We live in a world where things are largely judged by appearances. We appreciate a building because it is massive and beautiful. We appreciate a car because it is luxurious and expensive. We appreciate a person because he is handsome or she is beautiful. We appreciate a job because it pays well and has good benefits. And the list goes on and on. Actually, it would be inhuman not to appreciate all these things and more. But are these qualities enough?

How many massive buildings exist with critical structural challenges? How many luxurious vehicles have been recalled because of major technical errors, after they have claimed lives? How many people have regretted the day they met the beautiful or handsome significant other in their lives? How many glamorous jobs have turned out to be traps? How many times have the appearances we based our decisions on turned out to be false?

Appearance may sell a product but it would take more than that to sustain a business. Appearance may marry a wife or husband but living together is another ballgame. We’ve got to pause long enough to avoid making critical life decisions based on little or no information. As an expert in public relations, it would amount to deliberate misinformation if I tell you that appearance is not important. Appearance is like a magnet that attracts. There are several things or people we may never approach without an initial attraction. However, attraction can wear out as quickly as it came if there is no substance. We can do a reality check with these questions:

  1. Am I properly informed? All the decisions we make in life revolve around information. While we make some decisions based on quality information, we make others based on little or no information, or even outright assumption. It is also possible that we sometimes make decisions based on deception. Due to inordinate desire to impress, several people create images that they cannot live up to.
  2. Am I authentic? It is easier to point out fake products and persons than for us to admit that we are too! Can people take us at our word? Are we as real in public as we are when we are alone? What can the people close to us say that would ruin our “well-manicured” public image? Can we deliver excellent results with little or no supervision? Can we be trusted to act in public interest or will self-interest mar our judgement? If you live an authentic life, you will not have to struggle to maintain several identities.