KEW Episode 67: Authenticity

Definition of authentic (Taken from Merriam-Webster)

1 a: worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact paints an authentic picture of our society

b: conforming to an original so as to reproduce essential features an authentic reproduction of a colonial farmhouse

c: made or done the same way as an original authentic Mexican fare

2: not false or imitationREALACTUALan authentic cockney accent

3: true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character is sincere and authentic with no pretensions

4 aof a church mode ranging upward from the keynote— compare PLAGAL sense 1

b of a cadence progressing from the dominant chord to the tonic— compare PLAGAL sense 2


Geeze, that’s thorough, eh? But let me summarize:


Same or similar



Sincere (like a pumpkin patch)

So, yeah, something real, or representative of something real. But most interesting is that many of these depict a thing REPRESENTING another thing. And that RESEMBLANCE is either good (authentic, real, conforming, true) or not (not authentic, fake, different, false). And remember, a dictionary is book of what we THINK words mean, not what they necessarily mean.

In the context of the Are vs Should Problem, authenticity is behaving in the world the way you feel/want/believe you behave in your head.

On the surface, this may seem like it means you must live in your Are to be authentic. I don’t believe this is true, however.

I think we all exhibit a certain amount of Shoulds throughout our lives, no matter how hard we try not to. We are going to slip. We are human.

The goal is not to live 100% Are and 0% Should, it’s to do the best you can. I don’t see any other way around it. We always build in an error term. A human error term. Which provides a degree of . . . . missing the mark. Failing. Being Inauthentic. It’s ok!

So there’s two points in this Episode, really. One is that the Are is your Authentic Self, and we have been discussing authenticity for the past twenty or so episodes – to point out and use the common vernacular. And the second point is that we are not trying to be 100% perfect, or 100% anything. The utility of a concept like authenticity is as a target to aim for, not something to become.

Much more in this Episode, available as a direct podcast download here:

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Preview KEW Episode 65: How Do We Know if We Really Know What We Think We Know?

I’m not sure where I heard this phrase but I always thought it had a nice balance of being both funny and thought provoking. Like, many a truth comes out in jest. It sounds like I’m kidding, but this is a serious question.

How do we ever ‘know’ anything? Go back to my very first Episode 1: Facts. This is part of what I was getting at. Humans just don’t have the capacity to know all the ‘truths’ and many things we think are ‘truths’ or ‘facts’ are just potential explanations or even just opinions.

Now I’m looking at the flip side of that. This episode is about our ‘knowing’ rather than the knowledge itself. I’ll discuss choice, belief, and reality. I talk about manifesting. In the end I wonder whether or not we have become distracted by the choosing and have forgotten about the action itself. Isn’t moving through life the goal? Rather than trying to get it ‘right’?

I am making progress toward some ‘to-do’s or action steps for the Are Vs. Should Problem and in this Episode I developed some clear pathways to next steps. I hope you enjoy it.

Full Episodes release Fridays at 5 AM on YouTube and your favorite podcast host. I also post here on my blog in honor of new episodes. Mondays are flashback episodes and Wednesdays are previews like this one:)

KEW Curiosity Interview Series 6: Dan Faill

Doing these interviews has been so much fun, and meeting new people (especially during the pandemic) is very nourishing. Getting to meet Dan Faill was no exception. Dan is exuberant, funny, has a lot of wisdom to share, and isn’t afraid to be real about it.

For years Dan’s directed Greek programs for colleges and you can tell he has a direct connection with young people (and he’s still pretty young himself). Serendipitously, Dan was invited to speak to a large audience and something clicked. He quickly switched over to inspirational and motivational speaking full time. And he has a gift for winning an audience. But more than that, Dan drills down pretty deep to the things that we don’t always like to talk about. One of his famous talks is “A night to forget, the intersection of blackouts and sex’ and he is very gentle, yet candid, when discussing difficult issues. You can find that talk, and others, here:

Dan Faill

More generally, all of Dan Faill’s brilliance are housed at and you are sure to find something inspiring or interesting to peruse. You will not be disappointed. At the very least, Dan is going to make you laugh because, well, you’ll see:)

Dan also appears to be modest given his outgoing personality. He embraces his last name in what he calls ‘Failing Forward’ and makes a solid argument about why failure is necessary and not something to avoid.

He is also a pro with respect to one of my favorite topics, Imposter Syndrome (also, least favorite).

In short, Dan is a storyteller. His delivery is vulnerable and trustworthy. He has a special way of humbling himself to the listener, and then clearly linking how his story is relevant to you.

And luckily, Dan also offers his uber-charismatic life lessons through coaching, which you can also find out about on his website.

I hope you enjoy listening to or watching the interview as much as I enjoyed recording it. Do yourself a favor and visit

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KEW Episode 43: Diversity and Uniqueness

As y’all may know, I have always felt a little different. Like an outsider. People in the 80s may have called me a ‘nonconformist’. But as an adult I have learned that many people feel this way, at least some of the time. And, like I say in Episode 20: We all feel different (But we’re all the same), we all suffer from the imposter syndrome or feeling like we’re out of place. It’s universal.

Part of this, I think, is because we are ‘supposed’ to be different. The entire purpose of our DNA is to enable each individual human differentially equipped to respond to our changing environmental conditions. This, in short, provides the machinery for our species to persist through time. Things change, so we are equipped to change. Then, of course, the environmental conditions will select which traits (the unique stuff) work in the future, and unfortunately which ones do not.

The problem, then, isn’t that we are all unique. IN FACT, it’s the solution. The solution to our problems. So I’m wondering (and continuing to explore as part of a larger project) whether we are creating problems by not embracing our uniqueness. See, the pressures we feel that lead us to believe we are different are UNNATURAL. The world, society, our peers, our jobs, they are all imposing Unnatural selective forces that attempt to make us the same. Conformity rules in society.

Maybe that’s going a bit too far for this introductory episode, but hopefully you see the bigger picture.

I believe we need to stop trying so hard to conform, and instead take a long hard look at who we really are. If we can develop the aspects of our personalities that make us unique, think of what we can accomplish.

Podcast audio download here:

YouTube video here:

FLASHBACK! KEW Episode 21: We All Feel Different (But We’re All the Same)

In this Episode I tried to capture the feeling we all have sometimes that we don’t belong. Some of us feel this way most all the time, others just every once in awhile. You may have experienced it as ‘Imposter Syndrome’, when you get a new job or join a team and feel like everyone else is better than you. You may just feel misunderstood, or that the people around you just don’t ‘get you’.

Regardless, this is a terrible feeling and one we can question, or push back on, because if we all feel this way, then aren’t we similar?

It’s true. If we’re all different then we’re all the same because we have that ‘feeling different’ feeling in common! Can’t we somehow come together through this?

The problem is, no one wants to talk about it. Admitting you feel bad, in any way, is hard and not high on the ‘socially acceptable’ list. Unless you are fortunate enough to have a group of friends and coworkers who are elevated enough to realize this. But few of us are.

I think the least we can do is to realize most people feel this way. The next step we can take is to be aware of when someone else might be feeling this way, and to connect with them somehow. Maybe you have a friend who is going through something. This is an opportunity to explore how they feel by listening. Maybe they’ll give you an opportunity to say, ‘you feel isolated and alone, I get that because I often do, too’. Or something. I don’t have all the secrets, I just want to live a better life.

I hope you get something out of this episode, even if it’s just feeling a little less isolated.

Preview video here:

Full Episode link here: