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They knew that their decision to join the ROTC kept them on U. How did the guys in the first situation reduce the dissonance they felt? Staw predicted that the men who found out their lottery numbers would have been high would reduce their dissonance by liking the ROTC more. In support of this hypothesis, he found that these men increased the value they placed on their ROTC training and became better soldiers (as judged by their commanding officers) than the men who knew that the ROTC kept them from combat in Vietnam. The men who could not justify their commitment to the ROTC by saying, Well, it's better than going to war had to find some other way to justify their decision. They did this by becoming happier and better soldiers. Because the draft-lottery numbers randomly assigned these men to low- and high-dissonance conditions, this study provides particularly compelling evidence of the impact of dissonance and its reduction on people's responses to major life decisions. Self-Consistency at the Macro Level: Sustaining a Sense of the Self as a Unified Whole Were your actions or reactions based on your truth or on something you were desperately trying to avoid? The truth isn't something that can be forced or fabricated. Learning yoga transforms us, so we approach our relationships not just from the point of meaning and intimacy but from the point of vulnerability and truth. Satya is discovering your truth on and off the yoga mat. Satya manifests in different ways; Satya helps us better understand and communicate our needs and emotions because we have accepted the truth about how we feel. Embracing Satya through yoga requires us not to be defensive or feel threatened when another person lives authentically or says something that is true but is displeasing to us. Satya is keeping an open mind, understanding that honesty is worth the risk, taking responsibility for our actions, and believing in our intuition when the rest of the world cannot prove its veracity. Satya is letting go of our biases, surrendering our agendas, and the quest for power using manipulation so the divine can guide us within us. As a devotee, you learn that not all truth needs speaking. The venue seats 650 people--it was intimate. I couldn't help but notice that the four girls in the front row were having an amazing time.

They were singing, dancing, and throwing their hands in the air while shouting out song requests to Jason. I looked around at the people sitting in the nosebleed section with me. It was a totally different energy. They seemed to be checked out, as if they were counting the minutes rather than making the most of each one. Their body language spoke loud and clear: I want to be anywhere but here. When I looked back to the front, I noticed that those women seemed to feel the opposite: I want to be here and nowhere else. My teenage self would have said, Wow, those people are so lucky to get those seats. My slightly more evolved self asked, I wonder how those people got those seats? The picture on the left (FIGURE 6. If we squint our eyes or look at the picture from a distance, we can make out a young mother with an expression of deep concern as her children huddle around her. And when we learn that this picture was taken during the Great Depression, we can imagine this woman's life struggle to care for herself and her family. But looking closer, we discover that the image is made up of hundreds of tiny photographs of assorted aspects of this woman's surroundings, such as a door and a weather vane (FIGURE 6. Although these tiny images make up the broader image, none of them captures the emotional significance of this woman's life as clearly as the broader perspective does. Dorothea Lange's Classic Photo: Migrant Mother, Nipomo, Calif. Dorothea Lange's photograph powerfully captures one woman's struggles during the Great Depression. Many years later, Robert Silvers replicated this iconic image in a photo-mosaic built out of Depression-era photographs of the American West. In this way, he conveys how many individual episodes and experiences make up a person's self-concept. In a similar sense, the question of identity--Who am I? This is because right beside integrity is the gift of tact. You will discover that telling the truth is just as crucial as being sensitive to other's feelings.

When in doubt on how to proceed, there is always the option of Mauna (silence). Tips to Cultivating Satya and Living Our Truth Tell the truth more often. Catch yourself each time you are about to tell a white lie or half the truth. The only exception to this rule is when the truth will affect another adversely. Here, stay silent. Silence, in this case, is rooted in the spirit of goodwill. Observe your speech for a day. Once I asked the question, I thought of some possibilities. Maybe they camped through the night to hold their spot in line. Maybe they have great connections. Maybe they had the money to pay top dollar. Maybe they didn't even have front row tickets but saw open seats and took them. By the end of the show I decided that, however they got there, one thing was clear: They wanted a front row seat, a front row experience, and they went after it. In my life, I could see certain areas where I was settling for whatever seat came my way. I knew I'd chosen the back row in my relationships, my career, my health, and other areas of life. I had reached a certain level of comfort and security in life. Yet I couldn't shake the question, What else is there? We can step back and describe ourselves with broad generalizations such as family oriented, outgoing, ambitious, and so on. But up close we see that our lives are made up of thousands of separate memories, behaviors, and other elements of experience that have little meaning of their own.

How do we integrate these lived experiences to establish consistency at the macro level of our overall self-concept? Self-Consistency Across Situations If you were to describe yourself in a personal ad right now, you might use characteristics like ambitious, cooperative, and shy. But do you always think and act in line with these broad traits? For example, you may think of yourself as introverted. But if you dredge up a different set of experiences--such as karaoke nights when you've been known to belt out Sweet Home Alabama in front of total strangers--you might come to a very different conclusion about what characteristics define you. Despite such inconsistencies, most people prefer self-concept clarity, a clearly defined, internally consistent, and temporally stable self-concept (Campbell, 1990). In fact, individuals with high self-concept clarity may be happier and better equipped to cope with life's challenges. Are they necessary? Only speak when your words meet these criteria. Practice taking the vow of silence for a few minutes or an hour, depending on your schedule. This will ensure that when you do speak, you do so from your most authentic place. Listen closely to your body. Not for signs of ill health but for signs that portray the truth of feeling or authenticity of emotions. Are you smiling while you feel a tightness in your chest? Keep track of your changing emotions to build confidence in your inner guidance system. Yoga teaches us to manifest prosperity without stealing from others (Astheya): How aligned are you with the spiritual laws of prosperity and manifestation? Do you know that the door to abundance is built on the sutra of astheya? For many like myself, it starts with survival: How much do you need to pay rent, get a car, and buy food? Then you start to think about a nicer place, a fancier car, and eating out.

Eventually, if you keep going, you find your way to the pursuit of a higher purpose and deeper meaning. This is what Maslow figured out in 1943 when he spoke about a five-tier model of human needs: We start with physiological needs like food and water. If those needs are met, we focus on safety. Third is relationships, which is followed by the fourth tier--feeling like you're accomplishing things. Finally, the top tier is self-actualization of your fullest potential. I kept asking myself, What is my fullest potential? What does a front row life look like? Individuals with high self-concept clarity are less sensitive to the feedback they receive from others, such as insults or nasty looks on the street. In contrast, individuals with low self-concept clarity tend to look to other people's feedback to understand who they are. Their attitudes toward themselves are therefore more likely to fluctuate, depending on whether they perceive that others view them positively or negatively. Studies suggest that people high in social status have greater self-concept clarity than those low in social status, perhaps because they are less dependent on the social context around them (Kraus et al. Self-concept clarity A clearly defined, internally consistent, and temporally stable self-concept. One way people sustain a clear self-concept is by seeking out diagnostic information about themselves. People often search for ways to assess their traits and abilities to have an accurate view of themselves (eg, Sedikides & Strube, 1997; Trope, 1986). They gather others' opinions of them, take personality and ability tests, see how they do on challenging tasks, and compare themselves with others. Translated, this verse means that wealth comes to the yogi established in non-stealing. Stealing does not always mean holding a weapon to take from others or breaking and entering.