Self-help books, youtube videos, reels, therapy, exercise, eating healthy, and sleeping eight hours a day, when do we know when we have made it? Let me ask you, have you ever asked yourself the question “when do I know I am being the best person I can be?”
Hopefully in what I am about to write, you at least find some answers and at the very least shed some light on future goals for yourselves together with a way of assessing if you are evolving into everything you are capable of becoming.
So could the answer lie in the word self-actualization? Abraham Maslow, a humanist psychologist, popularized the term in his hierarchy of needs in 1943, although Kurt Goldstein originally coined the term. Self-actualization basically means “the process of becoming everything you are capable of becoming.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a pyramid starting from our basic needs and ending up where we will hopefully, one day, be…. self-actualized. So what is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? Well, the first level encompasses our psychological needs such as water, air, shelter, food, clothing and sleep. Maslow stated that before a person could advance to the next level, that person would have to, for example, have their basic needs met before focusing on safety. Safety addresses stability, law and order, financial security and getting our health needs met. The next level is love and belonging which means friendships, intimacy, family and a sense of connection. The fourth level is esteem which includes acceptance by others, respect, status, freedom and self-confidence. The last level is self-actualization.
The following is an example of why our psychological needs have to be met first before we can move on. We've all seen homeless people in our cities, towns and neighborhoods. Some of these people are using substances to cope with their realities. It's difficult for people to get off of drugs or alcohol without access to shelter, food, water, clothing and sleep. For that reason, in New York, they decided to try something new. Instead of requiring the homeless to come off substances before moving into an apartment, they have allowed the homeless to move in, with the understanding that they will then get help for their addictions. Their chances of being able to complete rehabilitation will be a lot higher than if they were still living on the streets.
Self-actualized people have a purpose and their focus is typically on how they can benefit others. Personal growth drives them over chasing their wants. They are humble, understanding how little they know compared to what they could know. I mean if you have ever gone to a library or looked at classes offered at universities and colleges, you will undoubtedly see how much we truly do not know.
Self-actualized people prefer privacy over surrounding themselves with people. This way, they can focus on further exploring themselves. The people they do know are few, but they also have an affection towards the entire human race. They are self-starters and are not molded by what culture and society dictate or expect them to be. These people understand that they have to be responsible for their own decisions and their own destiny.
In essence, self-actualized people are not perfect. They just don't let societal expectations inhibit them and instead empower themselves by their own decisions which will eventually dictate their destiny. In my opinion, something that we should all strive for.
Interested in reaching that point faster and with less trial and error? We at Clarity Health Solutions would love to guide you in your journey to self-actualization! If you are based in Palm Beach Gardens, the rest of Palm Beach County, or anywhere in Florida, take the first step to reaching your potential and book your first appointment with us today!