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The 11 Most Authentic Things You Will Ever See

The 11 Most Authentic Things You Will Ever See

Like many of you, sometimes we get caught up in the everyday happenings of life. We hustle through the bustle and never take a second to stop and look at what we might be missing, let alone take a look back once in awhile.

Life isn’t just about getting through each day as quickly as we can. It’s about something more. Something we forget about and yet need.

Over the last couple of years, I have found myself not needing to be so involved with life. Instead, I found myself falling in love with life’s little moments and the emotions that come with them. I am connected to those moments forever.

No matter who we are, some things cannot be faked or hidden. They are real and genuine and usually catch us at moments we could not have planned. They remind us what it means to feel something, to relate to it, and to allow it to stain our hearts and souls, which most things never will.

No matter the language we speak or where we grow up in the world, these everyday human moments are universal. They connect us all to one another in ways we couldn’t describe, let alone fabricate.

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The most authentic things are found everywhere.

1. Tears

For most of us, we think tears only come when we are sad. It is normal to shed tears for the loss of a loved one or something beautiful now gone. But tears are also found in moments of pure bliss, too. Like when a soldier returns home to surprise loved ones after a long deployment.

It’s been said that “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” If that’s the case, then tears are the love found in our hearts. Some tears come more silently than others, but no matter how they come, we know they are expressing what our hearts feel.

2. Smiles

I’m not talking about the fake, pretend one that comes when you say, “Good Morning!” to every co-worker just because you feel like you have to. No, I’m talking about the one when people are genuinely happy to see one another. It could have been a day or 10 days, but you know that connection between two people when you see it. Some smiles light up every room — it’s a light that shines through any amount of darkness and we just feel better when we see it.

3. Surprise

Genuine shock is something we see in the faces of people who are victims of playful pranks, wonderful surprises, and utter shock. Whether it is an announcement of expected grandchildren, a small get-together for a 50th birthday party, or just showing up to a friend’s work with their favorite lunch in hand. Nothing can beat doing something for someone else just because you can, and their reaction to feeling your love is absolutely priceless.

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4. Embarrassment

Let’s face it, our body sometimes reacts without us really wanting it to. When our cheeks turn bright red and we feel like everyone is staring at us, we are showing the world our true emotions. Maybe we struck out, giving the other team the win, lost the big contract for our company, or fell while trying to dance for the first time. When people are watching us and we don’t measure up to even our own standards, we are ashamed of our behavior or our lack of measuring up. Being embarrassed is a very human emotion.

5. Change

Whether found in a single sprout popping from the ground in spring, or something more personal found in someone’s journey, we can’t help but notice when something or someone is different. Growth is found in many different ways and can be a long process at times. Attitudes influence ideas which influence actions, and before long we have something other than what we had before. Some changes are more subtle while others are more drastic. Yet, when we see a change in something, we understand the concept of time, as it is needed to take place to allow this process to occur.

6. Beauty

You just can’t hide true beauty. We are in awe when we stand with it, somehow swallowed up in its greatness. Its majestic and timeless grace is found in the simplest of places.

Some days, we have to look hard to find it, but we find beauty in the heart of a woman who refuses to quit no matter the struggles she has endured. We see beauty in the soft petal of the flower ready to bloom and the red veins in the maple leaf, having just fallen from the tree from which it grew.

7. Determination

Watching someone fight through something hard or something that seems impossible inspires us all. The authentic will to never give up isn’t something that comes easy. When the body wants to quit and is refusing to do what you ask of it, pure grit is the only thing pushing you forward. Winning isn’t everything when you see someone refusing to quit. No matter how long it takes, they aren’t done yet.

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8. Joy

You can’t fake joy. It is found in the simplest of things and you know that happiness — that bliss — when you see it. Even if just watching someone open up a gift you know they will love, you are connected to that moment because of the elation felt. The energy is electric and contagious. It is usually followed by elated screams, jumping up and down, and celebration. Seeing joy in others will warm your heart every day.

9. Vulnerability

It can be difficult to let someone see us for everything we are. When we are afraid to let someone get that close to us, and yet wanting to take that chance too, it can tear at us in ways we may not fully comprehend.

When we share our stories and are real with every detail, we begin to understand what it means to allow someone in. Letting others see our faults, our weaknesses, and even the crappy choices we have made in life requires an ownership to the life we’ve lived instead of casting blame on someone else.

10. Courage

Moments in life require great courage, and when we see it, we understand what it took to take the actions we did or to say the words we shared. Found on every battlefield and on every inner city street, when we do the extraordinary and take a stand, we show what it takes to be brave. In hospital rooms where the ill fight diseases, we find courage in the tiniest of bodies. In the worst of domestic situations, we find people who break free of abuse. In the simplest of choices we make every day, we see courage everywhere.

11. Love

We see love in the embrace between friends and family. We see love in the eyes of the bride and groom on their wedding day. We see love in the touch of the tiny finger held by a bigger one. We see love in the holding of hands of lovers, who don’t need to say anything. We find love in the giving to others without condition or requirement. Love is felt and connects us all in ways we sometimes are afraid to admit, but we know it’s there. And we know we need it.

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There are a lot of things in life we can fake. Things we can pretend to be and hide behind. But ask yourself why these 11 things inspire us in the way they do? In this massive world of lies and deception, we crave the truth. Those things full of honesty and virtue that cannot be found in anything made up. We are tired of living in less than a genuine world, yet we forget the true meaning of authentic lives.

We look at life all the time, but when was the last time you really took the time to see life?

Be inspired by the genuine and the real. Authenticity is out there. We just have to see it.

Featured photo credit: Madi Robson via unsplash.com

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Michelle A. Homme

Author, Speaker, Quote Writer, Empowerment Coach

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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