This week I am posting to the LYP blog a few paragraphs from my book "Live Your Passion, a Step-by-Step Guide to Personal and Professional Happiness." This is a secrion that discusses the first step in the Live Your Passion process - Discovering the Authentic You. Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment. Thank you!
Why be Authentic?
Being authentic requires being true, being real and being honest. Not just with others but with ourselves. Honesty is at the heart of personal growth where we respect our self and feel confident. What a wonderful way to live!
So why do so few of us spend the time exploring personal growth? It’s a very important question. I believe it has a lot to do with external forces – those pressures we place on ourselves and society places upon us. Earlier I said that from time to time we all experience a “Life Happens” mindset. You know, times when our life gets so busy that we don’t spend time sitting, reflecting and evaluating it. For most people life starts out with a plan but they get sidetracked because of decisions they make and the many pressures of life.
Let’s use Cindy’s story to illustrate my point. Cindy is 26 years old. She and her two pre-school aged children share an apartment with Cindy’s friend Kim. When Cindy was 20 she married Steve. The couple had dreams of someday buying a house and raising a family. Cindy took the necessary training to become a nurse’s aid. She really wanted to become a registered nurse but felt that because she didn’t have the money or the time for college becoming an aid was a great place to start. Things went okay for a few years till Steve lost his job. By this time they had been married for 3 years and Cindy was expecting their second child. Although they loved their children, they both agreed that being parents was a lot tougher than they had expected. Financial pressures grew and their relationship felt the strain. Cindy took on a second job to help pay the bills. Steve eventually found a job but wasn’t happy. Still struggling, Cindy and Steve drifted apart and eventually divorced. Cindy’s dreams of becoming a nurse have been shattered and she is feeling a very real sense of “Life Happens.”
I used Cindy’s story as an example to illustrate how difficult life can be and that external pressures play a huge role in shaping our perspective and our decisions. Although specific details may be different, the external pressures Cindy and Steve felt are universal. Financial and relationship pressures can make people feel that they have lost control over their lives leaving them feeling frustrated, angry, depressed and hopeless.
So how would “Discovering the Authentic You” change the difficult situation Cindy has found herself in? How could the principal of insight; strengths, aptitudes, values, beliefs and mission statement make a positive impact on her day to day existence?
The book goes on to explore this idea and offers some specific exercises that help folks get clarity on these ideas and on implementing them in their own lives. Let me know your thoughts about living an "authentic" life. Are you? What needs to change?
Until next time....