A few months ago, on a Tuesday morning, a man went out alone on a routine run into the New Mexico wilderness. When he didn’t come back, his friends grew worried. Rescue teams were sent out in search of him and he was found Saturday night, leaning against some rocks next to a creek, his arms resting on his chest. Micah True had gone for his last run and died doing what he loved. After his death was confirmed, the articles started pouring onto the web. Articles that could do a much better job at telling the story. Articles about how he died, but more importantly, how he lived. One word that I noticed got used in each article I read was “authentic”. It stuck with me. Caballo Blanco was known by his friends as authentic. And I thought: “Wow. What a wonderful thing to be known/remembered as.”
What does it mean to be authentic? The dictionary’s definition is: True to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.
The authentic person is genuine. S/he doesn’t put on a show for others. What you see is what you get. There are no hidden agenda or falsities in his/r character. S/he is passionate about life, passionate about his/r dreams and lives them. The authentic person doesn’t live based on other people’s goals. You’ll recognise an authentic person, as s/he is calm, content, confident and happy with being who s/he is. Sure, there are worries and doubts; s/he makes mistakes and bad decisions just like all imperfect humans. The authentic person gets up, dusts off and accepts those things for what they are, learns and moves on. As an authentic person, one has personal beliefs, values and ethics and lives by them. S/he knows life is full of living and experiencing the world and what it tosses at him/r. Life is about experiencing each moment as it comes. An authentic person doesn’t tear him/rself down, doesn’t tear other people down and doesn’t try to look better than others. S/he is interested in human connection. S/he recognises that other people have knowledge and wisdom that s/he can gain by interacting with them. You are relaxed when you’re around an authentic person. You are respected, esteemed and interesting.
What do you love? -show it. What do you want to do? -do it. Who are you really? -figure it out and be it. How transparent are you? -show the world who you are. How well do you communicate? How well do you listen? -the most important part of communication is listening. How do you treat your fellow humans? -everyone deserves just treatment. What are your principles? -something worth reflecting on. Do you have the integrity to stick to them, no matter what?
Reflect on these questions and once you have the answers figured out, the easier it will be to become that authentic person and enjoy beautiful, meaningful relationships with others. You don’t have to be rich, poor, famous, a certain colour, creed, a man, woman, young or old to be an amazing person.