Moving from Strength to Authenticity in the #Impact Program

The #Impact Program is one month old. Today, February 19, we’re launching the fifth week of the 2017 course. This also starts the first of four weekly lessons in Human Quality 2 of 12, Authenticity. This humble little word is terrifying to a lot of people. It must be, considering how many recoil from it like a snake when it comes time to live it. But we’re diving in on the concept and participants already have the first set of lesson materials in their inboxes this morning.

We’re also holding our first private Program online Town Hall today at 3:00, Hawai’ian time. It’ll be our chance to all meet in the same virtual place and share success stories and talk about what’s working and what can become even better.

I decided to share this introduction with the general public. This can give you a taste of how students are being challenged in a not-trivial block of instruction that pushes folks to dig deep in becoming better versions of themselves.

Here’s that Intro to “Authenticity” month:


Brace yourself: there’s a dirty word coming.

Shit’s About To Get Real. (There — that wasn’t so bad, was it?)

Authenticity: “the quality of being authentic”
Authentic: “of undisputed origin; genuine
Are you of undisputed origin? Are you genuine? Are you gay, and hiding that part of yourself from the world? Yeah, I went there. To drive this point home. “Coming out” is among the toughest things a person can do, and yet it’s said to feel like living in an invisible prison while hiding the truth. And I’m guessing this question hits home in a startling way for a few of the individuals in the Program.
That’s one of the most obvious examples of living an inauthentic life. Let’s try some others:
Are you an artist, and living a scientist’s life?
Are you a scientist, and living an artist’s life?

Do you wake up some mornings and dread going to the work you are in?

Do you wish you could tell your friends something you keep to yourself?

Do you long for a different way of life, or a different location … or even a different mind? That can happen, if you’re not in touch with who and what you are, or if you know and don’t tell. In the worst cases, it can feel like you’re wrong just for being you.

Do you struggle to accept that you deserve the respect of others, simply by virtue of being born here among us humans? If so, here’s a hint: You do deserve respect. Not every behavior you or anyone else does is necessarily right or acceptable for society — child abuse springs to mind — but there is a huge range of okay for our species and, ultimately, each person is born with the basic human right to dignity and respect.

(This topic of individual identity being okay, but some behaviors being not okay, will be the primary focus of Quality 03, Accountability. Nobody rides for free. Actions have consequences. You get what you pay for. Starting to see the progressive nature of these 12 Qualities?)

Not all of us are able to believe we deserve respect, but the knowledge can be rediscovered. We’ll be working on that this month.

Here’s the good news: whatever you are is okay. Here’s the great news: you can live as who you are, no matter who that may be. You can grow a bushy beard and chop firewood at your hermit’s cabin in Montana (that one sounds pretty good to me sometimes), or develop the necessary skills to let yourself go to Paris and work for a fashion designer if that’s your thing. We’re blessed to exist in a generation when there is a place for everyone. It’s just a matter of everyone figuring out who they are, and what they’re about, first.

Correction: it’s about figuring it out, first … and getting it out, second. We’re responsible to represent ourselves authentically. Nobody else can be blamed for believing our masks and our masterful acting that covers our true, unaccepted, selves.

And THAT’S going to be hard for a lot of people. So we’ll ease into it. Start by checking out the next lesson: Authenticity and Body. This will be an interesting month. Stay with us, and remember: You’ve already developed Strength. That’s why it comes first (and throughout!) the Twelve Qualities. You have what you need to do this.


It’s still possible to get involved in the Program, if you’re interested. Just drop me a note at

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