What is Self-Actualization? [1 Min Quick-Read]

Self-Actualization
What is Self-Actualization? [1 Min Quick-Read]
A lot of people have been asking me what the term self-actualization actually means. Here’s Abraham Maslow’s definition, who brought the term most fully to prominence:

“What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization…It refers to the desire for self-fulfilment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.”
~ Abraham Maslow


So self-actualization is not just about being yourself or being true to yourself, but rather being your best self. This requires that:
  • You can accept your own human nature in its stoic style, with all its shortcomings, and are similarly acceptant of others.
  • You understand and accept that the world is chaotic and unpredictable and that the only constant is you. You make the decision to take responsibility for things that happen to you.
  • You recognize your own independence of thought, making the choice not to put an intrinsic value on the negative or positive opinions of others – you judge yourself based on criteria you set for yourself.
  • You are prepared to fully express yourself and accept that the art you create, in whatever form, may or may not be received or understood –instead you appreciate more that the glory lies in the expression itself.
    ‘‘
    …self-actualization cannot be understood as a goal to be reached sometime in the future. At any moment in time we have the fundamental tendency to actualize our full potential, in exactly that moment in exactly that situation.
  • You are committed to a lifelong process of growth to constantly put forward the best possible version of who you are and to give your greatest gift to the world.
  • …But at the same time are aware that self-actualization cannot be understood as a goal to be reached sometime in the future. At any moment in time we have the fundamental tendency to actualize our full potential, in exactly that moment in exactly that situation.
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