Authenticity and Anthony Robbins – From Class 3 to Class 1 Experience

Lately I see the terms “authenticity” &  “authentic” tossed around like  croutons in a garden salad.  They may look good and add some weight to that salad, they may fill you up real quick, but there is little to no nutritional value.

There’s big allure with a big word like “authenticity.”  Perhaps it makes people feel bigger, if only momentarily, when they use it.  I hear it in many ways like “I want to be authentic” or “Our company is about authenticity”.  Here is the dictionary definition:

“not false or copied; genuine; real: an authentic antique”
Sounds like a pretty worthy and noble word right and of course who wants to be false, copied or ingenuous?
Here is the problem:

Tony Robbins - Master Teacher

Many times it gets taken out of context and used as a crutch leading to what Tony Robbins would call a “Class 3 Experience.” In his genius classification of  experiences TR lays down how our actions can play out in 1 of 4 ways.

Class 1: You do something that feels good to you, is good for you, is good for others and is good for the greater good of the world.
Class 2: You do something that does not feel good to you, is good for you, is good for others and is good for the greater good of the world.
Class 3: You do something that feels good to you, is not good for you, is not good for others and is not good for the greater good of the world.
Class 4: You do something that does not feel good to you, is not good for you, is not good for others and is not good for the greater good of the world.

Take for instance this beautiful woman I went on a date with who was describing her company to me.  It was a health company devoted to teaching people about nutrition and health.  She said “we want to be authentic and real about health,”  yet, as the conversation went on I learned she hadn’t exercised in over a year.
Now as a genuine health professional myself teaching yoga for 8 years, living and breathing health for at least 20 years, what’s clear to me is you can’t be authentically real about health unless your actually doing it.  Diet and exercise are two of the four cornerstones to health and longevity, the other two being sleep and stress reduction, these are simple facts.

Even though I found this contradictory, I withheld from passing any judgment.  After the conversation she seemed befuddled and frustrated with herself .  We never spoke again after that, but about a week later I saw a Facebook post from her announcing she had had enrolled in a yoga class.  Perhaps her conversation with me sparked some truth into what it really means to be authentic.

Using Authenticity as a Crutch
Or how about the authenticity user who says: “I’m just a selfish person right now, so rather than try to be someone else I’m going to be authentic and be selfish.”   Now this  may feel good to you, but if your being selfish its not helping you or the people around you and maybe even hurting people around you,  claiming authenticity can often end up as a class 3 experience.

Moving from Class 3 to Class 2 Experience
As TR mentions, the key to a great life lies in transforming class two experiences into class 1 experiences.  So first we gotta get that class 3 to a class 2.  If you suffer from a selfish nature for instance and your ego’s got you pinned down like a rock under water then reestablishing this experience as a class two would mean that you go and GIVE and GIVE and GIVE in conversations, in support, in love to your friends, family, significant other and Strangers until it HURTS!

Initially, you will not feel good  because your ego is not being satisfied and currently its your capture, but you would be doing good for yourself, doing good for others and doing good for the greater good.  Eventually as you continue to give in all aspects of life you will break the chains of selfishness and free yourself from the lesser ego.
I personally experienced this while doing service for the Value Creating Society (SGI).  I was asked to do Gajokai, which in Japanese means one who guards the castle with fangs.  That definition is overly romanticized as the real duties were simply to wear a uniform (something my ego hated), open the community center at 7am, move chairs, answer phones and help people all for FREE.  I resisted it for years, but got advice from my brother that it would showing a good example to the youth and would move my life forward so I finally gave in.

It was awfully painful at first, wearing a uniform and giving up my time, but eventually the humbling effect switched off the controlling selfish ego that one ruled my life like a Mongolian Tyrant.
Moving from Class 2 to Class 1

Scientifically, as you continue to give, your will be changing the actual neuron connections in your brain and what you associate pain and pleasure to.  As I got positive reinforcement from the people I helped I felt more pleasure in giving than I did before simply because people love to be given to and will thank you if not immediately, you will be rewarded by simple law of cause and effect somewhere down the road.  At this point, by default, you will have moved to a class 1 experience: it feels good, its good for you, its good for others and its good for the greater good.
Self Honesty and Action – The Keys to Class 1

Moving past the initial pain of giving up your time or your comfort to give to someone else can be a game stopper and life dropper.  Instead of making excuses or staying stuck in authenticity try using “Self Honesty” and “Acton.” Any time you feel resistance from your ego this is the time to really hunker down and GIVE, GIVE, GIVE even if its painful.   If you can sit down in a quiet room or in nature and reflect on your past and own any selfish nature you have practiced being “Self Honest.”  Next of course you will need to take action accordingly and create a plan to give to those already in your life who you haven’t been giving to and those who might not be in your life yet but will take you out of your comfort zone.

Personally my selfishness didn’t just show up in the community, it showed up in my romantic relationships.  Through consistent reflection and self-honesty I was able to determine that I wasn’t speaking my mates love language.  My next step of course was action for which I gave more gifts and words of appreciation.  Sometimes this was as simple as  a piece of fruit or flowers or an email to say “I love you,” but the action moved me from a class 2 experience to a class 1.   If I got tons of positive reinforcement the end result would always be deep fulfillment from giving  love and growing.
If I didn’t get positive reinforcement or reciprocation of love I knew that my partner simply didn’t have the capacity to give equally and I would have to face the hard fact that I made the wrong selection for a partner.  At that point all I can do is move on and make sure that “capacity to give equally” be one of my new criteria for selecting a partner.  We’ll talk about selection in a later blog.

Even the Give & Receive Ratio
If after reflecting and being self honest you determine you’ve been a taker for a long time you will need to give way more that you receive for a while, but eventually you want to be giving and receiving equally.  This balance will take constant self-reflection and self-honesty.  Ultimately the determining factor is your life and how happy you are.  If you find you are still living too many class 3 experiences where it feels good for you, but its not good for anyone else then chances are the give and receive ratio is still off, dig in and Give More.

Best of luck,  Chad
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