Friday, October 6, 2017

What does authentic mean?

Seth Godin defines authentic in relation to consistency. Recently, he defined it as "consistent emotional labor."
We call a brand or a person authentic when they're consistent, when they act the same way whether or not someone is looking. Someone is authentic when their actions are in alignment with what they promise.
Showing up as a pro.
Keeping promises.
Even when you don't feel like it.
Especially when you don't.

I agree with this definition. If I may refine it, I would define the authentic act/behavior as that which causes guilt/unrest, if you don't do it.

If you don't act as your authentic self, you feel as if you shortchanged yourself, you feel guilt and pain.

This doesn't mean that doing the authentic act is not painful. (After all if it is not painful, it is not worth doing. It is trivial.) Authentic means that if you don't do it, it is also painful because it causes guilt and unrest.

At least if you act as your authentic self, you find peace eventually through your pain of labor.

This is exactly how I feel about writing and research.

This is probably how entrepreneurs feel about starting businesses. It is painful, but they cannot not do it. This is also how athletes feel about training; it hurts but they cannot not do it.

So, in War of Art author Steven Pressfield's terms, authentic means being motivated territorially rather than hierarchically, in spite of how hard the resistance pushes you back.

Geesh, I am now writing Seth Godin style posts? What is wrong with me?

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