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- 7 Authentic Qualities (7)
- Abundance (3)
- Acceptance (10)
- Action (11)
- Adaptability (6)
- Adaptive Freedom Concepts (2)
- Alignment (6)
- Animation (4)
- Appreciation (4)
- Authenticity (15)
- Awareness (12)
- Behavior (2)
- Change (1)
- Compassion (1)
- Competence (1)
- Connection (3)
- Emotions (1)
- Excellence (1)
- Freedom (4)
- Holism (2)
- Holistic Nature (1)
- Human Condition (3)
- Meaning (1)
- Mind (3)
- Natural You (6)
- Nonconscious (3)
- Purpose (1)
- Reality (1)
- Relationships (2)
- Spirituality (2)
- Success (1)
- Values (3)
- Vision (2)
The quality of empathy or compassion—being able to feel what others are experiencing and to resonate with them—is an important factor in authentic living. When you meet someone filled with joy you also experience joy, and the same can apply to feeling the distress of others. You are able to distinguish pity from true compassion. Pity can be a helpful and healing emotion but it’s not the same as compassion and is not a substitute for it. People mostly need empathetic understanding rather than pity. Acceptance and tolerance are integral to your life. You make a point of practicing self-acceptance and forgiveness of yourself and others.
Each of the 7 Qualities of Authenticity is linked to one of the 7 Pillars of the Freedom Code. Compassion is linked to the 5th Pillar: Acceptance.
The quality of competence is a belief that you have the skills and knowledge to live effectively. It includes becoming comfortable with uncertainty. Competence implies the capacity to adapt to changing circumstances, and the ability to find an effective balance within the varying demands of life. It entails being a good learner of life’s lessons, being open to experience, reality-centered, problem-centered, and creatively minded. Above all competence implies the ability to manage your emotions and behavior and not be the victim of automatic and unskilful conditioned responses.
Each of the 7 Qualities of Authenticity is linked to one of the 7 Pillars of the Freedom Code. Competence is linked to the 6th Pillar: Become Adaptable.
Connection includes action-oriented and reciprocal engagement with a broad network of people and resources who share your interests and aims. Spending meaningful time with partners, family and friends is also a necessary authentic quality. Connection entails using the power of interpersonal communication adaptively. This is an essential ingredient in effective human relationships. Connected people are usually extraverted and display positive emotions, have high levels of self-confidence, and tend to be energized around other people. But connection also has an inward-focus when you connect to the reality of yourself, your spiritual nature, and engage in honest self-reflection.
Each of the 7 Qualities of Authenticity is linked to one of the 7 Pillars of the Freedom Code. Connection is linked to the 4th Pillar: Connect and Communicate Effectively
The philosophy of Adaptive Freedom highlights seven Qualities of Authenticity. The third is Commitment:
Staying true to your vision, goals and commitments is an essential ingredient of authenticity. And this includes your everyday commitments as well as those that are core to your identity. It also means that you are responsible for the consequences of your actions. Self-direction and consistent action are therefore the essence of commitment. You exercise self-discipline over what you do and you develop an understanding of the balance between successful goal achievement and what failure really means. Perseverance is the mark of commitment—the habit of staying on track which gives momentum to life’s projects. Standing up for your values is also part of your commitment to authenticity and freedom.
Each of the 7 Qualities of Authenticity is linked to one of the 7 Pillars of the Freedom Code. Commitment is linked to the 3rd Pillar: Pursue Purposive Action.
The philosophy of Adaptive Freedom highlights seven Qualities of Authenticity. The second is Congruence:
The quality of congruence means acting in alignment with your vision, values and needs as opposed to acting merely to please others. It means that your life is guided by goals that are attainable and have a positive value. Your intentions are consistent with your actions, your beliefs mirror your values, and your experience of the transcendental life beyond the senses is in sync with your everyday experience. Congruence implies that your emotional responses are appropriate to the situation and in harmony with an accurate assessment of what to do. Congruence means recognizing the honorable thing to do and doing it, even when this involves an inner struggle. When you are in a state of congruence, your self-concept and your conscious and unconscious goals are aligned with each other, and with your goal directed behavior. You are not plagued by inner doubt or conflict about what you are or what you wish to achieve in life. This makes available unlimited powers to help you realize your life goals.
Each of the 7 Qualities of Authenticity is linked to one of the 7 Pillars of the Freedom Code. Congruence is linked to the 2nd Pillar: Become Aligned with Universal Energy.
The philosophy of Adaptive Freedom highlights 7 Qualities of Authenticity. The first is Control:
Self-control is the quality of self-mastery aligned with self-reliance. It arises from self-awareness. When you are self-aware you are focused and attentive to what is happening in your world, and you see events and people accurately with clear perception. You are aware of your needs, you know your priorities and you are able to avoid distractions and focus appropriate energies on achieving your goals. Self-control requires that you become aware of your intuitive nature, have the capacity for introspection, be open to positive feedback and be willing to look for new perspectives in every situation. This paradoxically allows you time to be original, spontaneous and free.
Each of the 7 Qualities of Authenticity is linked to one of the 7 Pillars of the Freedom Code. Control is linked to the 1st Pillar: Perceptive Awareness.
Yet you exercise personal freedom for your own benefit and also, because of our total interrelatedness, for the benefit of the community; and you live autonomously as an interdependent member of that community.
Excessive individualism, isolationism and resistance to just laws designed for the common good appear to some as consistent with personal freedom and autonomy but they are instead the product of negative and rigid thinking. An undue focus on not being tied down or dependent on others avoids the truth that we are both individuals and social beings living in the society of others. We are autonomous and interdependent and co-exist in a community which is a part of the wider universal community of humankind. This implies however that the community allows the individual the freedom to think freely, know clearly and grow completely.
Your freedom is assured by your contact with the world rather than threatened by it. Your sense of smell, sight, touch, hearing or taste is your ‘contact boundary’ with the world, not your protective shield against it. When you think of yourself as isolated and alone you cease to be a sensing, alive and free person.
Beneath all the zealous pursuits of our lives—our desire for love, happiness, wealth, power, success and status lies a deep unfulfilled longing. Beneath all the myriad hopes and wishes that consume us and are often left partially unsatisfied, lies a more fundamental and ultimately more rewarding search—the quest for our authentic nature.
What is that authentic nature? How can we define authenticity? The truth is that it is beyond definition. There can be no general, all embracing account of what it means to live an authentic life since that can only be decided in and through your experience of life itself. Authenticity is uniquely personal and experiential.
Authenticity is measured not in terms of an objective inventory but in your way of “being what and who you are.” This echoes the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre's slogan that “existence precedes essence”—you come to be authentic in the way you live your life.
At the core of our need to be authentic is a deeper and more fundamental desire to be the best we can possibly be. This is an urge to reach beyond the life we live to one where our full potential is realized—to where meaning, purpose, success and happiness all coalesce into one exciting, challenging, rewarding and utterly satisfying whole—where we are at peace with ourselves and the world.
Carl Jung called this the search for “individuation” which Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow described as “self-actualization”or “self-realization”—an underlying and irresistible urge toward the fulfilment of our inherent and highest potential. Maslow defined self-realization as “the impulse to convert oneself into what one is capable of being.”
Whatever that may be Carl Rogers is clear on what it is not. It is “not a façade of conformity to others, not a cynical denial of all feeling, nor a front of intellectual rationality, but a living, breathing, feeling, fluctuating process.”
This is a continuous process of emotional and mental growth, learning, maturing and change—an innate capacity for coming into being that can only be realized by our own action. It involves awakening the latent potential and power in our psyche.
Being You means taking the path to the summit of your highest potential. This is a challenging prospect for many of us because it implies that we must step out of the crowd and instead of conforming to what the crowd thinks and believes, we discover our own unique thoughts and beliefs.
This is a process that has been going on all your life. It’s the nonconscious process of personal development that characterizes every person. The difference is that we now put it up front as a distinct process—we transform it from a nonconscious to a conscious activity. This shift brings fundamental features of your nature and character into the light of day and requires you to make conscious choices about yourself that you may have never even imagined, let alone considered.
The process of shaping your authentic nature puts your identity as a person—your personhood—and your personality under the spotlight. The thoughts, emotions and behavior that make up your personality come into clear focus. You gain insight into the very core of your being. This is both daunting and exciting, and it is not for the fainthearted.
The result will be a level of understanding of what it means to be your ‘authentic self’ that far surpasses anything you thought possible. In turn this will make it easier—and imperative—to live according to that image. Being You—becoming your authentic self—is the journey home to the inner core of your nature.
The ideal you is shaped and ultimately realized in the world but formed in your imagination. Your imagination is the ultimate source of your authentic nature. It is the expression of absolutely everything you wish to be.
The focus on what you aspire to be is more an activity rather than an end in itself. You are not trying to capture a pure, original or pristine identity that exists separately from the stream of your experience—that lies hidden waiting to be discovered.
The development of an aspirational identity in this context is what the philosopher Richard Moran has called ‘self-constitution.’ He believes that we are uniquely able to constitute ourselves. Therefore, you don’t search for your authentic self, it exists right here right now. You don’t discover your authentic self, you shape your authentic self in a way that gives meaning to the life you lead.
The philosopher George Herbert Palmer described the process by using the analogy of an elm tree. When the seed of an elm begins to sprout, it is adapted not merely to the next stage, but to every stage beyond that. The whole elm is already predicted in its genetic make-up when its seed is planted in the ground. For it to become an elm it must have a helpful environment, but still a certain plan of movement “elmwards” is already contained in the seed.
But what if the seed already knew the shape and size of elm it had the potential to become? Every time it sucked in moisture or basked in sunshine it would be gently adapting this nourishment to the fulfillment of its ultimate goal. It might be asking itself for example, whether the strength gained from the environment would be better sent to the left branch or the right.
Such an elm would be entirely different to its fellow elms in the forest. Because if it could envisage what it might look like as it grew to maturity it wouldn’t be an elm but a human person. Unlike the elm we are entrusted with our own growth. The basic plan is in our genes but the environment we inhabit and the choices we make ultimately decide what we become.
Your authentic or aspirational identity is what you hope to make of yourself, the type of person you want to become—the ideal you. It is a vision of the highest potential that you aspire to fulfil in your life—the true, free and authentic person you wish to become.
True freedom requires the courage to trust your intuition, honor your convictions and stay grounded in a continuous process of reflection and choice through social interaction. In this way freedom can itself create for you the elements of a new environment, a new and more authentic life. Freedom is born in the process of considering real conditions, of weighing and choosing between alternatives of action in your life as lived in the here and now.
Experiencing life through the prism of freedom puts things in perspective and reduces the gap between appearance and reality. Becoming more aware of your conditioned thinking and behavior patterns creates genuine freedom, though it is also challenging. The lens of perception of a free person is clear and unclouded so that the pain of life is as plain to see as its joys.
At a fundamental level freedom is a love of life, a life where feeling, experience and purpose form part of a unified whole. The mind, body, spirit and environment combine in an original, undistorted and complete whole that is you. Your perspective on life deepens and expands and you see it as part of a much larger context. You begin to understand that you are what the psychologist B.F. Skinner described as an individual but one that is merely a stage in a process that began a long time before you came into existence and will continue long after you have gone.
Freedom therefore entails three interrelated concepts: First, the ability to decide and act in any situation in complete harmony with your values and in proportion to the demands of the situation—free will. Second, the capacity to act in a way that is entirely conducive to your wellbeing, while considering the needs of others; and, finally the willingness to accept complete responsibility for your decisions and actions and be able to adapt to the demands and opportunities of life.
The freedom you seek is the highest degree of human fulfillment from which all our other wants and needs flow with ease and grace like ‘nectar from the gods.’ That is the freedom to Be You—to be your authentic self.