Machen MacDonald
Special to The Union

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September 16, 2013
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MacDonald: Be honest with yourself

Are you living your life on your terms? I mean really? Are you living in an authentic way for you?

Hopefully you have not succumbed to numb. Behind many smiling social masks floating by us everyday are people tolerating an existence where they have settled for inspired mediocrity. Those that are living a favored life are honest with themselves. They are not attached to their past, nor do they fear their future. They are authoring their lives in real time as they really live. Notice the words “authoring” and “authentic” have the same root – Aut, which is greek for original, primary or self.

The more you live your life as your original self, unencumbered by imposed misperceptions of society’s ridicule or your own ridicules and self-imposed shoulds, woulds and coulds, the more your freedom will prevail.

Judy Garland was often quoted for saying, “Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.”

Live your life based on your hierarchy of values and not the values of your neighbors, friends, competitors or colleagues. Don’t compare. Nobody wins that game.

A recent movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freemen celebrated the famed bucket list. They waited until the end of their lives to start checking off activities on their list.

I propose that you create a bucket list and segment it into 90-day ladles. Over the next three months, what are one or two things you could do, be or have that would boost your feeling of living an authentic life? Write them down, commit to doing them and then start doing them.

Here is a list of guiding principles for living a more authentic life. As you read through these, notice what you can start applying to your life to feel more free and alive.

Be H.O.N.E.S.T. with yourself:

Having it all – Focus on what you have, and you have everything. Adopt an attitude of gratitude, for if you focus on what you don’t have, you have nothing.

On purpose – Know that the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose. You make up your purpose, and it will most likely change throughout your life. Create one and start living it.

Naturally –Follow your nature. Notice your energy. Where it expands and brightens, spend more time engaged in those activities and with those people. Where your energy contracts or shuts down, spend less time doing those things or being with those people.

Enhance – We live in an ever expanding universe. In order to feel alive, embrace life. To embrace life, find ways to expand by enhancing who you are. Ray Kroc, who founded McDonald’s, was known for saying, “If you are green, you are growing; if you are ripe, you rot.” Go green and enhance yourself.

Situation is the boss – Notice what context of life you are in. Embrace the situation and know that things happen for you and not to you. All situations are opportunities for growth and learning. Be aware that depending on the situation, you may behave differently. You may handle a family situation differently than you handle a work situation, differently than you handle a health situation. Typically, the way we do anything is the way we do everything. That is not always the best policy. Heed the situation.

Tap into your higher self – Gain a clear sense of who you are, as well as who you are becoming. It’s not who you think you are that holds you back.

It’s who you think you are not. Start seeing yourself as a no-limit person and notice how your world expands.

Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!

Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC, is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity in order to live their ideal life. He can be reached at coach@probrilliance.com and 530-273-8000.


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The Union Updated Sep 16, 2013 01:26AM Published Sep 16, 2013 12:10AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.