Being True to You, and living authentically. Part 1

Today we hear it quite often: I want to be true to me. It almost has become like a battle cry of a whole generation. But what really does this mean? Who really is this "you" that you should be true to? Once we dig into the answers, it really is quite obscure. Let's look at it some more:

As I explain in my book, the The Steps of Essence, whatever makes up this "you" is actually an interwoven mixture of many forces, primarily three: the genetic force, the social force, and your unique personal history. Let's just look at one of these: the social force, which we all share and are part of as soon as we are born into our society. And this society and its members try to shape you into a useful cog into its social machine: forcefully or subtle, it conditions you to behave in certain ways, and play its various roles: the parent, the co-worker, the doctor, the bum, the revolutionary. And this force is everywhere and everyone: your parents, friends, neighbors, TV-ads and shows, etc.

All this means that many of the values that you consider "yours" were in fact given to you by others, like your parents, your friends, etc. In much of this, you did not have a choice. The same can be said about the genetic force, which gave you various emotional drives that you inherited from millenia of human evolution--just think about when you acted aggressive: this is a primal instinct that we all carry inside of us.

Thus, much of who you are is given to you from the outside.

But if so much is given to you, what really is this "you" that you try to be true to? Is it really "you" or is it actually something you were "manipulated" in by some social or genetic force?

The The Steps of Essence teaches you to cut through all these layers of conditioning to what really matters to you, in your life. Thereby, you elevate certain threads to a higher personal meaning, as independent of any outside influences as possible: Yes, some of the things in your life were given to you, and you have to find a way to figure out, for yourself, which one of these have absolute importance to you.

But here is the truly tough part: how shall you find these? By what means can you decide that one thing matters more to you than another? You could use "reason," but isn't the way you reason also given to you in part by the social force, so is this not also tainted? What about using your feelings, instincts, or intuition? But aren't those given to you by the genetic force, which may also include some very dark things and more, so how can you trust this? So what then can you use? In The Steps of Essence, I therefore work out very carefully a specific way that de-emphasizes all outside influences, so that you may find what matters to you as independently as possible.

And from there, I present various tools from modern psychology that lets you explore your interests, values, moments where you "loose yourself" in your activities, and much more, all so that you are able to figure out what matters to you.

Once you are clear on what matters the most to you, then you know what to be true to, and shape your life after.

After that, it becomes another task to actually live authentic to this, which is another part of your Quest to be yourself. I explain more about this in Part 2 of this entry

Be true! Be Happy!
Hanns-Oskar Porr

Copyright © 2009, 2010 Hanns-Oskar Porr

Based on
The Steps of Essence: How to Live Life Well and Authentically.
by Hanns-Oskar Porr

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