File this post in the category of personal success. Life success. Leading with authenticity.
First, I want to share a very important video. It is not short - just over a hour - but it could transform your life. The video is of Dr. Dean Ornish on the connection between how we live and our health. I watched it this weekend and found it riveting. And I am convinced that to be the best leaders we can possibly be, we need to be the best humans we can be. We need to be the fully expressed version of ourselves. Check out the video here.
Consider this example of authenticity: throwing yourself into whatever you dream without self-consciousness or regret.
There are two sticky parts to the above example. First, is the throwing of oneself into what we dream. I have been challenging myself a lot lately regarding my goals and dreams. I say I want to XYZ, but if I am honest, there are many signs that should tell me that I really don't want to do this. It is a goal I want to want. Something that I think would be interesting to want. But I have to push myself to get enthused about it.
Here is an example. I have been saying for many years that I wanted to get my PhD. I even enrolled in a great program and was underway. It was a slog for all the usual reasons including that I was working full time and trying to have a life. I thought this was normal and it is to a point. But even if I had all the time in the world it would be a slog. And now I can be at peace and tell you I really don't want a PhD. I wanted to want it. Quitting the program hurt because I had already made an investment. But is it ever right to continue spending time and money when it's no longer a goal? No, it is not (especially if you do not need the credential/outcome, which I don't).
I have been thinking about writing a quirky crime novel. I think it is a fun idea. But I am realizing that this might be another one of my wanting to wants, not a real want. What's the clue? I am not enthused to get into it. It is a slog even when I have the time.
I have decided that I will do only the following:
- Things I REALLY want to do
- Things I have to do to be a good citizen
- Things I choose to do to serve others
But I won't do
- Things I want to want to do, that upon reflection, I realize I don't want to do
I can't be authentic - throw myself into it - if I am trying to talk myself into the idea. There will be no room in my tiny brain to focus on making progress.
The second part of the example that is a bit tricky is "without self-consciousness or regret." Yikes, that is a hard but worthy endeavor. I have been working on this. Here is an ego-driven example. I have resisted doing a lot of biking because I was self-conscious about how my big butt must look from behind. So silly, really, especially since A) most people are not thinking of me when our paths cross, and thinking they are is pretty self-absorbed and B) who cares, it is big, which is why I need to bike more.
I have found that when I can adopt a less self-consious approach, I am better able to throw myself into things. It is a gift I can give myself that keeps on giving.
We are mental garbage making machines, aren't we? Success - which I define as fruitful happiness - comes when we can dial down our mental garbage long enough to let our talents manifest possibilities.
Enjoy the week. Throw yourself into something that really matters to you and don't worry if your butt looks big.