The most important quality in life, of life, of anything

Alexei Sorokin
2 min readMay 10, 2022

I had a different story drafted for today, but then something happened…

This will be my shortest story on Medium.

I’m in New Orleans right now for a couple of days. I love New Orleans and wrote about it just a few days ago: America’s most authentic city (in my experience!)

We were walking back from the restaurant to our hotel. The street was dark but there were lanterns on some houses! Lanterns! Gas lanterns, the kind that lit up the same streets a hundred years ago, maybe two hundred. I don’t know if they did but it felt that way!

“This is so authentic”, my wife said (in English, though we mostly speak Russian between us).

My wife’s English isn’t as good as mine (well, she doesn’t write on Medium!). She didn’t read my story about New Orleans being authentic.

But she used the word that I did.

And it occurred to me then — this is the only quality that matters in life.

Authentic.

In life in general.

In our appearance.

In our careers.

In our tastes.

In our hobbies, endeavors, and pursuits.

In how we choose to build our personal and professional lives.

In how we define places and creations of music, literature, and art.

Authentic. Be authentic. Let your authenticity overcome all struggles and doubts.

I said a few times I’d never give advice in my stories. I guess I am now! Or maybe it’s not advice. It’s an overwhelming realization.

Earlier today my wife took this picture. We didn’t discover how cool it was until late in the day. Authentic I guess! The ghosts and spirits of New Orleans interacting with my twins!

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Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day. https://runningwritingliving.substack.com/