For most of my adult life my operating strategy has been:
1) Be open to multiple ideas and execute on the best ones
2) Keep doing what works
3) Stop doing and learn from what doesn’t
It occurs to me that no real growth can happen with each success, as by definition I’m not changing anything. Only when we make mistakes do we have a chance to reflect and grow.
Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors, is obsessed with post-game mistake analysis, and summarizes it as: “pain plus reflection equals progress.”
To be authentic means first to be fiercely self-aware, which means you NEVER lie to yourself. It means you develop genuine relationships such that both people are better off. It means you’re mindful and present.
You’ll be less stressed as there will be fewer (or no) discrepancies between what you actually are and what you think you need to be to gain respect from people (some of whom don’t matter). You’ll spend more time with people who encourage you to be you.
It means wherever you go, you’ll be celebrated, not just tolerated. That includes alone time.
A famous experiment asked students to keep close count of the score of a basketball game they were watching. Without error, each student recorded the score with perfect accuracy, but not one of them saw a saw a man dressed as a gorilla walk through the middle of the court.
How easily we see and hear what we most set out to. But how reliably do we discount obvious things that weren’t part of what we set out to see in the first place.
The bright side of this embarrassing survey result, is that we can choose to intentionally “attract” those things we set out to, using the principle to our advantage.