As per my challenge of last week, I spent about 2 1/2 hours at my local library last week perusing their excellent magazine collection (a new weekly habit I hope--maybe not 2 1/2 hours). I started off with The New Yorker which of course is fabulous (am strongly considering subscribing) before moving on to Psychology Today. I was drawn in by its cover but quickly found the articles inside to be fascinating and easily accessible to me--a non-psychologist. In fact I loved it so much that I took 3 pages of notes on one of the articles that I was reading about being authentic. So fascinating. Here are a few of my thoughts and notes:
- One of the questions asked/debated in the article is "Do we invent this authentic self or do we discover it?" As an LDS person I found this to be a rather interesting question on the one hand I think that we discover it--in short, we existed as intelligent beings before we came here where our minds were wiped clean of the knowledge that we had. Therefore, we are (or should be) daily trying to rediscover who we really are: our authentic self. But then on the other hand, our knowledge and memory of ourselves were wiped clean so that we could come down to Earth to learn and grow. So we are daily inventing ourselves into a new authentic self as we learn, discover, and experience new things. In the end it really has to be both (not that that was an option given by the psychologists). We are both discovering and inventing who we truly are.
- Here are 8 Acts of Authenticity given by the article (8 ways in which a person who is authentic lives their life): 1. Read novels (this lets us get inside the head of another which helps us to distinguish our own identity) 2. Meditate (this helps us to create moments of happiness not contingent on outcomes or external factors--from here we can learn how to create real fulfillment) 3. Be Deliberate (be aware that you have choices and consciously choose what you do--this so reminds me of Elder Bednar's conference address that states other's can't offend us we choose for ourselves whether to be offended or not) 4. But not too deliberate (People often make better decisions when they don't think about it--go with your gut) 5. Cultivate solitude (quiet time for self) 6. But stay connected (Community is an outlook toward life in which you define yourself in relation to the world around you) 7. Play Hard (doing something you really enjoy expresses who you really are) 8) Be willing to lose (if you are willing to lead a full life you are going to fail some every day (besides we tend to flourish under the most challenging circumstances anyway so it is time to be okay with failing--maybe even grateful for it)
- A great quote on being the true eudaimonic you: "Eudaimonia refers to a state of well-being and full functioning that derives from a sense of living in accordance with one's deeply held values--in other words, from a sense of authenticity."
- Okay, one last quote: "Authenticity is not for the faint of heart--It can feel better to be embraced as an impostor than dumped for the person you really are." (I'm so bad at this--I can't tell you how often I just smile and nod rather than say what I really think)
- I wish you were all right here in the room with me so that we could really have a proper discussion--I just can't seem to find the words for all the thoughts flowing through my head right now. Also, I'm thinking this falls into the category of inner poise that I am trying to work on as a New Year's resolution so I'll be thinking about this some more this month.
After finishing up this article I browsed Architectural Digest for their pretty, pretty pictures. It was such an inspiring time. Yay, for libraries!