The Present Authoring Programs make the best starting point, as they are simpler than the Future and Past Programs.
They have been designed to allow you to do an in-depth analysis of your own personality, including its negative (Faults) and positive (Virtues) elements. The Programs are based on the Big Five Personality Model, which assesses variation in:
- Extraversion or positive emotion, dominance and enthusiasm
- Openness to Experience or creativity, artistic sensibility, and philosophical-mindedness
- Emotional Stability or the absence of negative emotion (anxiety, emotional pain, shame and guilt)
- Conscientiousness or orderliness and persistence
- Agreeableness or warmth, empathy and tender-mindedness (versus assertiveness and aggression)
You can choose to work on your faults or your virtues, or both. If you are feeling down, it might be best to work on your virtues.
How they work
If you choose your Faults, you will be presented with a sequence of pages such as this one, which concentrates on faults of Extraversion, or this one, which concentrates on faults associated with lack of Conscientiousness. You will be presented with faults associated with all five traits. You will be asked to select faults that are typical of you from each trait. Then you will be asked to make a final list of faults, from those that you have selected. Then you will be asked to write about a time when that fault caused you trouble. Finally, you will be asked to write about what you could have done or how you could have acted differently.
If you choose your Virtues, you will be presented with a sequence of pages which concentrate on either the virtues of Agreeableness or Openness. You will be presented with virtues associated with all five traits. You will be asked to select virtues that are typical of you from each trait. Then you will be asked to make a final list of virtues, from those that you have selected. Then you will be asked to write about a time when that virtue helped you attain a desired goal or cause a desired outcome. Finally, you will be asked to write about what how you might use that virtue more effectively in your present or future life.
"I first heard about this from the article in "O" magazine. Then I watched the short video on your website. I suffer from depression, so I've been through a great deal, trying to regain my equilibrium. I feel stronger and more positive, right now, more hopeful about the future than I have in years. And this is after only the first two sections! I completed the Virtues section first. Then, a couple of days later, with a little trepidation, the Faults section. I appreciated your warning to be well-rested and in a good frame of mind. Anyway, I realized a few days after that that I no longer was waking up at three a.m., drenched in guilt, a fairly regular occurrence before that. This was huge! Obviously, I am anxious to keep going. I finished the first part of the Future section yesterday. My daughter is ready to make changes in her life and is too hard on herself. I want her to have whatever benefit she can gain from the program, so I offered to pay for her. Another friend, a truly amazing artist, is suffering from debilitating depression right now. If I can figure out how to pay for hers, as well, I will. Thanks for creating this valuable tool. I feel like it's helping me get out of my own way."