My Life, My Terms Authenticity – Brutally Honest Quirks You Don’t Know About Me
I’ve noticed that when my blog content has a bit of an ‘edge’ to it people become more vocal in sharing their opinions – THAT IS FANTASTIC!
If however my posts are too controversial for your comfort level you always have the option to un-subscribe, agree to disagree, ignore, or move. Just be respectful and play nice.
“Say what matters because the alternative is more painful than the obstacles you will face in being unapologetically you. Being genuine let’s you stand out above the crowd and inspire others to be real as well. There is no greater gift you can give to heal our planet one simple act at a time.” – Dan Trepanier
First The Creed
We are built upon the manifestation of our kindred spirit fostered by a desire to do what matters. To make a difference. To share our story. To improve the quality of life one simple act at a time. To be pragmatic yet whimsical every day. To embrace our diversity, foster social inclusion and have fun along the way!
Deep down inside you know that you and others like you have the capacity to build a life that matters, to develop the right kind of personal and professional relationships you deserve. It’s about doing what matters and living life on your own terms and the terms of those near and dear to you. Be a doer, a giver, a creator, a leader, a mentor, a collaborator and a bit of a challenger of the status quo along the way. It’s about crafting stories knowing you inspire as you get inspired and connect with other kindred spirits.
Doing What Matters means summing up the courage to take a leap of faith and share things that have never been shared in public – to keep it real!
This concept scares the hell out of many people (not so much me) because there is always a risk associated with ‘taking down the mask’ and exposing ones fears, facts and stories. Being authentic encourages others to do the same. Perhaps together we can co-create relevant, content that also inspires others to life on their own terms.
In December 2014 I ran into someone at a local bar in Toronto who had known me only through my Facebook persona. Despite the frigid winter weather outside, the first thing he said was ‘why aren’t you sailing your Yacht this weekend, and please show me your tattoos because I want one.’ (nice pick up line – but I digress) I was amazed at how short he was and thought he was much younger looking on-line (shallow of me, I know)
Upon reflection and a little chuckle this exchange got me thinking how social media alters our perception of each others lives.
Theres a quote floating around that I love to use;
“May your life someday be as awesome as your pretend it is on Facebook”
What a brutal yet accurate reflection of some Peoples sense of reality. So much of our public online persona is masked by a huge load of self-perpetuating bullshit!
Why is that? If you’ve been working in the corporate world for a while it’s far too easy for much of the business poop to rub off, influence, and spawn the many facades we wear in public.
- Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe in digital reputation and brand management and I’m not advocating a free-for-all of your wild-side. Especially if your ‘junk’ will be misconstrued or harmful to your reputation or the reputation of others, including your employer.
There is an authentic balanced approach I’d like you to consider.
Many people fear that if they bring forward their true authentic selves (warts and all) they will not be loved, or respected or employed very long. Now if you’re a politician or the CEO of a large company or work in some industries I get that you likely have an image to uphold.
But respectfully, attitudes are changing (especially for Millennials) and inauthentic on-liners are not part of ‘my tribe’ nor the tribes of the target audience I am trying to reach – Lucky me that I have the freedom to proudly blur the line between passion-projects, home, work, and colleagues.
Jobs with formal boundaries between the many social dimensions of life simply turn me and many others off. Read As a Young Person You Have No Illusions of a Career in a Comfy Corporate Job – Is That True?
Remember there are over 7.22 billion people on mother earth, each with their own unique take on reality. How many souls do you want to interact with – 100, 100,000 or more? The point is that as an ‘Online Creative’ (your followers and mine) are an absolute micro-fraction of the population. If you don’t focus on being unique and real to your target audience you simply won’t be heard!
Revealing only your puffed-up best side is a dis-service to others who want to authentically connect. Plus keeping up a picture perfect persona is exhausting and places unrealistic expectations on all parties involved.
Don’t think I am perfect because my online pic was Photoshopped and my blogs are typically up beat and positive. Trust me I really do have bad hair days and make more than my fair share of mistakes and go ‘postal’ at least once a year (I trying to reduce that to every five years — anyone have suggestions?)
“Don’t change so someone will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you!” – Anonymous
I remember years ago when facilitating essential skills workshops for young Interns. While flip-charting (remember those)? I would accidentally, or purposefully make spelling errors on the board. The truth is I suck at spelling and flip-chart paper does not come installed with auto-correct — go figure! Once I admitted to the room that my spelling sucked or that it’s ok make mistakes, the learners also became fearless flips-charters – errors and all.
There is perfection in imperfection – Dan Trepanier
At PROJECTwhatMATTERS, I hope to keep it real and curate content in a way that’s somewhat edgy and provocative to cause a shift in our thinking. For sure if I’ve pushed your buttons or elicited a reaction then I know I’m on the right track.
One of the guys who truly inspires me is Scott Dinsmore. His stuff is so good! Scott says….
Because when you show who you really are to someone else, it often encourages them to be themselves as well. And sadly, in a world of false images and representations, many people have never gotten the chance to be uniquely who they actually are — Scott Dinsmore
With over 1,800,000 views of his Tedx content Scott knows that authenticity is at the heart of all things successful.
- It’s the foundation of a bestseller.
- The heart of an inspiring speech.
- The core of a business out to change the world.
- It’s also the most powerful way to connect as a writer.
Brutally Honest Quirks That Prove I am Human & Similar To My Tribe
1. I like using pictures of cute men in my posts.
Oh please don’t tell me you haven’t figure it out already! Just look at the imagery on my posts, follow me on Facebook and you can tell I am a happy, grounded, out and proud member of a sexual minority.
- Choosing appropriate pictures on my posts that reflect my sexual orientation is quite frankly ok. (read cute guys). Pics on your posts that reflect your uniqueness are ok too. Yea I lose points for not showing images of more women and cute babies, disabled youth, Asians, seniors, red heads and puppy dogs and… and… and… But just know that if I was dark-skinned, a woman or a veterinarian you would see more pictures of black people, women and pets.
- What I won’t do is play the politically correct game of using tokenism to sell product via stock art that doesn’t reflect the subject matter on some of my posts. As my content evolves and others post material reflecting their own diversity, then so will the imagery on PROJECTwhatMATTERS.
2. If all people were like me the world would be a very boring place!
Diversity and social inclusion are key to a civil society. What I love about living in Toronto is the cornucopia of differences, diverse foods and ethnic communities.
- I live in a city whereby compared to most of the planet we have evolved from a place of simply tolerating to actually celebrating our differences and embracing our quirks.
- How else would I learn, grow, be challenged and gain perspectives
“Love life and flaunt your quirks.”– Dan Trepanier
3. I’m not motivated to generate the most likes.
The stuff I post is inspirational, quirky and upbeat with a primary focus on the compassionate side of the human condition. There’s an up and downside to being brutally authentic. In fact some days I lose more Twitter followers than I gain. That’ OK because I’m not motivated to generate the most likes.
- I’m not afraid to say what others are thinking. Behind my childlike wit I am a competent, compassionate individual who loves collaborating with others. I am consistent and prolific — sometimes my passion is overwhelming.
When I try to explain to others what I do they usually don’t get it or seem disinterested. Flying solo with an idea can create a feeling of loneliness for an entrepreneur – Dan Trepanier