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You can get a very clear view of yourself through the helpful feedback of those who are close to you. Therefore, the hopes and vision you cherish for the growth of your authentic personality will be worked over and refined in the conscious and nonconscious interchange with your partner and theirs with you. But that vision must always be on your own terms, not theirs. 

Your vision must be your own. It should represent some direct and measureable improvement in yourself—responding to your needs, desires, dissatisfaction, questioning, or issues arising from self-acceptance. This sought after improvement must be in some sense your own. If it is an image of the gains of someone else then it is unlikely to be a strong action motivator.

If you doubted the power of mind imagery to change your physical state take a look at this report in Scientific American Mind (May 2012). Amputees who experience phantom limb pain can get relief from an optical illusion. This trick involves looking in a mirror at the reflection of a healthy limb from a certain angle, which causes it to appear where the missing limb should be. Seeing the limb move freely fools the brain into relieving the pain. 

Thinking of something else is a time-honored method for coping with pain. Indeed, psychologists have demonstrated repeatedly that what you think about can modulate the pain you experience. People using binoculars to view an injured hand reported greater pain in the hand when it was magnified and less when the binoculars were reversed and the hand was minimized. The size of the image affected the pain.

Until now scientists did not know how exactly that effect plays out in the body. In a study published in Current Biology, neuroscientists have found that distraction does more than merely divert your mind; it actually sends signals that bar pain from reaching the central nervous system. 

If we can control pain just by thinking differently then imagine what effective mental imaging can have in all areas of your life. The idea of visioning achieving your goals has been around for a long time but rarely has hard science been so precise in backing up these ideas.   

Purposive action is the daily expression of authenticity - action is part of what you are. You are always doing something: exploring, sorting, listening, talking, eating, looking, and playing. Your innate disposition is towards activity.  

Self-direction is the essence of purposive action. You may now be more aware of yourself, have accepted your past, understand your needs and desires, be clear about your vision and values, and yet find yourself much the same as you always have been. Movement may be what’s missing. Literally speaking purposive action is the act of propulsion. No vision, great deeds or notable achievements occur without action.

Read more in the free online version of my book at Chapter 12… which outlines the 3rd Pillar of the Freedom Code: Purposive Action.  Great emphasis is attached there on the practicalities of realizing your vision and plan through a detailed and comprehensive process of goal decisions, strategies, and implementation techniques. The Pillar outlines the essential ingredients of Personal Excellence, and explores the meaning of success and failure.

Many people are simply surviving: surviving work, surviving unemployment, surviving the weekend, surviving Monday, surviving relationships and breakups, surviving parents and children. When you start to live authentically you stop surviving and start thriving. You become honest with yourself about yourself – you get real about what works for you and what doesn’t. This requires getting a handle on what you value in life and what you are prepared to commit to. Because a coherent, authentic life involves commitment, control, compassion and connection with others. Authenticity is about making choices and far more about saying ‘yes’ to committed living than saying ‘no’ to what you don't want. To thrive is also to strive – to make an effort to live a better, richer, fuller life and in the process come into full possession of your unique authentic nature. And the wonderful thing is that just making the choice is often enough to get you there.

There is an authentic self—an ideal you—inside you waiting to be revealed and those who are close to you and who care about you are well placed to help you realise it. Therefore the exploration of the ideal you is not a solitary act or wholly within your own control. Environmental and interpersonal forces help with the sculpting process. Parents, friends, teachers, and colleagues all play a part. Role models are also a vibrant source of aspirational fuel. But few sculptors are likely to exert as powerful an influence on you as those of your close partners in life – and you can do the same for them. 
The roots of authentic meaning and purpose in your life—what it means for you to achieve your highest potential—are to be found in the deep recesses of your mind and spirit. These roots feed the vine of your life. Like any vine it needs nourishment to flourish. What water and sunlight are to the vine, action and satisfaction are to the authentic life. Your inner spark of authentic meaning is nurtured and shaped by the ebb and flow of the stream of your experience, emotions and relationships and by the sense of accomplishment you obtain from the activities you pursue.
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.

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.

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