16 Feb authenticity or consistency
Authenticity is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as the quality of being real or true.
According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the term refers to a strong sense of being “of undisputed origin of authorship” or in a weaker sense of being “faithful to an original” or a “reliable, accurate representation.”
Simply stated, to be authentic is to say what it professes to be.
Yet in an always-on, always-connected, always responsive world the question is how often am I truly being authentic? Are any of us?
Whether it is on social media or in the news, I tend to pause and ask myself, “Can this many people really be living this magical life full of trips, “candid” moments, surprise parties, romantic dinners, kids parties, perfect family pictures, ostentatious gifts, and never having a bad day?
Or am I viewing the world through a filter?
A filter of highly curated, perfectly posed, well-timed, emotionally altered, digitally edited images that look more like a coffee table book of art than real life?
Seth Godin says, “…that authenticity is a crock, authenticity is overrated, authenticity is a trap. Because the last time you were authentic, you were three months old, lying in diapers with poop in them, crying.”
I tend to agree with him.
If we think about it, our entire lives we do things with intent. We do things on purpose. I wake up in the morning, earlier than I want to wake up, take a shower, and be ready for the day’s work.
My authentic self would prefer to stay in bed, in my jammies, hit snooze, and sleep for a few more hours.
If I were to hire a surgeon to replace my knee, I wouldn’t want them to show up in the morning and inform me that they had a dispute with their spouse and that they are going to do a poor job today. That would be completely authentic to them at that moment. However, it’s not what I want. I need them to be the best surgeon she can be today.
What I want is not authenticity, it is consistency.
The easiest way for any of us to be consistent is to do the work that comes naturally to us.
This evening my heart didn’t feel like writing today’s article.
My authentic self said no.
Writing is what comes naturally to me.
It is cathartic. It is calming. It is how I process my thoughts and ideas.
On a weekly basis, you do not look forward to my authenticity.
You expect consistency.
Consistency wrote at the N of 1.