Possible selves Images of what the self might become in the future. Our visions of possible selves are not just idle pictures in our minds. They also motivate and guide our behavior (Markus & Nurius, 1986). That's because thinking about a possible self can make us aware of the actions we need to take now in order to become that person in the future. In one demonstration of this, Daphna Oyserman and colleagues (2006) went into low-income urban school districts where failure in school is depressingly common. The researchers randomly assigned eighth-graders to sit in their regular homeroom period (control) or to take part in an intervention called School-to-Jobs twice weekly over a seven-week period. During the early part of this intervention, participants were asked to imagine academic possible selves, at one point identifying photographs of adults that fit their visions of a good future. Aparigraha is lacking in the world today, which is why we treat everything with contempt. We don't fix; The concept of aparigraha is taught in yoga. It magnifies our happiness by helping us appreciate the blessings surrounding us. It teaches us to spot opportunities for growth at every turn, no matter the circumstance. If you had two dollars and gave them out to two random kids and only one showed gratitude, which one would you give more money to next time? Appreciation brings more of the good things you desire. Aparigraha is a catalyst for abundance, but there is a catch: Aparigraha is a cultivated trait. It is not dependent on any circumstance you are in at any given moment. Gratitude comes from our deep-seated belief in abundance, which creates our experience of it. We experimented with many strategies that day. One of the most powerful was setting small goals.

Jamie would say See that telephone pole down the road? We're going to run to that and take a breather. With each goal achieved, we'd celebrate. Then we'd set another target, run to it, and celebrate. We'd high-five each other then set another goal. We pressed on. At mile 26, my knee was screaming. I could barely walk, let alone run. A couple of weeks later, they were asked to describe specific strategies they need to do to realize their academic possible selves, such as attending class and completing their homework. Students in the intervention condition had fewer classroom behavior problems and better grades even a year later, suggesting that thinking about possible selves in the future, when combined with pragmatic thinking about how to get there, can motivate people to take constructive action in the present. SECTION REVIEW The Motive to Maintain a Consistent Self People strive make sense of their lives by being consistent at the micro level of day-to-day experience, but consistency from the broader, macro perspective is essential to understanding the whole picture. Cognitive dissonance theory explains how people minimize inconsistency between their cognitions. Research using the free choice paradigm shows that after people choose between two alternatives, they reduce dissonance by emphasizing the positive aspects of the chosen alternative and the negative aspects of the rejected alternative. Research using the induced compliance paradigm shows that when people perceive insufficient external justification for choosing to say or do something against their initial beliefs, they change their beliefs to reduce dissonance. Dissonance increases with less external justification and more perceived choice, commitment, and foreseeable negative consequences. In cultures that value interdependence, public displays of inconsistency arouse more dissonance because harmonious relationships are so valued. When faced with an apparent discrepancy between past behavior and a currently advocated position, people engage in behaviors to reassert their commitment to the recently advocated position. When you live life in such a way you continuously count your blessings instead of repeatedly thinking about lack, we reaffirm our ability to manifest abundance even in the most unlikely of situations. Tips for Cultivating Gratitude in Our Daily Lives

Give more to receive more. You always receive twice as much of what you put out to the universe. Practice the art of positive flooding. Tell someone you know everything you feel is pleasant about them. You can also practice positive flooding on yourself. Many people have found this helpful in dealing with low self-esteem issues. At the end of each day, or right before bedtime, write down or think about at least five things you are grateful for. Before purchasing something new, ask yourself if you are buying just because you don't have it or it is something you desperately need. We were six hours into the day, and I'll never forget the moment I stopped completely and sat on the ground. I was almost in tears when I looked at my leg and said, OK leg, I know you're hurting. I hear you, but listen, we need to finish this. I need you to be strong. We told so many of our friends that we're raising money for the TD Threshold, and I realize this is tough, but nothing we go through today will come close to the pain our recipients experience on a daily basis. So it's time to go. And go we did. One painful step after another, we made it to Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Looking back, we made it through those 15 hours because of three strategies. First, we managed the moment. After working hard for a goal, people justify the effort by convincing themselves the goal is valuable. When a minimal level of external justification is used to deter behavior, people will internalize that they don't want to engage in the behavior anyway.

Self-consistency is an important way that people make sense of their lives as a whole. Self-concept clarity is a clear sense of who one is from one situation to the next. High self-concept clarity supports psychological well-being. A complex self-concept, as defined by many distinct roles and activities, may be a buffer against stress if those aspects of self are freely chosen and controlled. Self-narratives are coherent stories explaining how one's past, present, and future cohere into a unified whole. Threats to psychological security increase reliance on self-narratives for meaning in life. Talking or writing about a painful event can help a person cope with stressful experiences. Envisioning possible selves can help motivate people to achieve their long-term goals. Do your purchases have a genuine purpose or are they purchased because of greed or envy? Yoga teaches us to embrace the beauty in simplicity (Sauca): What does it mean to choose simplicity? It means clearing our minds and space of clutter, purifying ourselves mentally, emotionally, and physically. Simplicity is honoring only thoughts and deeds that matter. When we do this, our hearts and souls find joy and a more profound sense of awareness. It's challenging to live simply in a world like ours, powered by stress plus fast-paced living. Simplicity taught in yoga helps us reject the culture of consumerism and insatiable desire. How many social media accounts can we have? How many health supplements are too much? The philosophy of sauca is not living in some ashram or taking a trip on a time machine to times when life was simpler. We took one moment at a time and dealt with the obstacle directly in front of us. If we'd thought about all the challenges to come, I don't think we would have been successful.

Second, we set small goals. We didn't think about running 52 miles, we thought about running one mile, 52 times. Third, we celebrated our progress, rather than waiting until the end. We didn't get caught up in what was wrong or hard. We focused on what was going right, over and over again. Each goal reached was cause for celebration. Approaching our day in this way allowed us to gain momentum. Our mantra was, Keep moving. The Self-Esteem Motive: Establishing and Defending One's Value Learning Outcomes Differentiate self-esteem as a trait and a state. Describe the ways that people maintain and defend self-esteem. List the functions of self-esteem. Explain self-esteem stability and the consequences of high or low stability. List important implications of the need for self-esteem. When your current author (Jamie) was growing up, his brother used to run around the house exclaiming, I want to be special! Although few of us may admit it so blatantly, who hasn't dreamed about becoming a world-famous scientist, an admired actor or singer, or a sports superstar? These aspirations reflect something very basic about human beings: We are driven to view ourselves as valuable, to bolster feelings of self-esteem, and to defend our positive view of ourselves when it is called into question. Sauca is the decision to live in the complexity of the present without losing sight of one's true self, the divine self within us. Materialism has crept into our consciousness leading us to become unintentionally attached to things like what we do instead of who we are.