Authentic Personal Growth

The 7 Governing Principles of Authentic Personal Growth

Personal growth principles
The 6 healthy habits are based on 7 governing principles of authentic personal growth

The foundation for all lasting personal change

The 7 principles of change that will transform your life.

Experience amazing benefits in health, personal growth and life success when you consciously understand and apply these principles in your life.

These principles form the basis of the 6 healthy habits.

All people who enjoy both great health and success in their lives live by these principles, often without knowing it consciously.

By adopting the 6 healthy habits, you too can achieve a lasting state of complete physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

That's the state we human beings are 'made' to enjoy. We're not meant to be sick.

Most health and self improvement programs fail because they ignore the 7 governing principles of authentic personal growth.


For example, sometimes people set out to improve just one area of their lives, perhaps by losing weight.

But they don't take the steps necessary to sustain new lifestyle habits that will keep their weight off.

That's one reason why diets don't work.

But addressing issues in isolation misses the point.


Personal growth principles
Problems in life are always symptoms of a body-mind-spirit that's out of balance.

You are a whole, integrated being; 'problems' in life are always symptoms of a body-mind-spirit that's out of balance.

Attempting permanent change in any single area of your life is likely to to fail.

Not only is that why diets don't work; it's also why motivation and goals elude us, it's why we're so prone to illness and disease, and it's why most people don't enjoy the well-being, personal success and healthy longevity that's rightly their due.

The 7 Governing Principles of Authentic Personal Growth reflect the truth that you're an integrated, whole person, and every single aspect of your being affects all other aspects.

NOTHING HAPPENS IN ISOLATION.

And you're much more than the physical 'sum of your parts.'

You could buy the small quantities of chemical compounds from which you're made for only a few dollars.

Just add water.

But the precious life-force that's within you, that gives you the gift of consciousness, empowers your body-mind-soul and makes you uniquely you, is truly priceless.

You are capable of living a long healthy life of great success and fulfillment.

You are born with the potential to fully flourish, just like the seed within the acorn of a mighy oak, if given the right conditions to complete the creation of its destiny.

The 6 healthy habits is designed to help you create the conditions to fully achieve your potential.

Health and success are grounded in personal growth

Authentic personal growth is the pathway to outstanding natural health and personal success

Principles of Authentic Personal Growth
These principles of authentic personal growth are essential for achieving outstanding natural health and personal success.

Making it in a material world

In the modern world we wish to be healthy, wealthy and wise.

Success on all levels is what motivates us.

Or rather, we wish it did. Sometimes it seems hard to get motivated to do much at all.

Yet you can overcome old harmful habits and negative thought patterns, and live a life of great health, energy and accomplishment.

You can flourish as fully as your unique human potential permits. And for most people that potential is hidden and vast. When you access it through living the 6 healthy habits, you will transform your life.

This page explores the 7 Governing Principles of Authentic Personal Growth that underpin the 6 healthy habits.

These principles are an expression of natural laws that govern biological and personal growth. They reflect our knowledge of how growth 'works' in the universe.

They are scientifically sound, and consistent with traditions of wisdom in the great cultures and religions of the world.

The fact is, you already know these principles, intuitively. They are truths encoded into the core of your being, written into your DNA. You are these truths. Authentic personal growth is a means of reconnecting with these truths.

The 6 healthy habits will guide you to act on these truths responsibly and consciously, allowing you to flourish and realise your full potential. You can transform your life now, for life.

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The 7 Governing Principles of Authentic Personal Growth

1. Growth is a natural and necessary part of life

All forms of life experience growth

Only human beings however, share a unique higher capacity for transcendent growth

This is an ability to use responsible, conscious choice to transcend mere physical growth, and reach our full human potential.

We alone can co-create our destiny.

Every organic (life) form has an inbuilt growth tendency: DNA instructions drive it to expand, extend, become autonomous, develop and mature. Growth occurs 'naturally' when any living organism, from bears to bacteria, from flies to flowers, experiences the right conditions of nourishment.

In human beings the capacity and tendency for growth is vastly extended. Within each of us lies an astounding ability and impulse to reach far beyond normal organic growth and to move toward extraordinary levels of psychological, emotional, social and spiritual maturity.

Every human possesses this amazing potential.

To activate this capacity however, you must take responsible, conscious action. You must choose to grow to your full potential.

Don't push the river; it flows by itself

Because all growth is natural, you needn't use force to access these higher reaches of human potential. You have merely to create the right conditions of nourishment. Nature, so to speak, does the rest.

The latent tendency to reach your potential is already there within you. You were born to be fully you.

From maturity to personal mastery and beyond

When you were very young your physical and mental growth just happened naturally, with no conscious effort on your part. You unfolded effortlessly, like a flower in bloom.

Gradually, with approaching maturity, this situation changed. You developed the capacity to choose your own path of further growth. This capacity for responsible, conscious choice about who you become, is the very essence of what it means to be a mature human.

It's this capacity that allows you to grow in character and competence, to connect with your inner energy and wisdom, and to create relationships and circumstances in your life that will nourish your growth on every level.

Consciously seeking personal growth in this way is what Peter Senge has called personal mastery, a commitment to continually expanding your capacity to create your desired future. In his book The Fifth Discipline, Senge describes it as going "beyond competence and skills. . . it means approaching one’s life as a creative work, living life from a creative as opposed to a reactive viewpoint."

From this perspective, personal growth is about shaping your future in the way that an artist makes a masterpiece. Leonards Da Vinci created the Mona Lisa by carefully placing layers of paint on a poplar panel to produce the picture that he saw first in his mind's eye. Personal mastery and other personal growth 'techniques' propose by analogy that you can imagine the life that you want and proceed to make it happen.

But can you?

As it turns out, you certainly can. Growth, remember, is a natural state. And the capacity we humans have to keep growing mentally and spiritually long after we've reached physical maturity, is vast. Your capacity to completely fulfill your personal potential is encoded in your genes. You have what it takes.

Why then, do so many of us fail to lead the healthy and successful lives we wish for? If growth is natural, why don't we all reach our full potential?

The answer is simple. The problem arises due to what is commonly called conditioning.

As you were growing up, you learned about yourself and the world around you, and about how best to interact with your world.

As a result, you formed your ideas about who you were, and what behaviours were appropriate for you. You developed your beliefs and attitudes toward the world and toward yourself. Your view of the world, and of yourself, determined your behaviours and your expectations as to what was right and wrong, and what was possible in your life.

Much of this you learned as a child, and it predisposed your interpretation of events throughout your life. Conditioning never stops. Because it is essentially an unconscious process, you aren't even aware of it.

Unfortunately, many of your beliefs limit your thinking about what you can do with your life. They deter you from growing.

Your true, authentic self becomes hidden deep within, covered over by layers of conditioning. You lose connection with your authentic self, and your life becomes governed by your conditioned self.

The reason personal mastery and other personal growth techniques don't produce lasting results for most people is that they don't give us the tools to recover our connection with our authentic self, which is the source of natural growth.

Beyond personal mastery is what I call authentic personal growth. Authentic personal growth aims at creating conditions for the full expression of what is, in potential, already there: your authentic self.

The objective of authentic personal growth is to uncover your authentic self

Your authentic self is deeply buried beneath encrusted layers of conditioning.

Psychological defenses, assimilated fears and elaborate facades hide your true nature even from yourself, perhaps especially from yourself. You lose sight of your immense human potential. Your personal growth is stalled and stunted, and you fail to become all you are capable of - your authentic self.

This is a real pity because in fact, authentic personal growth requires no strenuous effort or harsh discipline. Since growth is your normal state, you just need to remove barriers and create conditions that allow you to grow and flourish naturally.

To grow you must release old beliefs and habits that are detrimental to growth. And we now know this is possible, and practical.

Neuroscience has confirmed that the brain is plastic, that is, you can deliberately change your brain circuitry, rewiring your brain to alter your patterns of thought and behaviour.

Because of neuroplasticity it's possible to change your mind and therefore change your life.

Repetitive mental exercise works somewhat like repetitive physical exercise, but instead of growing and strengthening muscle fibers, you grow and strengthen neural connections to form new attitudes and new habits. The point is that the process is perfectly natural.

Even in old age, as pointed out by Elkhonon Goldberg in his book The Wisdom Paradox, the brain remains plastic. We are meant to keep growing throughout our lives. As you age, your brain actually becomes more powerful in its ability to recognise patterns, and therefore able to make decisions at increasingly intuitive and effective levels.

How do you take advantage of neuroplasticity to promote authentic personal growth? One method is known as displacement (see below, 4. Growth works from the inside out).

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2. Nourishment is the key to growth

Authentic personal growth requires nourishment of body, mind and soul

You were born with a genetic master plan - a blueprint for your unique qualities, gifts and talents

This 'plan' contains a program for your physical and inner growth, including the unfolding of your full potential. Your genetic blueprint is a complete set of assembly instructions for a perfect 'you.'

The information that's written in your genetic blueprint can be likened to the instructions contained in the seed of a plant.

A tiny oak seed for example, housed hopefully in its protective acorn, has the potential to become a mighty tree.

A tall, well formed and fully grown oak is breathtaking to behold. Strong, enduring and even inspirational, it's surely among the most striking and majestic sights in nature.

Inside it's seed is the tree's entire life. But not every seed produces a fine tree. Most fail. They're eaten by birds or mammals, or consumed by the larvae of moths or weevils. Many survive predator attacks but simply don't germinate for a great variety of reasons. Others produce stunted trees of no great size, strength or beauty due to poor soils, deficient nutrients, lack of water or other unfavorable conditions.

It's the same with us, and indeed with all forms of life. Just as each seed is destined under ideal conditions to become a mighty oak, each of us is programmed to realize our full potential under ideal conditions. Your genetic blueprint contains instructions for your full flowering as a human being.

Yet the promise within the seed from which you sprang was infinitely more astonishing. So grand is that promise that nothing else in nature comes remotely near it. The potential to be a fully functioning human is a gift beyond comprehension.

To accomplish this, you must grow authentically throughout your life, as you were programmed to do. As with the oak, this is most importantly a matter of nourishment. Your challenge is to create the conditions for your genetic blueprint to unfold naturally and completely.

This is the objective of the 6 Healthy Habits.

. . . with the right soil and nutrients, with water, sun and clean air in suitable proportions and a non toxic environment, a tiny seed will grow into a perfect specimen of a mighty oak.

Likewise, you need proper nourishment of body, mind and spirit in order to grow to your full potential. The 6 Healthy Habits is designed to help you do this.

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3. Your growth path is unique

The pathway to authentic personal growth is unique for each individual

Two seeds may appear identical on the surface, but no two trees are ever exactly the same

You may plant seeds from the same tree side by side in the same soil, and nurture them in precisely the same way, but their details in maturity will always differ. Examine the number, size and layout of their branches, the clumping of their foliage and the markings on their trunks, and there will be differences, great and small.

So it is with us. Of all the people ever born from the beginning of the human species until now, and all the people that ever will be born in the future, you are unique.

Even identical twins differ, the more so as each experiences life in significantly or subtly different ways.

Because we're all unique, our individual needs for personal growth also differ. What works for me may be irrelevant, even harmful, for you, and vice versa.

Many personal growth programs are prescriptive and moralistic, presuming to know what's best for you, and asserting that their particular 'model' or 'method' applies universally. This is foolish. One size can't fit us all when it comes to personal growth.

What's needed is an approach that guides you to promote development your own capacity for inner growth and shows you how to develop and draw on your own wisdom to define your unique individual path to personal growth.

Each of us must exercise responsible, conscious choice to nourish our own personal growth. The 6 healthy habits is designed to reflect this truth.

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4. Growth works from the inside out

Authentic personal growth must start on the inside and work its way out

This is because You can't fully grow while your conditioned self is in conflict with your authentic self

We are not always in conscious control of our lives. We allow ourselves to be driven by unconscious beliefs, values and attitudes we've built up over our lives due to past conditioning. These unconscious mental patterns of our conditioned self govern our choices, decisions, habits and behaviors.

Conditioned patterns of behaviour are of course a practical way of coping with the vast quantity of routine actions we must perform each day. It's good we're able to brush our teeth each morning and drive to work each day without having to think about every step along the way. Unconscious automatic habits are useful for normal repititive activities. They're indispensable for getting through the day efficiently (and staying sane!).

However some of your conditioned patterns of thought and behaviour prevent you from growing. For example, if you believe you're not good enough to reach a particular goal, you will most probably fail to achieve it.

You must overcome these limiting beliefs and behaviors in order to grow. If you don't, your thoughts and habits will remain under the control of your conditioned self, blocking your capacity for personal growth.

Your authentic self, as we saw above, is deeply buried under layers of conditioning. Authentic personal growth will enable you to remove the veils of conditioning so that you uncover your authentic self and reconnect with it.

As you increase your awareness of who you really are and what is your natural growth path, you can begin to work on changing your conditioned self to eliminate conflicts with your authentic self that are holding back your personal growth.

You do this through a process of conscious conditioning, the deliberate formation of new habits of thought and behaviour. An effective method of changing your habits is known as displacement.

Studies show that displacement, not denial, is the path to lasting change

It's natural for us to prefer pleasure and avoid pain. Any change program that ignores this basic fact of personal psychology will fail.

For the vast majority of us, self-denial will not work over the long term. We may start out on a personal growth program with great enthusiasm, but most people will not sustain their initial momentum. It's just too hard to continually force yourself to give up the things you like. Your conditioned self will ultimately rebel.

Displacement is effective. Just start out progressively introducing healthy habits alongside the old harmful ones. Take it slowly at first, simply adding a few new habits here and there.

Don't force yourself to give up your old habits. Just observe your old ways with detached interest, without judging yourself. Let yourself be. In due course you'll find yourself giving up your unhealthy habits naturally. You'll do so willingly in your own good time as your authentic self gradually asserts its authority.

The 'good habits' you introduce progressively will just naturally 'take over,' and you'll find yourself just naturally wanting to leave behind your old ways. You'll just move on, in control.

This is one of the keys to the success of the 6 healthy habits.

Authentic personal growth and energy

When you connect with your authentic self you also connect with your inner source of energy.

Your inner energy, like authentic growth, radiates outwards. As you continue with the process of authentic personal growth, positive energy flowing outwards from your center will begin to change your world.

Your circumstances and your relationships will respond to your energy, creating the conditions to nourish your continued growth and reach your goals.

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5. Authentic growth integrates and balances your life

Personal growth becomes authentic when it integrates and balances all areas of your life

You can't achieve lasting change in only some parts of your body-mind-spirit whole

 

You are a whole person, with many interconnected, integrated aspects to your life.

In balancing your priorities, for example, you should consider your health, your marriage, your family, your work, your relationships, recreation plans, social commitments, financial goals and spiritual needs, to name just a few.

All these aspects of your life impact on each other, and balancing them is crucial to your overall health, well-being, personal success and growth. For example if you focus too heavily on your work over too long a period, your family life will suffer.

Personal growth must be multi-dimensional. You can develop your career, your writing style, your interpersonal skills and so on. You can work on improving your empathy, compassion or communication. You can work at losing weight, toning muscles or managing your stress better.

All of these endeavors will improve you in some respect. That is well and good. Taken in isolation however, they are not personal growth. They may not even benefit you. Working hard at developing your career may have disastrous effects on your family life and relationships. Your work-life balance may be thrown right out of kilter.

In particular, authentic personal growth cannot occur while psychological, emotional and other inner conflicts persist. Priorities and goals in all areas of your life should be balanced and aligned with your true principles and values, that is, with the needs of your unconditioned authentic self.

The concept of personal growth implies an integrated and balanced approach to developing yourself as a whole person. It seeks balanced growth across all areas of your life, internal and external.

The truth is, all aspects of your life - physical, mental and spiritual - are integrated. They interact with and feed off each other in complex ways. We know both very much, and very little, about how this works in detail.

But work it does. On this matter, scientific research supports what has been taught by wise men of every age from ancient times to the present. A life well lived is a balanced life.

Of course there will always be short-term imperatives and priorities. As you grow authentically throughout the phases of your life, your focus will shift, reflecting the needs of the day. But over time there must be balance.

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6. Authentic personal growth is a responsible, conscious choice

We make too many of our day-to-day choices unconsciously

Unfortunately this means handing over responsibility for our decisions to stale habits that hinder our growth

Growth is the result of conscious choice. It's not just major choices that matter, but also the many dozens of minor decisions you make every day: will I eat a healthy salad or french fries; should I overcome my annoyance and greet my partner warmly even though he's late, or grunt my disapproval and annoyance even though it may not be his fault?

All too often we don't even think about the best way to handle a situation. We just respond automatically, out of habit.

Yet every day you shape your destiny with the cumulative impact of dozens of apparently small decisions. They impact your relationships, your health, your business opportunities, your reputation and, critically, your personal growth.

To achieve authentic personal growth you must choose to act responsibly and live consciously. If this means deliberately giving way to habit after responsible, conscious consideration, that's fine. That's a responsible, conscious choice.

Remember you are who you are today because of the decisions you made yesterday, and on all those other yesterdays. Today's decisions shape tomorrow's destiny.

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Karma, cause and consequence

Every time you make a choice, consciously or unconsciously, you impact your life. Choices, like causes, have consequences. Energy flows in cycles, and what you put out, you get back.

For example if you choose to spend your time with old friends who radiate negative attitudes and 'drag you down,' that will have consequences for your own feelings about life and about yourself.

On the other hand, if you 'move on' and associate with people who are optimistic and radiate positive energy, this is likely to lift your vision and inspire you to reach for and achieve higher goals.

This is an example of what is often called the law of attraction. You attract to yourself energy, opportunity, resources and personal growth through your thoughts, choices and behaviors.

That's karma in action. Causes have consequences.

7. Your growth shapes your future

Growth is fundamental to shaping a future in which you flourish

You can never know or control the future; you can manage the odds and amplify your edge to make the most of it

Life is uncertain; success depends on stacking the odds in your favor. Life deals us a hand and we must make the best of it, whatever it may be.

Great health for example can't be guaranteed. Many factors, such as your genetic make-up, accidents, childhood conditioning and exposure to harmful substances or situations can affect your health and growth potential.

In life, you never know what's going to happen next. You may at any time suffer an unexpected illness or injury with consequences for your health. However, you're much less likely to fall ill, and much better equipped to recover, if your lifestyle habits are healthy. Maximizing your health resilience is a major objective in the 6 healthy habits.

Stacking the odds in your favor is about diversity, about covering all bases. It's a 'balanced portfoio' approach to your life. You spread your eggs widely, across all relevant baskets. Nutrition, exercise, rest, relationships, purpose, personal growth and many other factors determine your ability to react to circumstances. As with studying for an exam, you run a real risk of failure if you prepare narrowly and 'the wrong question comes up.'

Influencing your future

Authentic personal growth is the most powerful way there is to favourably influence your future.

Authentic personal growth is your best preparation for dealing with future events. When you are physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially and spiritually evolved, you are the strongest possible position to take advantage of whatever opportunites the future might bring, and to weather the storms as well. Authentic personal growth gives you a distinct edge over those who are not as deeply prepared.

When your growth is balanced across all areas of your life, you will be more likely to have the skills, resources, relationships, health and wisdom you need to react calmly and effectively to threats and opportunities.

The future is not the present

Note that influencing the future is distinctly different from trying to change the present.

You can't change the present. It's what it is. Resisting it or resenting it will only waste your energy. Trying to change it, or wishing it were different, will only frustrate you and lead nowhere.

With growth you learn to accept the present with calm detachment. That's all there is to be done.

Of course in an emergeny you'll need to react quickly, and probably with some alarm.

The fight or flight response, a natural part of our make-up, is there to alert you to threats and give you the strength and the wit to deal with danger.

On the other hand we often tend to experience stress for long periods because we can't change our present circumstances.

The reality is, you can't change the present, but you can change your future.

Although the future is fundamentally uncertain, authentic personal growth is the most powerful way known to influence it favourably.

When you act responsibly, live consciously and keep growing toward your full potential, you can trust the future will attract to you opportunities for health, success and fulfillment of your destiny.

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More on Authentic Personal Growth

More information on how you can grow authentically by adopting the 6 Healthy Habits now as a way of life aimed at restoring balance and providing ideal nourishment at each level of your being - body, mind and soul.

Grow authentically, third of the 6 Healthy Habits, is about self-discovery (uncovering your inner beliefs and values), building the courage and commitment to act, and living by your inner beliefs and values.

Authentic personal growth aims to realize your full potential. When you choose to grow authentically you commence a journey of lasting personal change to become the best you that you can be.

The path of Authentic Personal Growth involves both the inner work of self discovery and the outer discipline of authentic living.

Achieving this inner-outer harmony is a prerequisite for personal fulfillment, that is, for the realization of your full human potential.










Soar through life with the 6 Healthy Habits

  1. Live Consciously
  2. Act Responsibly
  3. Grow Authentically
  4. Nourish your Body
  5. Nourish your Mind
  6. Nourish your Soul

Achieve Lasting Change NOW.

  • outstanding physical, mental and spiritual health
  • well-being, prosperity, inner peace and life purpose.

"Take charge of your health."

"Take control of your life."

"Do it Now."




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