#332: What Does It Mean to Be Authentic?

We live in a world that puts a premium on being “authentic” and “showing your true self.” 

But what exactly is your authentic and true self?

For example, is it your natural tendency to be a curmudgeon, or your concerted effort to be kind and generous? 

Which one is the “real” you?

My guest today has grappled with those questions for most of his career as a psychologist, with a focus on personality research. His name is Brian Little and he’s the author of "Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being," as well as the recently published book, "Who Are You, Really?"

Today on the show, Brian and I have a fascinating discussion on the world of personality science that will leave you wondering who you really are. We begin our conversation discussing the various factors that influence our personalities, including genetics, social environments, and self-direction. Brian then digs into the debate on whether our personalities are set in stone or if they can change, even into old age. We then discuss whether personality tests, like the Myers-Briggs, actually tell you anything about your personality, and if there are better assessments out there. 

We end our conversation discussing how simply changing environments can change our personalities, how we can willfully change them ourselves, and what the “real” you actually is.

You're in for an enlightening existential conversation that also provides actionable insights on how you can live a more flourishing life.