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Be TRUE to Yourself!

Note: This resource is part of our Moving the Bar in Your Career and Your Life, a unique approach to professional development series: My 3 Ps: Passion, Purpose, Potential. Click here to see the entire series.

Many of us will do almost anything to provide the best that life can offer for our families. When we ask our clients what is most important in their lives, almost everyone says their family is #1. This focus is natural and generally healthy. It can also be the reason why some people continue to work in a job or a business which no longer energizes them, gives them joy, or lacks passion.

It’s our belief that we are designed to be fulfilled, not just when we’re with our families, but ALWAYS! The secret to living such a life is to find our purpose and live consistent with our purpose and our passions. In short: Be true to yourself.

We’ve found this acronym for the word TRUE to be useful in living consistent with our purposes and passions:

  • T – Trust: To be true to myself I need to trust my heart, i.e. listen to my inner spirit and be in harmony with where my Creator is guiding me.
  • R – Risk: What am I willing to risk to be true to myself? Sometimes it means stepping out of my comfort zone or giving up expedient habits which don’t serve me or others.
  • E – Empathy: It may seem a bit strange, but to be true to myself I need to be in touch with other people. It’s who I am for others that gives my life meaning and allows me to live my life on-purpose and with passion. When I’m in touch with other people’s feelings, situations, and challenges, I feel more alive and in touch with myself.

Nelson Mandela is the person that most recently comes to mind as living a life of being "TRUE to Yourself." As the "last great liberator of the 20th century" he trusted himself and ultimately was not dissuaded by others who thought they had a better way. He risked everything, including his freedom for 27 years, for what he believed in. He understood his purpose in life and lived it dramatically. He empathized with the condition of his fellow citizens, both black and white, and brought his country together by serving them in a spirit of reconciliation and peace.  In President Obama’s eulogy, he talked about Mandela’s greatest gift using the South African word, Ubuntu: "his recognition that we are all bound together in ways that are invisible to the eye; that there is a oneness to humanity; that we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us."

During 2014, consider how you can be TRUE to yourself and, by taking action, how you will also give your family and those you love a great gift as well.

Many thanks to our colleague Dave Vogelpohl at Excellerate Solutions, Inc. for the TRUE acronym.