Being an authentic imposter is also about letting go of the actions, people, and wants that do not serve us. The word “serve” is not used to convey a hierarchical relationship or to suggest that we should only embrace experiences and individuals that can provide something for us. Rather, the individual should question whether specific efforts will bring them closer to the future time experience they envision before dedicating focus and energy to a specific direction. It is one of the fundamental challenges of being human. How can we reduce our desire to cling to specific understandings of the world when everything about our being encourages us to hold on? Learning to let go is a practice the individual actualizer embodies through the embrace of meaning and values drawing from the single truth and the relational universe.
Consider our actions, as they are perhaps the most straightforward. At all times, we occupy moments of creative decision-making. Much of our time is spent focusing on crafting visions we have already set out to accomplish or those that have been set for us—for example, directing our productivity toward a specific occupation or practicing a sport or hobby we enjoy in order to develop mastery. There are always alternatives. Instead of working, we could dedicate our focus and energy to developing a plan for our own venture; instead of practicing, we could opt to engage in entertainment. Every individual must decide what type of balance they desire to strike in their life because entertainment and other activities that do not drive us toward our visions are not inherently bad. At the same time, it’s been my experience that binging on entertainment, games, or other activities out of alignment with my vision of creation rarely leads to a high degree of personal satisfaction. The path to genuine happiness will most often be realized through creating the universe we envision. In this act, we align our internal infinity with the external in divine expression.
Be selective with those you involve yourself with. This includes knowing when to end relationships that do not contribute value. At all stages of life, it is easy to be pulled in a specific direction because we want to please others. There is nothing wrong with wanting to build relationships. Creating shared and meaningful experiences deepens our bonds and our shared humanity. One of the best uses of energy and focus within our individual time experiences is to help and serve others because within a relational universe, helping others is identical to helping ourselves. At the same time, we must cultivate an awareness of our circumstances that allows us to identify those who might seek to stifle our personal evolution. When we are aware of our time experience, we will inevitably confront circumstances that challenge our individual vision of the good. Sometimes, these contrasts may be apparent. Other times, not so much.
Some simple decisions include opting out of spending your Sunday at the bar with friends to watch sports and instead focusing on a personal project. This may not make you the most popular person within your group, and some may take offense at the avoidance, but this is your universe, and you must prioritize. Then there are more difficult decisions, like quitting your job to focus full-time on your passion project. We never possess complete information, so more often than not, we must make decisions to the best of our ability at the moment. A key factor in deriving personal worth and happiness is to embrace your decision, to throw yourself in the direction of your choosing as if nothing else existed. If you’re going to enjoy entertainment, do so without guilt or concern for what’s next. Throwing yourself into a passion project? Eat, drink, and breathe in as much information as possible around the subject to develop your unique value within the vertical. Selectivity is not an excuse for isolation or prejudice. We cannot truly know who we want to involve ourselves with until we dedicate the time to get to know the individual and their experience. Approaching the world full of presumptions only serves to calcify specific worldviews, a direction of focus and energy in contrast with the single truth.
Awareness of our time experience brings the realization of letting go of the negative influences within our lives. One example is ending relationships with people, groups, and organizations whose vision of the good conflict with yours. We all share instances where we realized that the ideas and actions of those surrounding us did not align with our own. Moments matter, and our decisions compound rapidly. The unleashing of human potential will not be accomplished by half measures. It demands individuals seeking to leverage their time experience to create something of value. This is easier said than done for the majority within our present arrangements.
Our crisis of desire compounds our doubt by frequently shifting our focus to new wants. It should be understood that so long as we participate actively as excessive consumers, the crisis of desire will continue to influence our lives. Our exchange systems rely on individual consumption to create class and caste hierarchies. As discussed, entire industries manipulate our desires and trigger feelings of wanting. We must become actively anti-consumer in our efforts toward individual actualization. Put simply, stop buying things whenever possible. My partner laughs every summer when I pull out the same bathing suit I’ve had for twelve years, but here’s the thing—it still works. Be mindful of your consumption and do not discard what works for what is new.
This is not a call to reduce individual identity. Our outward appearance is often a form of self-expression, and a self-actualizing society seeks to empower all to express themselves to the highest degree possible. It is also not intended to suggest that we abandon all forms of luxury and comfort. Letting go is a recognition that it is a form of extreme self-harm to tie our individual identities to consumerism. When we couple self-worth with systems designed to manipulate us, happiness and satisfaction is not possible. We become inauthentic imposters without ever knowing, always seeking to be something we are not. Clothing is an example of how we can eliminate wastefulness in our personal lives, but the theme remains the same. Abandon wastefulness wherever possible, and do not frame your worth around objects.
It’s not easy to let go of something, especially those beliefs and practices to which we have attached our identity. Letting go is also not limited to things that shift us away from our visions of the good. Sometimes we need to let go of things we love and hold dearly. The changing nature of our time experience ensures that even the most sacred aspects of our experience are subject to misalignment with our visions of creation within the immediate present.
One of the most difficult choices I made in my journey was stopping the active practice of wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu after a twenty-five-year career. It was a community that developed into a family, a habit through which I developed degrees of confidence and consciousness that allowed me to better express my infinite imagination. Yet, despite all of these benefits, my participation in it is still subject to the single truth. The pandemic, a young child, and most pressing, a series of injuries I could not ignore forced me to reconsider the practice. I chose instead to dedicate my focus and energy to the development of my present-day yoga practice, which serves as a combination of meditation and exercise and is much kinder to my knees and neck. In many ways, letting go of positive influences that we love is more difficult than abandoning wasteful and harmful practices. Both require the same degree of awareness of our circumstances, but we’re much more likely to attach aspects of our identity to passions that leverage our divinity within the moment. Individuals are perpetually changing beings, and our commitment to hold nothing sacred or static extends in all directions. We cannot create new chapters for ourselves without first turning the page. It’s not always easy, but being an authentic imposter requires us to practice awareness of where we are in relation to where we want to be and the courage to act accordingly.
When we consider applying this process, we begin with a bad habit. Habits like drinking too many sugary drinks, smoking cigarettes, binge drinking, or engaging in something you know is addicting are harmful, but that doesn’t make it any easier to stop. In many ways, the journey of individual actualization is a shedding of the burdens we drag from the past into the present. Many of us hold various degrees of trauma in our experience, and we have developed coping mechanisms, ranging from perpetual excuses to proactive detriment. While there are a variety of degrees and directions of harming ourselves and our visions of becoming more, each is sure to bring only temporary comfort, one that is ultimately fleeting and self-defeating.
To overcome these challenges we must let go, which translates into quitting immediately. If your vision is to change the direction of your life, you cannot accomplish it by directing your focus and energy on your past. The single truth tells us that in the immediate present, you have a decision to make. It is one of many in your journey toward transcending practices that distance you from becoming greater, but each is a choice within the moment. By focusing on a direction, we become it. Whether it’s breaking bad habits or letting go of a loved practice, successful transformation is always about having an alternative direction. We must avoid what we distance ourselves from at all costs—not out of fear or frustration, but because the relational universe ensures our interaction with it only deters from the creation of our imagination. In times of uncertainty, exploration is a perfectly valid direction to focus on. It is unrealistic to imagine that every individual will always have an alternative. Instead, we embrace curiosity throughout our process, knowing that over time, exploring a variety of directions will encourage us toward alternatives in alignment with our vision of the good.
Letting go includes abandoning the stigmas that prevent us from becoming more. Systems that prioritize competition and hierarchy frame failure as an experience of lessening. For too long failure has been a source of shame, something we hide from others to avoid looking weak or unqualified. In all aspects of our lives, it is always the best path to recognize and claim our failures for what they are: learnings. Our failures may spawn as mistakes, errors in judgment, lack of knowledge or skill, or a variety of other possibilities. All scenarios give us a choice, and each can inspire learning. At the same time, they are moments past that we may no longer influence. Our failures have shaped our direction in arriving at this moment, but no longer. Being an authentic imposter brings freedom from the dogmas our present systems attempt to reinforce. I am now, and in this moment, I can decide who I will be and align my beliefs and actions with this vision.
The individual’s infinite imagination allows each to reconstruct the universe as we see fit, holding within it the power for redirection in all moments. Owning failures without guilt or shame empowers the individual to embrace a serenity uncommon in the arrangements of present society. This may be difficult, especially after events that challenge our previous notions of who we believed ourselves to be. Drawing awareness into the moment, we remind ourselves that it is ours to direct, even if we have temporarily forgotten it in moments past. Our journey toward individual actualization is a ridding of unnecessary and unhelpful burdens. In applying this practice to our individual lives, we project it onto others. Humans make mistakes, and they occur during moments and circumstances that are less than ideal. When we find ourselves in a position of authority or leadership over others, always remember that they too are not defined by their worst moments. Too many in positions of power and authority view those in their charge as subordinates instead of equals focusing on alternative tasks. Part of this mindset results from being surrounded by systems that reinforce this approach; part of it is that these individuals become absorbed in their egos and self-importance. We must seek root causes in the failures of ourselves and others, and we must do so without anger, stress, and duress. To do otherwise is to misunderstand the single truth. A relational universe ensures that while the journey toward individual actualization is the priority, it does not exist in a vacuum. Our interactions with others matter, and we must make space for all individuals to become their authentic selves.
To avoid being an inauthentic imposter, the individual should avoid directing their focus and energy toward paths that conflict with their core values. Before individuals can model their behavior around this rule, they must identify and choose values for themselves. It begins by questioning our personal inheritance of meaning and value and contrasting it against the universe we inhabit within the immediate present. The single truth illuminates new frameworks of being unavailable within the historical spiritual philosophies. The redefining of individual and system as a single self in alignment with the relational universe provides each with actionable purpose. A spiritual project that will radically expand the humanity of each leverages the strength of all and offers an alternative to the age of crisis. Inner peace as an authentic imposter is found within presence. For many of us, it is a process of questioning the systems of meaning we have inherited. Self-actualization in the age of crisis demands a larger vision of humanity, both as individuals and a collective. There is no doubt that it takes courage to abandon positions of comfort, routine, and familiarity, but through the lens of the crisis, we know that these are illusions blinding us from what awaits. Only you can define what is and is not authentic within your time experience, so consider your choices wisely. Our immediate present is an inflection point. Either we believe we can be more than our present systems allow, or we do not. It is a choice that will define our authenticity when viewed through the lens of history.
When we embrace the single truth and the relational universe as a core aspect of who and what we are, we realize that we inhabit this moment and nowhere else. No single circumstance dictates an individual’s worth because the past only dictates the present to the degree we allow it to. We may not like it here, but it is always temporary, as all things are. It only takes a few deep breaths and a single question: how will I direct the flow of this change? With that knowledge, we dedicate our focus and energy to a new direction. We remember our experience as an observer within the relational universe, knowing that the outside and the inside are two different parts of the same thing—the individual. There is nothing inauthentic about being here, now, because this is exactly where we are supposed to be. There was never any alternative. I am an authentic imposter because I know and embrace the single truth: that despite the many errors in judgment and focus of the past, the universe is mine to direct right now. The past holds no relevance in the moment beyond defining the circumstances we inherited. The gap between who I am and who I will become is one I embrace wholly because I am the observing director. There is no shame or inauthenticity in my efforts. Yes, I am an imposter, but so are you. From this moment, we discard the falseness of questioning whether we belong within a moment. We are the moment, all of it. You are human and worthy of the infinite imagination you possess.