In my recent book, Make It Count, I discuss six character traits that make for a greater life that lives and leaves a legacy. One of those traits is authenticity. Authenticity is not just being who you are, but it means becoming more than you are because all of us have character flaws that need to be addressed. How then do we change and grow? How do we uncover our flaws?
Life change comes down to a very simple issue we broach with two brutally honest questions:
- What are we hiding?
- Why are we hiding it?
Those questions force us to dig deeper:
- Is it something we want to confront and defeat?
- Is it because of fear or pride that we cover something?
- Is it because we want to keep doing the destructive thing?
- Is that imperfection something that is controlling my life, like abuse or addiction?
It’s not wrong to be imperfect. It’s wrong when we know the right thing to do, but refuse to do it. Everyone makes bad choices because we all have character flaws. The question we ask is what are we doing to grow past those character flaws? What steps are we taking to move forward and to become greater? That’s the power of authenticity. When we own our own baggage, we can begin to grow qualities like purity, love, hope, strength, courage and faith. Though we are still living a life that is far from perfect, we are seeking to become more than we are. Authenticity is not just being who you are, but it’s becoming more than you are.
It’s not easy, but it is so worth it for at least two reasons. The first is our life change becomes the legacy we live and leave. People who grow are the ones who make the world a better place. Their “realness” is a compelling life because GOD is in it. They are an expression of His power revealing how He is able to create a new life from one that was broken.
Second, you will never feel more alive than when you are growing. I stay physically fit by a regular exercise routine. I run, I walk and I do body weight exercises among other things. When I do, I sweat and I get tired and want to quit. Then I go some more. I push myself to grow and when I do, I feel more alive. Some days it’s hard to do the exercise and some days, I don’t do it. But when I do, I have a better outlook on life in general. I have more confidence, zeal, gratefulness and energy. The same is true when I exercise my soul and mind. When I push myself and face obstacles, I feel more alive.
Both of these ideas are true because the real me is coming to the surface when I grow. Rather than living a life I wish I could be, I am living more of who I am.
My book, Make It Count, is filled with stories and applicable principles that illustrate a simple truth – To leave a legacy means living a better life and then giving it away. That impacts the world and changes the future. It has a number of helpful links to articles and videos. I’ve also included questions at the end of each chapter for small groups to read through and study. You can get Make It Count from me (via Facebook or Twitter) or through Amazon.
PS: Ask yourself: Who do I know could use the encouragement to grow their life, to become more? Perhaps their life hasn’t turned out like they wanted. Share this book with them and spend time with them. Be a part of creating positive momentum so that they experience more the life GOD created them to live.