Have you ever heard of the term ‘Self-Actualization’? The theory of self-actualization was created by Abraham Maslow, and it stands as the last stage of human development in his hierarchy of needs. Self-actualization is defined as, “the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone”, or in Vivacity’s words, “reaching one’s full potential in all areas of life”. These areas, according to Vivacity, are simplified to mental, physical, social, and spiritual health. Through recognizing the role of these four pillars of ‘self’, it becomes easier to understand and foresee your potential. It is not so much that you achieve self-actualization, however, it’s more of a continuous process that you develop and modify throughout life.
So what constitutes a self-actualized mentality? What kinds of thoughts should we embrace, and which should we be wary of? What are self-actualized people motivated by? Is self-actualization just another word for perfection? Is self-actualization a destination, or process?
When you see a self-actualized person, they are never perfect. In fact, the only difference between them, and an average member of society, is their mentality. Self-actualized people see their world through a ‘growth mentality’. They understand they have flaws, as do we all, yet they accept them and use them to grow and develop in the areas they may not be so strong. They are grateful for the life that they have, no matter the circumstances, and they make the best of every situation.
Self-actualized people share deep relationships with those around them. They understand hardships in life, and can relate to anyone at any level. They use humility as a strength, and weakness as a motivation. They do not let fear, or uncertainty, get in the way of making true relationships and real experiences. As many people often seek to abide by social norms as a sense of comfort and relatability, self-actualized people live life by their own philosophies.
Always seeking growth, utilizing the theory of self-actualization is a necessary tool in becoming the best version of yourself. Seeing negative experiences as positive lessons learned, self-actualized people constantly move forward. Through trial and error, we reflect on our past and look to improve for next time. It is a commitment to growth, it is a commitment to “doing you the best you can do you” – in whatever way necessary. It is not about being perfect, it is about doing your best. We are all perfectly imperfect. We are all meant to be our best, constantly evolving to higher states of mind.
Today, try to focus on your strengths and weaknesses as a person in all categories of life, (as a father, brother, wife, grandmother, coworker, neighbor, business executive, or stay at home parent) and think about some ways you can better develop yourself in those areas (think mentally, physically, socially and spiritually). Think about the bigger picture in life, and how you can surpass your biggest limitations through the tools that you naturally have. You don’t need some large-scale institution or magnificent product to transform your life. It all starts with a vivacious mentality.
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