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The One Thing That Is More Important Than Social Needs: Self Actualization

The One Thing That Is More Important Than Social Needs: Self Actualization

Close your eyes, and imagine the best possible version of yourself. Are you similar to your current self, with a few minor improvements? Or are you a whole different person?

If you feel like you’ve got a long way to go, don’t worry. Self actualization, or the reaching of your full potential, can be tricky to achieve.

Self actualization is an essential human need

Reaching self actualization basically means becoming the best version of yourself. That could include regularly using your talents, developing your strengths and achieving your goals. Some psychologists consider self actualization to be an essential human need as significant as eating and drinking.

Self actualization is even more important than social needs

In 1943, a psychologist named Abraham Maslow created the hierarchy of universal human needs. [1] The needs are arranged in a pyramid, with basic requirements like food, water and shelter at the bottom, social needs like friendship and family in the middle, and self actualization needs at the top.

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In order to start reaching our full potential, we first need to fulfill our basic needs. In modern times, this is becoming easier and easier, meaning we have more time to dedicate to becoming the best possible versions of ourselves. [2] However, there’s no point in having that opportunity if we don’t bother to use it.

Dedicate some time to self actualization, and you might be amazed by how much happier and more fulfilled you feel.

Maslow’s work on self actualization was based partly on case studies of historical figures who he believed had reached self actualization. These figures included Albert Einstein and Henry David Thoreau.

Maslow believed that those who has achieved self actualization shared certain key traits:

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  • They accept themselves, their life, and their circumstances.
  • They embrace the unknown, rather than fearing it.
  • They focus on solving large problems, rather than small personal issues.
  • They are open-minded towards new ideas and the beliefs of others.
  • They have a strong feeling of personal freedom and autonomy.
  • They cultivate a small number of intimate relationships, rather than many superficial friendships.
  • They fully appreciate life and the world around them.
  • They have a strong feeling or purpose and are motivated by growth.

Sounds too good to be true? By changing your mindset and following a few simple steps, you can start your own journey to self actualization.

Interesting ways to achieve self actualization

Self actualization sounds a little vague, which makes it hard to work out exactly what we should be doing to achieve it. Try out the simple strategies below to start your journey to becoming your true self.

Describe your ideal day

Grab a sheet of paper, and write a description of your ideal day. Imagine there are no limits to your talents, abilities or finances. What do you spend your day doing?

Look at the activities you’ve included in your perfect day, and try to find ways to incorporate them into your current life. If you’re a CEO of a huge charity in your ideal life, why not set up a local fundraiser now? If you’re a famous musician, how about buying a cheap guitar and getting lessons? Each action you take brings you closer to your ideal reality.

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Write your perfect eulogy

This one can be really enlightening. Imagine you’ve died, and write the eulogy you’d like to see. It could include your major achievements, related to either career or personal life, your interests, your relationships, and the ways you’ve changed the world. Now consider what you need to do to make that eulogy a reality.

Examine your role models

Make a list of your top role models, including five or more. Now, write down a list of traits for each role model, and see which of them keep popping up. This is an excellent way to work out what your priorities are. If all of your role models are creative and driven, try to cultivate those attributes in yourself. If they’re generous and kind, make an effort to be more caring to the people in your own life.

Create a bucket list

Making a list of things to do before you die is a great way to get focused and realize what’s really important to you. Having a vague idea of things you’d like to do is good, but taking the time to actually write a list makes it much more likely that you’ll actually achieve your goals. Try to include items which you can complete now, as well as more long-term dreams.

Here are some example bucket list items to help you get inspired:

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  • Visit every continent
  • Learn to play piano
  • Build your own house
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Read 50 books in one year
  • Get a tattoo
  • Go skydiving

Use your imagination, and don’t be afraid to think big.

Achieving self actualization takes time and effort, but it’s so worth it. Who doesn’t want to become the best version of themselves?

Reference

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Eloise Best

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Last Updated on August 20, 2018

60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

Sometimes it’s easier to focus on what we don’t have, rather than what we do have. It’s important to take time out and remember all of the things to be thankful for that many of us take for granted.

    Here you’ll find 60 very solid things to be thankful for in your everyday life. These are great reminders for you to treasure everything you have.

    1. Good Health

    Even if you’re health isn’t great, it could be worse and you likely still have some working parts to be thankful for.

    2. Money in the Bank

    Having just a few coins makes you richer than most people on Earth.

    3. Good Friends

    Often, it’s the quality of friendships, not the quantity.

    4. Freedom of Religion

    Being able to worship whomever and however you want is something many people don’t ever experience.

    5. Your Parents

    Even if they’re dysfunctional, they gave you life.

    6. Weekends

    There’s something magical about weekends.

    7.Having a Partner

    Being in a romantic relationship can teach you so much about the world and yourself.

    8. Pets

    Pets offer one of the best examples of unconditional love.

    9. Learning from Mistakes

    If we never made mistakes, we wouldn’t learn much so it is one of those things we should be thankful for.

    10. Opportunity to Get an Education

    The opportunity to attend school is something many people don’t have.

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    11. Having a Home

    Whether you live in an apartment, a mansion, or a tent, having a place to call home is something to be thankful for.

    12. An Ability to Read

    If you’re reading this right now, you have a lot to be thankful for.

    13. Breathing Fresh Air

    Being able to step outside to breathe in fresh air is a good reminder how many little things we should be thankful for.

    14. A Bed to Sleep

    A bed is one of those things that’s easy to take for granted, until you don’t have one.

    15. Laughter

    Without laughter, the world would be a sad place.

    16. Safety and Security

    Being able to wake up without immense fear frees us up to really live life.

    17. Cars

    Without cars, it would take a lot longer to get our activities done.

    18. Sunshine

    The sun’s warmth can brighten any day.

    19. Time

    Although we often don’t think there’s enough of it, time is something we shouldn’t take for granted.

    20. Clean Water

    Many people on earth lack access to clean water.

    21. Cell Phones

    Cell phones make talking to loved ones easy.

    22. Love

    The world sure would be a different place if we lacked the ability to love.

    23. Books

    Books provide an opportunity to enter another world all from the comfort of your own home.

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    24. Kindness of Strangers

    Never take the kindness of a stranger for granted.

    25. Campfires

    The simplicity of a campfire creates lifelong memories.

    26. Pain

    Without pain, it would be difficulty to appreciate life’s joys.

    27. Art

    The world would be less beautiful if art didn’t exist.

    28. Holidays

    Any reason to celebrate is something we should be thankful for.

    29. Freedom of Speech

    Being able to express your thoughts and feelings freely should never be taken for granted.

    30. Rainbows

    The beauty of a rainbow is unmatched.

    31. Tears

    Sometimes when there are no words to say, tears express how we feel for us.

    32. Waking up Today

    Simply waking up today means you have things to be thankful for.

    33. Indoor Plumbing

    Indoor plumbing not only provides convenience, it spares us from disease.

    34. Wisdom that Comes with Age

    Thankfully, we grow smarter over time.

    35. Mountains

    Mountains provide us with beauty and recreation.

    36. Eyesight

    Being able to see allows us to view the world’s beauty.

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    37. Grocery Stores

    Grocery stores mean we don’t have to spend all of our time getting our own food.

    38. Sunsets

    Sunsets are a reminder that we should enjoy the simple things in life.

    39. Entertainment

    Entertainment gives us a way to relax and enjoy life.

    40. Your Mind

    Being able to think, remember, and solve problems sure makes life easier.

    41. Employment

    Even if you don’t like your job, being employed means someone thought you were special enough to hire.

    42. Diversity

    The world would be a boring place without diversity.

    43. Moon and Stars

    The moon and stars encourage us to dream.

    44. Electricity

    Electricity makes most of our chores efficient.

    45. Air Conditioning

    Staying cool on a hot day is something people wouldn’t have dreamed about in past centuries.

    46. Hearing

    Being able to hear your loved one’s voice is something that not everyone gets to do.

    47. Children

    Watching children laugh, grow, and dream can keep things in perspective.

    48. Ability to Learn

    The ability to learn new things means we have endless potential.

    49. People Willing to Teach

    Whether it’s your grandmother teaching you to knit or your plumber showing you how to prevent future problems, be grateful that others are willing to use their time and talents to teach you something new.

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    50. Oceans

    The sea creatures in the ocean almost seem too mystical to be real.

    51. Modern Medicine

    Without advances in modern medicine, many of us wouldn’t be alive.

    52. Music

    Music brings out new emotions.

    53. Entrepreneurs

    Some of life’s best inventions resulted from an entrepreneur who was willing to take a risk.

    54. Warm Clothing

    On a cold day, there’s nothing more important than warm clothing.

    55. Freedom to Vote

    Being able to have a say in the laws should never be taken for granted.

    56. An Internet Connection

    It’s hard to believe how easy it is to take the internet for granted, seeing how none of us had just a couple of decades ago.

    57. Challenges

    Without challenges in life, we wouldn’t be the people we are now.

    58. Hiking Trails

    Hiking trails give us the chance to enjoy mother’s nature beauty.

    59. Vaccines

    Many of us wouldn’t be alive without today’s vaccinations.

    60. Armed Forces

    Our lives would likely be very different if we didn’t have protection from the armed forces.

    Realizing all the things you should be thankful for is the first step, practicing gratitude is what you should start doing:

    6 Ways To Implement More Gratitude In Your Life

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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