The ever-rising pressures of modern life—the speed, energy and technology, the demands placed on us and that we in turn place on each other—often make it very difficult to keep focused on what is important. We lose sight of our values and goals, our sense of meaning and purpose, and find ourselves dazed and confused about what we want as opposed to what the world tells us we should want.

Sometimes in all of this push and pull, we give up hope of ever doing the things we have always longed to do with our lives.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can be restored and revitalized each day, and live with real purpose and meaning. All you have to do is decide to get back in touch with what you truly care about, what matters, what makes your life more authentic!

Authentic: adj., worthy of acceptance; authoritative, trustworthy; not imaginary, false or imitation; conforming to an original. Syn: genuine, veritable, unique, sincere, original, bona fide.

Quite a word!

Being authentic is the ultimate way to simplify things and bring greater meaning and purpose to your work and your life. Being authentic means being honest with yourself, curious about life, willing to experience the discomfort of being a work in progress, and staying true to a set of deep personal values as you search to discover what you are here on this earth to experience and express.

The Gifts of Authenticity

Authenticity helps us re-examine the beliefs and habits that may be limiting us. It helps us rediscover what we can do with this remarkable gift called life.

Authenticity helps keep us sane in an increasingly maddening world. It makes life simple again. It reminds us that trying to live a life without meaning and purpose is like trying to drive a car without gas.

Authenticity helps us determine whether we have lost touch with our sense of purpose in life, why it matters and where we can find it again.

Authenticity helps us to move past the beliefs and strategies that limit us and keep us from having the kind of joy and inner peace we know it is our right as human beings to have.

Authenticity makes some of life’s hard questions much simpler to answer and some of life’s challenges a lot easier to overcome. It tells the truth about those aspects of life that sometimes make it challenging and always make life extraordinary.

A Change in Perspective

The search for authenticity requires that you change your perspective. For many, it means turning 180 degrees to face in the opposite direction from the one we learned growing up.

Our society tends to raise us to look outside ourselves for the answers. We’ve been taught to believe that everything important can only be accessed through intermediaries—our parents, teachers, preachers, coaches.

To be authentic, you have to break free of this focus on “outside” experiences and sources. You need to turn inward and focus on yourself, your own feelings, your own needs and most of all, your own wisdom.

By being authentic you can improve how you think, what you decide, and, ultimately, what you create for yourself and those around you. Being authentic is all about deciding between what is important and what is non-essential. This one strategy can be life-changing. When you follow your passion and align with your destiny you reawaken your sense of purpose. Magic can happen.

Be you—the real you.

How Do You Measure Your Life?

You can start the process of breaking free from these “outside chains” and identifying what is important to you by asking yourself some questions:

The Hopi Indians believed that their job was to help the sun cross the sky each day. Can you imagine having a purpose this large?

How do you measure your life? What special task or purpose gives your life true meaning and purpose? What were you born to do?

Authenticity Exists in This Moment

Here is a simple strategy for bringing authenticity into your life: Think about those things that touch your heart, those things that make you smile. In those simple things, you will find a greater alignment between you, your values and your destiny.

You can make a commitment—right here and now, today—to learn more about yourself, your life and your world. You can commit yourself to being true to yourself.

In fact, the meaning and value of your life can be found in how you choose to live this moment. You can choose to live it just as you lived the last one—or you can choose to live more fully, more joyfully, more compassionately and more authentically.

This is what the search for authenticity is all about. It’s about reclaiming your destiny and living a life that has the highest and best intentions!

GEORGE and SEDENA CAPPANNELLI are business consultants
and political advisors; their clients have included some of the
world’s most successful organizations. They are coauthors of

Authenticity: Simple Strategies for Greater Meaning
and Purpose at Work and at Home.