I am not an authentic person.

After reading the 40 Habits of Highly Authentic People, it appears I don’t know any authentic people either. Things are crazy unauthentic in my world.

Let me first say that I am a sucker for Top Ten or Five Keys to anything. I like stuff in bite size or with pretty pictures. Much to the rolling eyes of the people in my life, I like to work on myself. That often involves motivational quotes or blasting Fall Out Boy while I walk up my street, believing fully that I’ll be Jillian Michaels by the time I make it to the stop sign.

I have a pretty extensive inventory of mental and physical “to do”, so I’m drawn to these articles like . . . like flies on shit or like a moth to a flame if the shit analogy upsets your sensibilities.

While Michael thinks guides and insights are silly and “for followers or to make money,” I often entertain being guided to a better me.

But this thing, this article made me want to crack open a bottle of something long before it was five o’clock anywhere. I went back to the beginning and re-read the short paragraph to make sure I wasn’t reading a list for How to Become a Saint. I waived bye-bye to saint a long time ago, so I didn’t want to waste my time. But the list is in fact things that Highly Authentic People do.

First, what’s with the “highly”? Isn’t a person either authentic or not? I wasn’t aware there were degrees of authentic. The title should have stopped me, but it didn’t.

According to the list, the Highlies are “always respectful” and “don’t take no for an answer.” They “ignore instructions,” but “pay attention to the fine print.” They know perfection doesn’t exist, all the while being kind to animals, participating in humanitarian causes, never sweating the small stuff and knowing their limits.

Holy Hell!  I was dizzy by the time I made it to 40.

I thought for sure I was at least a tiny bit authentic. I . . . hardly ever wear make-up and I clean my toilets with a sponge. Hand in the bowl. Where are those on the list?

According to these habits, I am nowhere near the real deal. This was almost as bad as the time I read an article outlining five simple exercises I could do in twenty minutes to become “swimsuit ready”. That little doozy failed to mention that you needed to be living in the world of The Matrix to get past exercise number one.

But this, this was the worst. This was the most ridiculous list of “give me a break” I have ever read. No one is all of these things. No one is half of these things.

I get that it’s simply a list of habits, suggestions, but it seems like reckless . . . guiding. If that’s not a thing, it should be. People can’t throw this stuff out there willy-nilly, some of us are very susceptible.

Whoever wrote this needs “to be slapped,” as my grandmother would say. How’s that for authentic?

My thoughts from the laundry room. Rapid Eye Movement.


acceptance crazy life fun good choices humor learning opinion thoughts

19 Comments Leave a comment

  1. i enjoy perusing lists.
    however, i stopped at 16, already disgusted by some of them, it was 16 that had me pause and just stop reading.
    someone who doesn’t take no for an answer? i would put that on a list of highly inappropriate people. or perhaps wildly boundary ignoring people. or something like that.
    i’d like to rename that list: 40 platitudes which only apply in certain situations.
    or something like that.
    maybe i should push through my disgust and aversion and finish reading the list.
    but i’d rather read something that’s more, um, authentic.
    (like your blog, or an honest messy memoir)

  2. 40 traits to be authentic seems a very too long list. Society makes us not authentic and it is bad. I wish WE raised kids to be authentic. Life would be so much easier and enjoyable ! Nice to meet y’a! 😊

  3. If by authentic do we mean genuine or original? if so both kinds of people do exsist….but i love your tone here….and those “lists”and “diy”books or lists have you questioning all that you know (or thought you knew about you,lol)they are still entertainment none the less….and i give them a fighting chance they have 45 seconds of a chance to peak my curiosity, before i’m on to the next article

  4. It’s easy to be nice to animals. It is DIFFICULT to pumice a toilet. Maybe, in a dictionary that I haven’t found yet, there is a definition of “Authentic” that actually reads, “Independently wealthy, raised by independently wealthy parents who were emotionally stable and psychologically perfect in a stress free environment. Currently exists in a vacuum where a full time staff of fawners prevent frustration and buffer ‘authentic’ person from the real world where assholes wait until all of their groceries are rang and bagged THEN remember that they intend to write a personal check and use coupons at the market in the express lane.”

  5. Is “authentic” the same as “perfect”? No one is ever perfect. . . .you fill my criteria, Tracy–as being a “normal” person like the rest of us 😉

  6. I enjoyed this humorous article! Surely you are right about it all. I sometimes find it comical (sometimes not) that simple cliches seem to motivate and inspire some people.

  7. I too am a sucker for top 5-10 lists… I even create some myself but this list of 40 habits takes creating lists to a whole new level! What perplexes me the most is their connection to 20 tips to be your most authentic self. I didn’t know brewing a cup of tea could bring out the authentic in me?! Pure exhaustion is what I felt from reading that list. Am I ever glad your post was here to lighten the mood and bring some humor into the mix.

  8. Heavens to Betsy – I’ve spent the past 65 years being completely in-authentic according to this list. Just getting through day to day with a big family (4 generations to consider), holding down a job, remaining married to the same man for 40 yrs just isn’t enough to make me authentic. Now I live in China so that’s me done for. Oh WTF? do I care? Probably Gwyneth Paltrow is the only authentic person on the planet – when you take in to account her steamed vagina and what-not.
    So happy to have discovered your blog – I intend to visit often.

  9. I’m very far from authentic! I’m glad and a better human being for it. What’s respectable about making someone feel inferior with a guide on perfection?!? And let me say you’re a gal after my own heart…sponge-in-toilet and all 💜

  10. Okay no one is respectful ALL the time. No one is ANYthing all the time. That’s just silly…I love books that require us to think and improve, too. Here’s a good one I just finished: how successful people think. It sounds geared toward business, but it’s applicable to life in general : ) Btw, you’re highly authentic. I don’t care what that list says…

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: