“Individuality is the only real life. It is breathing the ozone of mental, moral, spiritual freedom. Nature made the countless thousands of flowers, trees, birds and animals without permitting two to be precisely alike. She stamped them with—individuality. She did it in a greater way for man. Some people seem to spend most of their time—trying to soak off the stamp. They follow in the footsteps of the crowd, guided by their advice. They wear a uniform of opinion; suffer in the strait-jacket of silly convention, seek ever to keep in step with the line, and march in solid sameness along the comfortably paved road of other people’s thinking,—not their own.” ~ William George Jordan
True individuality is not defined by rebellion, neither does it coalesce around acquiescence. It is the perfect expression of your true nature, the noble and dignified inner you. True authority, as opposed to that which comes with a man-made title or degree, is a robe that you wear when you are being yourself.
Authority is a radiant quality that amplifies aspects of your true nature out into the world you center. It is generated on the inside and as such is an force that moves outward, mostly silently and invisibly, but loud as a trumpet or a lion’s roar when necessary.
Moving from a state where you do not know yourself and feel powerless is a simple, albeit not always easy, process. To begin with, you must know what true individuality means. William George Jordan offered a number of excellent starting points worth considering along the way:
“Individuality means stimulating all the flowers of our best nature and banishing one by one the weeds of our lower self. It means kingship over self and kinship with all humanity. It means self-knowledge, self-confidence, self-reliance, self-poise, self-control, self-conquest. It is the fullest expression of our highest self, as the most perfect rose most truly represents the bush from which it blossoms.”
You are also wise to meditate briefly on what individuality isn’t. Reading through this brief passage from Mr. Jordan ought to be sufficient:
“Eccentricity is not individuality—it is a warped, unnatural distortion, like a reflection from a concave or convex mirror. Hypocrisy is not individuality—a mask is never a face and no matter how close it be held to the skin it never becomes a real face. Conventionality is not individuality—it is the molding of all that is vital and original in us to conform to an average type. Affectation is not individuality—it is only pretentious display of qualities one has not in stock. Individuality permeates every thought, word and act of ours as a half grain of aniline will tinge a hogshead of water so that the microscope will detect the colouring matter in every drop. Individuality crowns every expression of itself, in every day of living, with the—crown of its own kingship.“