Jul 24Liked by Vicky Zhao

I’ve been telling personal stories onstage for 30 years and every now and then someone asks if I made something up just to get laughs.

I don’t think they understand how much it hurts to finally work up the courage to be vulnerable and then be accused of lying. They don’t usually mean it that way but that’s how it feels.

I’m sorry that happened to you. I’ve found that most people are desperate for connection and really appreciate it when someone is brave enough to share a personal story. I hope you keep doing it.

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Vicky! Great piece! So much food for thought here, as always. To me, there shouldn't really be a quest for authenticity. I mean, the minute you catch yourself striving for authenticity is when you're probably most far away from it. I think either you're authentic, or you're not. And if you're not, it's not necessarily bad. Some people spend their whole life trying to emulate someone else, trying to align their lives to some overarching principle that someone else designed. And that's ok, we're all a little like that, I think. It's like the asymptote you talk about: you can probably minimize the non-authentic part of you, but then again, when you're conscious that you're doing that, you drift away from authenticity even more. Is this the paradox? I don't know. But I kind of feel in synch with this too: "We’re not yet ready to face authenticity. Because we have so many layers of us. Everyday, we put on the armours that the Japanese call honne and tatemae - Who we are and who we appear to be. They are both us. The combination of both makes us who we are." So maybe authenticity is a theoretical state we can never achieve. On the other hand, "appearing to be" could either be something we do conscientiously, or something that others see in us (whether we're aware of it or not -- but in this case, its spontaneity makes me think that's too part of authenticity). It's really a conundrum! Thank you for writing this :)

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The world needs more Vicky. Keep doing you.

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hmm ...

"once is an incident, twice is a coincidence, thrice is a pattern."

intersectional thinking as pattern recognition?

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So curious if what the guy said about Americans is generally true for Canadians too, but I didn’t get a sense of a wall from you. As far as Americans go, my mind immediately went to Individualism. I mean, I think there are obviously a lot of reasons, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s linked to it as well.

I like this idea of authenticity as an asymptote. But I feel like children are authentic? So maybe the solution lies there.

& I’ve always wondered about people who are guided by the Rule of 3 or other patterns like that—have you consciously or subconsciously followed them before?

P.S. “reminds me a little of Baymax” made me laugh lol

Hope Vancouver is treating you well! :)

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There are too many Easter eggs in this edition (FEI, Vancouver, authenticity, decision class). I'm looking forward to us catching up asap.

My version of your rule of thirds:

One is an outlier, two is a cluster, three is a trend (E29)

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Love this Vicky. So many thoughts and reflections. One that dominated, reading about the asymptote, was thinking about what David Whyte calls "the conversational nature of reality". He means it more in the sense of what you want from the world vs. what the world gives you, and how that "conversation" is what makes reality, and thus, life. It mixes with authenticity, since the questions you have to ask in that conversation, the more vulnerable, the more precise, the more true to yourself, the more it narrows and matches what you truly have inside vs what is put out in the world.

Loved many other things, also learning about "honne" and "tatemae", will explore those deeper.

As for Canadians, I think I only know you as an example and haven't gotten that impression, but will keep an eye out and let you know. Mexicans in general are very open and welcoming, but not that vulnerable, I think. In general I also think it's a matter of compatibility among nationalities. I witnessed this in Japan, we felt "exotic-enough" to be interesting, whereas in the US we feel the opposite haha. Kind of like chemistry between people but on a macro-level.

Excited to read the upcoming news and issues!!

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