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How I live an authentic life

I’ve alluded to my core values in the past (note to self: actually use tags to make navigating posts better!) and since I’ve spent the past two weeks thinking about my values and where they fall on my personal scale of morality, why not talk more about them?

(Also, literally this afternoon as I sat down to write this, my mom lost a needle on the ground and I had to find it without really knowing where it had dropped. I suppose it can be quite analogous, heavy-handed as it is, to what I’m articulating right now.)

I began this exercise in — I think — 2018, when I started to think about the Big (capital B, note) questions and themes in my life. What do I stand for? How can I live my life in the most meaningful way? Am I being myself at my most authentic?

Not that I wasn’t in a general sense, but in hindsight, I was drifting through life a little.

There are different things you value, depending on what life stage you’re at. That means that change is the only constant (groan, right?) and that you might have different priorities at different points in your life.

Yet, I think there are structural tenets that you build your belief system and your decision making around. For me, these are the values I have come up with, after weeks of thinking, more thinking, and running them past my friends.


Easy, right? Being nice to people? Wroooong. I had a whole post drafted out about how nice is not kind, and kindness isn’t being nice. My friend Siew recommended Radical Candor to me this past weekend, and the broad strokes of the principles definitely underscore what I define kindness as.

It’s also the value that I try the hardest to “achieve”, I think.


Respect, though I need to have a caveat here that if you’re anti-science and anti-vax, I would override my personal respect. I suppose it’s still an umbrella of respect that I’m following here, the one to everyone else in society.


Unlocking and opening up gates, trying to achieve different perspectives and viewpoints. Beyond that, actively trying to lift people who might not have the same opportunities or be in the same privileged situation as I am.


Just keep learning, just keep learning.

2 thoughts on “How I live an authentic life”

  1. Pingback: On learning and learning harder, better, faster, stronger – Jalyn Cai

  2. Pingback: #IAmRemarkable – Jalyn Cai

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