to simmer and spend some time teaching me. It had its own kind of Eschatology (study of death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul) to it, in some ways. The lesson took awhile, but it is fully learned now. There has been somewhat of a Discernment and Detachment to advance forward in that learning. And, in so learning and doing, I have practiced Acceptance, Accountability, Appreciation and Assertiveness as well. The “A” Team is in motion, lol.
For Us All
Yes, today, things are being cut; a cutting of cords. Authenticity and Audacity are in practice. I know what I am leaving behind. I know what I am keeping. And, I better know what I am looking to add.
Getting real is the practice of Authenticity. Going real is that of Audacity. Practicing both and the whole “A” Team can provide a new lease on life. For me onward, January 1 and July 2 will be sacred times to practice same for ongoing rests and resets.
Consider your life to date. Consider the moments of love, passion and purpose you have experienced; big, small or in between. Find themes and patterns.
Consider the people, work, play and causes that have mattered most. Inventory them. Identify the opportunities that matter. Identify your best boundaries. Ponder mission and meaning. Look for those themes and patterns.
Practice Authenticity and Audacity. In times of change and challenge, our anchor is found in Authenticity and Audacity.
They help us set and stay the best course.
How will you practice same?
Peace, passion and prosperity…
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ― Abraham Lincoln