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Insightful Read on How to Live an Authentic Life - My Thoughts

Today a colleague of mine posted this to our Slack chat.

What a great read on being present, being authentic and remembering what is most important in your life.

The question is posed in the beginning, "How can you learn to truly use the time you have, so that looking back each day you will be proud of who you were and how you lived?"  So often people are living their life too quickly, buzzing about from activity to activity never really taking the time to consider the WHY behind decisions they are making.

The author of this reading, Benjamin P. Hardy takes a 6 point approach, and with each point provides an insightful quote related to his subtopic:

Be Where You Are: In Mind And Body .  
“Wherever you are, make sure you’re there.” — Dan Sullivan

My takeaway from reading this is to be PRESENT in all that we do.  I love that he puts it so simply, "If you’re doing the dishes, do the dishes."  That's authentic in every move you make in life, in every decision, in every relationship.  Love it.

Good Things Are A Dime-A-Dozen
“We should be careful not to exhaust our available time on things that are merely good and leave little time for that which is better or best.” — Dallin Oaks

I love the benchmark that Hardy refers to by Derek Sivers, "If something is not a HELL YES!, it’s a no. End of story. If you are not 100% behind what you’re currently doing, stop doing it. There are certainly better things you could be doing."  Why, if we are only on this gorgeous earth for a short amount of time, would be spend time doing something that isn't a complete, all-in, "HELL YES!"?  It doesn't make sense, yet we do it.  Is it obligation?  Is it trying to do the right thing?  If so, revisit Hardy's first point.  Whatever we engage in, unless we are all-in, we aren't passionate, we aren't engaged, and we aren't AUTHENTIC.  Hardy talks a lot about what is BEST in the situation and if we can decipher between what is BEST and what isn't for us, then we can do just what he mentions, go from GOOD to GREAT.

Always Take The Higher Road
“May we ever choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong.” — Thomas Monson

This subtopic truly resonated with me, as my late father always used to reinforce this in us.  Even now, when I am trying to decide what to do in a situation, I always hear the echoes of my dad saying, "Take the high road, be the bigger person."  As Hardy says, this isn't always the easy way, but I assure you, from my experiences, sometimes the more difficult route can be the most rewarding, in several capacities.

Be Who You Ideally Want To Become, Today
“How would your life change if you made decisions TODAY as if you were already the person you want to become TOMORROW?” — Richie Norton

Wow.  What a profound thought by Richie Norton.  This is an amazing way to live life.  This is why we should set goals.  Think forward, think big, and think of yourself as amazing.  If you don't do all of this for yourself, nobody will.  I have had to make decisions in my life, that may not look great on paper, but they have helped me to get to my end game of being proud of who I am, and how I lived my life.  Hardy quotes several awesome people in this section, and it all reminds me of the technique of visualization I learned when I was competitively figure skating.  I tell my daughter to use it now when she tests or competes with her TaeKwonDo - visualize yourself winning and having that perfect performance.  A FIELD OF DREAMS kind of thinking, "If you build it, they will come."  Think about it.

Give Everything To The Things That Truly Matter, And Forget About Everything Else
“When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most.” — Robert Hales

Hardy says it best in his final two lines of this subtopic, "Whatever it is you truly value, devote your time to those things. The things you consider “best.” And remove all other non-essential distractions from your life."  I see this as, take away all the white noise, declutter your life, and focus on the real.  Focus on people who impact you, focus on activities that benefit you and who you are, focus on people who make you a better person.  Focus on the AUTHENTIC.

Become The Master Of Your Mind
“You tell me what you think about when you do not have to think, and I’ll tell you what you are.” — Llewelyn McKay

No need to elaborate on this one, Hardy puts it best, "When you have clear, simple, and specific goals and values with which you resonate with — and your thoughts are constantly mulling these things over — your greatest desires will manifest quickly."

As educators, or in any job that we work at in life, we can tend to get overwhelmed by so many things.  I love that Hardy articulates what it takes to simplify and live our lives in such an authentic, meaningful, and mindful manner.

"How can you learn to truly use the time you have, so that looking back each day you will be proud of who you were and how you lived?"  

Great read.  Thank you @benjaminPhardy.


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