When was the last time you got out of bed and anticipated working on something that really excited you, as opposed to something that needed to get done? You thought about it as you showered and had breakfast and commuted to work. You had an adrenaline rush and couldn’t wait to get started. If this scenario resonates with you then you’re probably leading a life that epitomises your authentic self. However, before you can feel this authenticity it is crucial to determine what it is that makes you act in a manner that accurately reflects your true self.
Being true to yourself is a concept as ancient as time. More than 5000 years ago the Bhagavad Gita espoused:
It is far better to discharge one’s prescribed duties, even though faultily, than another’s duties perfectly’
In a similar vein, modern leaders refer to it as ‘finding your true north’; being true to your core values; fuelling your passion and finding your ‘mojo’. We gravitate towards and want to share in the ambit of leaders that live their lives this way. We follow them on social media because we know that theirs is a course that is hard fought, courageous and ground breaking. It is driven by being true to themselves.
Shakespeare refers to it through a character in Hamlet where a father implores his son: ‘…to thine own self be true’.
The American fiction writer John Jakes concurs: ‘Be yourself. Above all let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish’.
If all you have been experiencing lately is a sense of ennui, almost as if you’ve donned a Potteresque invisible cloak, try discarding it. You will know if you are following your passion and purpose when your sense of success is unfettered by extraneous benchmarks that don’t hold any value or meaning for you. Your focus will be sharpened and you will cease to flit – be it between ideas, relationships or jobs – wandering what is missing from your life.
How do you shape your ‘prescribed duties’? How do you know that the ladder you are climbing is the right one? Or that it is positioned against the right edifice? When you reflect on whether you are being true to your value system try this test. Ask yourself one thing: ‘If I were to leave this planet in seven days what would I wish I was bold enough to attempt?’
And therein lies your answer.
Photo taken in August 2015 – Green Park, London.
Sudhana Singh is an executive coach whose niche is Your First 100 Days. She is based in London and may be contacted on www.imbuecoaching.com