Having been shooed to the rear door, I had not yet paid. When I got on the bus I realized that it was densely packed and I would have had to push my way through 30 or so bus riders in order to get to the front to pay my fare. So at the next step, I got off the bus, ran to the front (we have long busses that don’t stop for very long), and reboarded in order to pay for my trip.
Could I have taken the bus without paying? Absolutely. It would have been easy. But my underlying value system stated that every dollar I spend is a vote that I cast in the world… and I enjoy supporting products and services that I feel benefit the world.
- So where do you set boundaries in your life where you decide what is or isn’t acceptable?
- How do you behave when no one is around to judge your actions?
- What things do you do that make you proud of who you choose to show up as in the world?
Decide on your personal values, adhere to them regardless of external incentives, and you will be a much better and happier person for it.
2. Do what you want to do.
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be” – Abraham Maslow
Mmmmm… one of my favorite quotes of all time from my homie Maslow! The only way to ultimately be at peace with yourself is to do the things that you know you want to (as long as they don’t harm anyone).
If there is a burning desire to accomplish, create, or be something in this world that lives within you, you must adhere to this inner voice.
What does this have to do with being your version of an authentic man? Everything.
I believe that it is our frustrated desires and our under-utilized potential that eats away at us from the inside.
If you have a book or an album inside of you that gets ignored… or you have a career path or potential romantic partner that you want to go after but you never do… it will eat away at you like acid eroding the undercarriage of a car.
Life is short and it’s the “what ifs” that eat away at you the most.
What if I had just gone to that concert despite what my friends’ opinions of that artist were? What if I had approached that woman who I told myself was out of my league? What if I had broken off from the corporate world and started my own thing?
Whatever burning desires live inside of you, pay them the attention they deserve. You must listen to them and act accordingly… otherwise, they will end up hurting you.
3. Let go of needing to justify your actions or preferences.
You don’t need to justify your actions or your way of being in the world to anyone.
I do some pretty weird stuff with my life.
I run an internet-based business. I spend a few summer days per week at a nude beach. I often go to the BDSM/kink themed parties with my friends. I spend more money on vitamins and supplements than some people think is normal. And I have experienced resistance to all of these things on multiple occasions.
But you know what the great thing is? At the end of the day, I only have to answer to myself and my conscience. When I’m lying in bed at night and I’m navigating the whirring thoughts in my mind as I doze off to sleep, the only question I can ever ask myself is “Did I live today according to my values and beliefs? Was today a day of integrity for me?” And if the answer is a resounding “Yes!” then I feel like I have stayed on my path and used my day wisely.
So why do so many people justify their actions, preferences, or way of being in the world to others? Because they’re still tied to the external validation and need for approval from others.