Authenticity isn't just the newest buzzword. And if that's how you view it, you're missing the point.
Being authentic means trusting your gut and moving ahead. It means that many times, your questions will be more important than your answers. On a personal level, it's where deeper truths are discovered.
If you're a person who is committed to social change, culture shifting, or just making your family and neighborhood more aligned with the positive dreams and goals you carry within, this is your time.
Reinventing yourself, your company, or your country is based on digging deeper, finding more authentic ideas, and then taking action.
When you trust your gut reaction and speak from a place of strength, you are already changing the world.
Maybe you are creating life-altering music, or struggling to feed your family, or building the next billion dollar business, or going to engineering school, or helping to rebuild a community, or changing your career, or getting behind a cause you believe in, or just trying to stay healthy and focused.
Community transformation begins with individuals with enough passion to commit to what they believe in. Ron Finley is changing minds about food in South Central Los Angeles, and beyond, by talking about what he calls food deserts, where the quality of food is low, the prices are too high, and where bad food is the only food there is. When people grow their own food in community gardens, they are invested in the outcome. One person can affect the lives of many. Our choices having to do with health and diet are significant and impactful.
People with star power and immense wealth can help to create deep social change, and their reach can extend in ways it never could in previous times. When Angelina Jolie announces she had a preventative double mastectomy, she has a global audience and can impact women's health decisions. If Bill Gates talks about what The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has done to help eradicate disease in Africa, he'll instantly be heard.
Asking challenging questions is where authentic reinvention begins. On a planetary level, reinvention and authenticity go hand in hand. Since reinvention is now a major part of the survival of our whole planet, and individuals, corporations, and countries are all intertwined, we've all got a stake in facing both our internal truths, and the elemental truths that come from within our cultures.
If our society, our government, our culture is lying to us, we have a very real stake in speaking up. Political leaders and the top people running corporations who don't think they have a stake in global problems like helping to solve income inequality, investing in climate change studies and solutions, and creating a more sustainable future for all of humanity are not the types of politicians or corporate heads we need. It's clear now that climate change deniers are living in an alternate reality, where science never progressed past the 15th Century.
When corporations are led by people who aren't interested in clear communication, fairness, and income equality, the economy as a whole is negatively impacted. Living in a time of economic upheaval and revolution isn't easy, but its worse when the true story is distorted for economic gain, especially when it impacts millions of lives. Currently, there is so much economic imbalance that it's difficult for those on the bottom to begin finding their voices. But they will find them.
We say we want political leaders to be authentic, but they face entrenched policies and a system that's ground to a halt. Hopefully the next generation of people entering politics will be able to speak directly about real problems facing us, without canned party line responses. Passionate leaders speaking out on what they want to accomplish and doing everything they can to make it happen, is one way younger political leaders can represent authenticity to everyday people. It's time for newer, more authentic voices to step up and make a difference.
Authenticity comes back to everyday decisions and trusting your gut. Speaking up to the people who lead our companies and countries, and striving to make the world a better place by first discovering, and then telling our own truths.