Originally published 3.9.09
Acceptance by others doesn’t necessarily mean you are being authentic.
A close friend and I were recently discussing a movie we both love. You remember the movie Juice featuring Tupac and Omar Epps? Of course you do. There are so many lessons in that movie, but one aspect I wanted to focus on was the internal battle that Epps aka DJ Q was facing. He had a goal to win a deejaying contest being hosted by Queen Latifah. At the same time, his crew of friends wanted to rob a convenience store. Instead of going with his gut feelings, he chose to participate in the crime which led to trouble. He wasn’t being true to himself and his vision. Instead he was being loyal to his crew which eventually was dismantled due to internal strife, resulting in 75% of them dying—except Epps.
If you’re not being true to who you are then can people really trust you? Some of us dress a certain way, talk a certain way, or purchase a certain brand only because we saw someone else doing it, not because it’s who we are or it represents what we are trying to become. True power lies in knowing self and having the courage to be ourselves even when others want us to be someone else.
Ancient and present families have built civilizations, empires and dynasties by being authentic to their brand, message or mission. Don’t try to fit in, be a trendsetter. Of course a wise man learns from those before him, but he also knows how to take that knowledge and use it in a unique way to blaze his own trail…..carve out his own space in this vast universe. If you’re struggling with being true to who you are, I say take a cue from Q. Shut the door, put on your headphones, and get back in the lab in order to get back focused.
Now, who got the Juice?