February 13, 2013

Actualization, actually.

“ ‘There is truth, my boy.  But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist.  Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend.  Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself.  The deity is within you, not in the ideas and books.  Truth is lived, not taught.’ ”  

- The Glass Bead Game (Herman Hesse)

"After seven years of work, leave.  And go among strangers.  So that those that know you don't prevent you from becoming...the next version of yourself.

- Anonymous (Paraphrased Proverb).

I learned a new word the other day:  "self-actualization."  Thought I would share.

According to Wikepedia, self-actualization refers to "the motive to reach one's full potential" (to become one's potentialities; to live creatively and fully and to express and activate to the fullest of his capacities):

"In his studies, Maslow found that self-actualizers share similarities. Whether famous or unknown, educated or not, rich or poor, self-actualizers tend to fit the following profile.
   Efficient perceptions of reality. Self-actualizers are able to judge situations correctly and honestly. They are very sensitive to the fake and dishonest, and are free to see reality 'as it is'.
   Comfortable acceptance of self, others, nature. Self-actualizers accept their own human nature with all its flaws. The shortcomings of others and the contradictions of the human condition are accepted with humor and tolerance.
   Spontaneity. Maslow's subjects extended their creativity into everyday activities. Actualizers tend to be unusually alive, engaged, and spontaneous.
   Task centering. Most of Maslow's subjects had a mission to fulfill in life or some task or problem ‘beyond’ themselves (instead of outside of themselves’) to pursue. Humanitarians such as Albert Schweitzer and Mother Teresa are considered to have possessed this quality.
   Autonomy. Self-actualizers are free from reliance on external authorities or other people. They tend to be resourceful and independent.
   Continued freshness of appreciation. The self-actualizer seems to constantly renew appreciation of life's basic goods. A sunset or a flower will be experienced as intensely time after time as it was at first. There is an "innocence of vision", like that of an artist or child.
   Fellowship with humanity. Maslow's subjects felt a deep identification with others and the human situation in general.
   Profound interpersonal relationships. The interpersonal relationships of self-actualizers are marked by deep loving bonds.
   Comfort with solitude. Despite their satisfying relationships with others, self-actualizing persons value solitude and are comfortable being alone.
   Non-hostile sense of humor. This refers to the wonderful capacity to laugh at oneself. It also describes the kind of humor a man like Abraham Lincoln had. Lincoln probably never made a joke that hurt anybody. His wry comments were gentle proddings of human shortcomings.
   Peak experiences. All of Maslow's subjects reported the frequent occurrence of peak experiences (temporary moments of self-actualization). These occasions were marked by feelings of ecstasy, harmony, and deep meaning. Self-actualizers reported feeling at one with the universe, stronger and calmer than ever before, filled with light, beautiful and good, and so forth.

In summary, self-actualizers feel finally themselves, safe, not anxious, accepted, loved, loving, and alive, certainly living a fulfilling life."

Pretty good stuff, eh?  Its really about constantly evolving.  Something to shoot for.  And some days - maybe - I feel like I'm on my way.  Others, not so much.  Its true.  But such is life.  


Anonymous said...

Glad that you are blogging more often, and liking what you're writing, Mike. In the hopes that more people will know you and your writing, I have nominated you for a Liebster Award.


Mike said...

Thanks so much!