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How young do you need to be to start living authentically? It sounds like a stupid question. Surely you should be living authentically all your life. Well that depends on whether you are allowed to or not. The case of the 16 year old Dutch girl Laura Dekker highlights this issue. Ever since she was a toddler she wanted to sail alone around the world. This was no pipe dream. Laura was born on a yacht during her parents seven year round the world voyage before their divorce. She was more comfortable on a boat than on dry land so her dream was grounded in practical reality.
When she was 13 she took her fathers yacht and sailed it single handed from Holland to England encountering bad weather but arriving safely. Her reward was to be arrested by the British police. When she announced that she would sail around the world on her own the Dutch authorities made her a ward of the State and forbade her to sail. Her mother was vehemently against the plan but her father, at first reluctant, eventually supported her. With the help of a friendly lawyer they beat the Dutch authorities and Laura completed her 518 day solo voyage sound the world (the youngest person ever at 16) when she landed at the Caribbean island of St Maarten in January 2012.
This remarkable story told in The Sunday Times highlights the courage and tenacity required in Being You – becoming and remaining truly authentic. Laura’s journey told with elegant simplicity on her blog is summed up in her own words: “I did it just for myself.”
Her experience neatly follows the structure of the 7 Pillars of the Freedom Code – the implementation path of Adaptive Freedom. Laura was acutely attentive and aware of her needs and what she wanted to achieve (1. Perceptive Awareness). This included conscious attention while on board. She wrote: “In tricky moments, such as stormy weather, I just focus on what needs to be done to control the situation, step by step.”
She was clearly aligned in mind and body with the elemental forces that contrived to bring her dream to reality (2. Alignment with Universal Energy). To fulfil your potential requires more than just dreaming: it must be backed up with concrete plans, detailed preparation and action (3. Pursue Purposive Action).
Though alone she remained in constant contact with her family, friends and supporters, and felt deeply connected to them despite the distance. She was also intimately connected with the sun, wind and sea and all the creatures around her – not to mention her closest companion, her boat ‘Guppy’ (4. Connect and Communicate).
Laura has a strong acceptance of her self, her life and her moment in that life. However, she has not so far been able to accept the way she was treated by Dutch officialdom though she has been reconciled again with her mother (5. Acceptance). To be a solo circumnavigator on a small yacht requires a ready willingness to adapt to change at every opportunity (6. Adaptability) and her blog is full of the delight she found in every day at sea—even doing her school work (7. Animation and Appreciation). She wrote “I look back with joy at the adventures of the past year.
Read Laura’s Blog
One of the best, oldest and still most popular self-help book is Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich.” It has a mainline focus on the power of intention and has helped millions transform their lives. But it may also be the most misunderstood book in the self-help genre – because thinking alone won't deliver the life you desire. Hill made this clear by pointing out the “desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, and planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.” A positive mental attitude is essential but is has to be backed up by action – which is the essence of the 3rd Pillar of the Freedom Code – Pursue Purposive Action.
Connection is vital to living a free and authentic life and this is reflected in its central place in the 7 Pillars of the Freedom Code. A new slant on the importance of social interconnection comes from Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development Insights Newsletter #42. Steve identifies a lack of abundance in life as stemming from your beliefs about money. “Money is communication” he writes and “More often than not, the problem is that you're trying to make money in ways that could be described as socially inept.” He argues that strong social skills create financial abundance. In a compelling and well thought out ending he suggests that financial abundance stems from:

1. Your ability to proactively befriend intelligent, resourceful people and add them to your social network.
2. Your ability to inspire people to refer helpful opportunities to you (resources, leads, clients, etc).
3. Your ability to serve as a positive source of inspiration and opportunities for others (maintaining win-win connections).
4. Your ability to prune and release dead-weight relationships (avoiding win-lose and lose-lose connections).
Steve believes that people who suffer financially generally make the following social mistakes:
1. They often behave as loners and spend a lot of time alone or with the same few people (social isolationists).
2. They frequently suffer from approach anxiety and low self-esteem, which discourages them from initiating new connections and creating social expansion (social timidity).
3. They clutter their social lives with losers who have little to offer in terms of support, resources, and skill-building (low standards).
4. When they do meet intelligent and resourceful people, they act passively and fail to establish new friendships (lack of intitiative).
5. They remain loyal to a pity posse that consistently blocks good referrals with fear, jealousy, or sarcasm (clinginess).
Read more from Steve at www.stevepavlina.com
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