What does it mean to live an authentic life?
From the existential perspective, the concept of authenticity describes the degree to which a person is acting in alignment with their beliefs and values.
And if we are not happy, we most likely are not living an authentic life.
And if we are not continually working toward being more authentic, we will not experience a happy life.
After years of being influenced by outside forces that continually try to make us conform, we can lose our authenticity.
We are unhappy.
Be yourself–not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.”Henry David Thoreau
- The path back to happiness is through authentic actions.
- To find our authentic actions, we need to know ourselves.
- To know ourselves, we need to dig up our true nature, beliefs, and values.
But how can we know our true beliefs and values if we’ve been living in this absurd world that continuously influences us and forces us into a box?
How do we cope with this absurdity?
Honesty, authenticity, and happiness walk into a bar. Should we go in with them? Should we share their bottle of wine?
I don’t really believe the answer is in a bar.
The answer is deep within ourselves. To find our authentic self, we must dig deep inside. We must peel away the layers of other people’s beliefs and values to find what we truly believe.
Through prolonged thought, questioning, observation, and experimentation – we sort through the beliefs we’ve collected throughout our lives. We throw what no longer serve us (or maybe never) and keep what unquestionably represents the unique individual we are becoming.
And like wine, it takes time and patience before we can truly enjoy it.