Think about the people you’re most drawn to. Is there a common thread? Are they mostly kind? Funny? Hardworking? Share the same hobbies?
I took a mental inventory of the people I’m most impressed with and there’s no readily apparent trend. One friend is passionate about helping those in dire need. He directs a nursing care facility for the elderly all day and in his spare time runs an organization that helps feed and educate children in India. Another friend is brash, lacks empathy, and has probably the lowest EQ score of anyone I know. He makes his employees’ lives miserable, but drives them to deliver far beyond what they thought they were capable of. Yet another friend says what’s on his mind. At all times. Because it’s true. Regardless of the consequences. He’ll call in favors from everyone he knows to help out someone in need, even if it’s awkward. Because it’s the right thing to do.
On the surface, these people all have very different personalities and ways of being, but what makes them similar is that who they are in practice naturally flows out of who they are at their cores. The way they live their lives and schedule their time and the company they keep align with who they are and what their priorities are. They’re authentic.
How would people describe you? Do how you walk, talk, and spend your time reveal who you are at your core? Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we were authentic? We’d be more fulfilled because we’d be doing things that aligned with our values, less stressed because we wouldn’t have the tension that accompanies cognitive dissonance, and we’d naturally attract more of the kind of people we really want around us because who we really are would be more apparent.
Why waste time and energy being anything other than who you are?
“I am what I am, and that’s all that I am.” —Popeye
Have an authentic weekend.
About Friday Food for Thought (FFfT)
I frequently attend conferences and retreats on entrepreneurship and leadership and while I am away, the J2 team picks up the slack, allowing me to learn to be better at what I do. I wanted to share what I was learning with my team, so I created the weekly FFfT emails in November of 2015 and have been writing them ever since.
Before long, the J2 staff began sharing the FFfT emails with their friends and family and now other leaders have asked to be included, which led to the creation of this newsletter. I hope you enjoy!