ˈ dʒɛnjʊɪn/ adjective
truly what something is said to be; authentic.
“genuine 24-carat gold”
I will try and explain my vision, you do not have to agree with me merely see if anything in this article is useful for you.
There are two parts to this.
- How does being genuine work?
- Why should it matter if you are genuine?
How does being genuine work?
Being genuine is about expressing yourself honestly. In order to know if we are expressing ourselves honestly, we must figure out if it is ourselves that is expressing (the ego) or if it is ‘others’ expressing themselves using our voice (superego). The ego is who we are. Let me break it down. Imagine a seed. This seed is you, your love, your hopes, and dreams, your fears, braveness, and mistakes. It is your identity. The seed is covered with layers. These layers are added by our parents, teachers, culture, and society. These layers were opinions, rules, and guidelines taught by others. As a child, you needed these because your own opinions have not formed yet. These layers are what we call the superego. The superego is NOT you. Now, if we could easily differentiate when our superego or our own ego is giving its opinion, it would be easy to express oneself honestly, to be genuine. But, here is where a challenge starts. When we get older we start to identify ourselves with our superego. We make the opinion of our teachers, parents, society, and culture our own and they blur into one big onion that we think is us. The reason why we don’t notice this is because it goes extremely slow and takes many years to settle in.
Why being genuine matters?
I believe that at the end of the day it does not matter if you are genuine or not. Life will unfold itself either way. There are benefits to being genuine and there are benefits to not being genuine. Today I am not talking about the benefits of NOT being genuine. In this case, we are talking about what being genuine brings and how it can deepen your experience.
By peeling off the layers of opinions that make our superego, our ego will reveal itself. If the seed is covered in layers of onions knowing what it wants will be difficult. It will be hard to know what dreams and hopes you have, and without dreams and hopes it will be difficult to get what you want.
If we don’t peel back the layers there’s a chance that we will be following the dreams and hopes of our teachers or parents. We might end up with an expensive car, thinking that was all we wanted, when in reality our ego wanted us to help to save the planet. Maybe we end up working as a designer but in reality, we would have been interested in programming.
Being genuine, peeling back the layers in an attempt to come to a naked seed will lead you to hear your own voice. Then, you will learn to express that voice and guide it towards your dream. I am not saying this is easy. Like going to the gym to strengthen your body, you will have to train your mind to express oneself. You will have to challenge yourself time and time again. You will have to go through inner dialogues that question what you believe is your opinion. ‘Is this me talking or my father?’, ‘Do I believe that or has our culture forced that upon me?’ This will take weeks, months, probably years. The point is to keep going. It will get easier.
Dream, peel, express, and create your own future.
On 17.8.2018 we at ArcticStartup, together with the Municipality of Tuusula will try to prevent an apocalypse at the horizon. We will do this by bringing together motivated participants who will come to solve real problems. I believe that being genuine is the key to success. At the Cityhack: Power People, I will hold an interactive discussion on the topic.