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By Ann Ronan


Top Ten Ways to Live Authentically

1. Know your purpose
Are you wandering through life with little direction—hoping that you’ll find happiness, health and prosperity? Identify your life purpose or mission statement, and you'll have your own unique compass that will lead you to your true north every time.

2. Know your values
What do you value most? Make a list of your top 5 values. Some examples are security, freedom, family, spiritual development, learning. As you set your goals for 2004—check your goals against your values. If the goal doesn’t align with any of your top five values, you may want to reconsider it or revise it.

3. Know your needs
Unmet needs can keep you from living authentically. Take care of yourself. Do you have a need to be acknowledged, to be right, to be in control, to be loved? List your top four needs and get them met!

4. Know your passions
Honor those things that make your heart sing. Whatever it is, do more of it.

5. Live from the inside out
Increase your awareness of your inner wisdom by regularly reflecting in silence. Commune with nature. Breathe deeply to quiet your distracted mind.

6. Honor your strengths
What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List three—if you get stuck, ask those closest to you to help identify these. Are you imaginative, witty, good with your hands? Find ways to express your authentic self through your strengths.

7. Take time to play
Give yourself time to recharge doing things you love to do or by just doing nothing.

8. Be aware of your self-talk
Are you blocking your potential? Check out your first thoughts when you wake tomorrow. Are they supportive, encouraging or positive? Choose the kind of chatter that goes on in your mind. Become aware of the negative messages you give yourself. Gently catch them, and turn them into positive affirmations.

9. Surround yourself with inspiration
Keep a success journal. Write down your four or five greatest strengths and post them where you can see them. On the last Friday of each month, write down all your accomplishments, both big and small.

10. Serve others
When you live authentically, you may find that you develop an interconnected sense of being. When you are true to who you are, living your purpose and giving of your talents to the world around you, you give back in service what you came to share with others—your spirit—your essence.


Ann Ronan, Ph.D., Certified Career Coach, works with professionals in career transition. She offers a FREE e-course on the Top Ten Ways To Live Authentically. To learn more about this step-by-step program and to sign up for FREE how-to articles and FREE teleclasses, visit


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Last Updated 02/03/2004