“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but … life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”
― Gabriel García Márquez
What is self-actualization? Expressing one’s creativity, quest for spiritual enlightenment, pursuit of knowledge, and the desire to give to society are examples of self-actualization. Take away a man/woman’s food, shelter, warmth, security, sense of belongingness et cetera and it will be impossible to ever reach any self-actualization. Our minds would be too wrapped up in other things, trying to become stable. That same man or woman may have an inherent ability to become a great doctor, writer, artist and so on, but that is all at a stand-still.
If one lives a life that is opposite of their nature, things can go wrong because of the basic focus of human needs. One may develop an anxiety or other stresses and not reach that inherent spark. In order to be satisfied, one has to find their flow. If one is able to find tasks that is balancing with one’s own flow; then one would be satisfied.
What is your flow?
Most of us find ourselves doing tasks which may cause boredom, and tasks that are below our abilities can cause anxiety. However, tasks that matches one’s own abilities allows one to experience their flow.
If an organism is determined to do a standard job, and has not been able to; then, the whole body reflects. At any moment one has a time to reflect on self-actualization–it is not a goal to be reached at sometime in the future, but rather what is one’s potential, here and now.
What are your capabilities?
Self-actualization cannot be achieved until lower necessities are met. Although I say this, self-actualization rarely happens, certainly in less than 1% of the adult population. This is because most of us function at a lower level than that of self actualization.
Self-actualizing people tend to possess an unusual ability to detect the spurious, the fake, and dishonesty in a personality, and in general to judge people correctly and efficiently. A self-actualizer is a person who is living creatively and using his or her potentials.
Self-actualization is about becoming “fully human.”
Characteristics of Self-Actualized People By Abraham Maslow
In addition to describing what is meant by self-actualization in his theory, Abraham Maslow identified some of the key characteristics of self-actualized people:
Acceptance and Realism:
Self-actualized people have realistic perceptions of themselves, others and the world around them.
Self-actualized individuals are concerned with solving problems outside of themselves, including helping others and finding solutions to problems in the external world. These people are often motivated by a sense of personal responsibility and ethics.
Self-actualized people are spontaneous in their internal thoughts and outward behavior. While they can conform to rules and social expectations, they also tend to be open and unconventional.
Autonomy and Solitude:
Another characteristic of self-actualized people is the need for independence and privacy. While they enjoy the company of others, these individuals need time to focus on developing their own individual potential.
Continued Freshness of Appreciation:
Self-actualized people tend to view the world with a continual sense of appreciation, wonder and awe. Even simple experiences continue to be a source of inspiration and pleasure.
Individuals who are self-actualized often have what Maslow termed peak experiences, or moments of intense joy, wonder, awe and ecstasy. After these experiences, people feel inspired, strengthened, renewed or transformed.