3 Ways to Keep It Real

Know who you are and act like it.

We’re drawn to the real deal, folks who actually walk the talk and are comfortable in their own skin. So how can each of us stay grounded in our core beliefs, even as we grow and evolve? How do you “know who you are and act like it?” A few possible answers lie ahead.



Expressing yourself takes courage. Especially when you’re the odd vote, the odd ball or the odd bird. It can also be liberating to fly free of consensus, especially when you speak positively. “Irony is the easy way out,” says musician Jack White. “It’s an anti-opinion, an opinion without taking any chances.” It’s too easy for people to deride, or declare only what they’re against. What are you FOR? Take a stand. When you do, you invite others into real conversations – and that’s where authentic relationships are born.


Lose yourself in the flow of your favorite activity – be it basketball, yoga, gardening or trail walks with a friend. It’s one of the best ways to refresh and reconnect with the real you.


Ask three people closest to you to share with you two things that they hope never change about you and one thing they believe could use a change. Doing so will help you discover your genuine strengths as well as focus on a key area where – could it be? — you have opportunities to grow stronger.

See More Good Vibes.

This article is excerpted and adapted from the book Life is Good by Bert and John Jacobs, published by National Geographic on September 1, 2015. Copyright © 2015 The Life is Good Company.

Read more in Life is Good: The Book