I recently gave a talk to 70 people about authenticity and integrity, and my own journey to discovering it.
Before I went on stage, I gave myself permission to be brutally honest and open - so that my openness might inspire the openness of those listening.
I began sharing my journey - how I ended up moving to Bali, how I discovered what mattered to me the most - family, how I lost some people I loved, how I created and built my businesses, how I have been travelling the world.
People listened. Really listened.
It was real. I left my ego behind at the door. I didn’t care about ‘me’. I cared about the common denominator of my story, the aspects of it that people could relate to and be inspired by.
I knew I was choosing vulnerability. Consciously. I knew it was provocative but connecting.
QUOTE: Choose vulnerability. Do it deliberately. It is provocative but connecting.
People asked me questions that eventually led me to sharing my greatest loss in life.
I could barely hold back the tears and my voice was trembling.
I thought to myself: how beautiful, I am real, I am authentic, I am not pretending or lying, either to myself or to all of these people.
Some were uncomfortable because truth and authenticity make those uncomfortable who aren’t yet comfortable with themselves.
But there were many people who, after the talk was over, came up to me with tears in their eyes and said: ‘You shifted something in me’.
That was the goal. Not me. But the shift in you.
That’s why we have to be brave to be vulnerable. It is much more inspiring and educational than any other emotion.
When you are vulnerable, you are authentic. You never know who your authenticity will inspire to shift and change.
This was one of those rare times I was truly proud of myself - proud of my courage to stop pretending to myself and others, proud to be the man that I am - flawed, sensitive, but beautiful.
No one cares about perfect, held-together, fake-strong.
We are sick of it. We want the truth.
That’s my resolution for next year - the truth.
And if that involves tears in public - I am fine with it, if that involves starting a disruptive project - I am fine with it, (if that involves me having to travel to the strangest of places - I am fine with it.
Anything, as long as I am real and truthful.
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