People talk about living a happy life, a successful life, a meaningful life. But an authentic life? What is that?

Just as a successful life can be defined in many ways, so too can an authentic life. For example, some people will define a successful life as being financially affluent. For others, it will be measured by their accomplishments. For still others, it will be in the service they performed for others. For yet others, it may be the amount of happiness and peace of mind they have enjoyed.

Click here to hear Nikki Woods’ “What in the Weekend” report.

Each of us defines success in our own way, and according to that definition, we set our goals and priorities on the way to achieving this success. It’s the same with living an authentic life. Each of us must define what this means to us.

We live in a society that is generally preoccupied with happiness, material success, self-gratification; these messages are in our face all the time – on the TV, the Internet, in magazines. There are winners and losers in life, we are taught, and you want to be a winner at all costs. This is the culture in which we presently find ourselves living. It is important to know and acknowledge this.

And it’s imperative that we start being authentic. Thank goodness we have help!

Brand specialist Monica Cost saw a need to help others find their truth and live it. Her book, β€œThings I Used to Do to Sneeze, “is a self-exploration book for individuals interested in defining their personal truth and living an authentic life – aesthetically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, professionally, financially and parentally.

Using the comparison of Cost’s own love of the sensation of sneezing to that of other “sensations” sought after in life, readers are taken on a journey of self discovery, beginning with the identification of desires and understanding of personal values to live the most authentic, purposeful and fulfilled life possible.

I talked with Cost about the title of her book, the steps one needs to take to discover their truth, how to deal with the naysayers in your circle and more.

While we all know the importance of walking in our own truth in principle, sometimes it takes a profoundly honest person like Monica Cost to show us where we are – and what it takes to get where we want to be.

“I want you to live a life true to your journey to achieve your most desired sensations,” she writes. “In the end, our world will be better because we had the best of you.”

‘Nuff said.

Nikki Woods is senior producer of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” The author of “Easier Said Than Done,” the Dallas-based Woods is currently working on her second and third novels. You can friend her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter: @nikkiwoods.

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