Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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:

Advertising

  • 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.

Advertising

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:

Advertising

  • 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

More by this author

Eloise Best

Content Writer

4 Simple Ways to Make Boring Work Become Interesting Why We Lose Motivation Once in a While and How to Fix It Forever The One Rule to Keep Every Conversation Going Naturally Sorry, These Phrases in Conversations Do Not Make You Funny, but Boring See How You Don’t Have To Start Your Weight Loss Journey Sweaty!

Trending in Communication

1 How SMART Goal Setting Makes Lasting Changes in Your Life 2 10 Things Happy People Do Differently 3 4 Ways Physical Touch Helps Your Relationship 4 9 Reasons to Incorporate Yoga Meditation and Mindfulness into Your Life 5 How to Deal with Anger and Better Control Your Emotions

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 13, 2019

10 Things Happy People Do Differently

10 Things Happy People Do Differently

Think being happy is something that happens as a result of luck, circumstance, having money, etc.? Think again.

Happiness is a mindset. And if you’re looking to improve your ability to find happiness, then check out these 10 things happy people do differently.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. -Dalai Lama

1. Happy people find balance in their lives.

Folks who are happy have this in common: they’re content with what they have, and don’t waste a whole lot of time worrying and stressing over things they don’t. Unhappy people do the opposite: they spend too much time thinking about what they don’t have. Happy people lead balanced lives. This means they make time for all the things that are important to them, whether it’s family, friends, career, health, religion, etc.

Advertising

2. Happy people abide by the golden rule.

You know that saying you heard when you were a kid, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Well, happy people truly embody this principle. They treat others with respect. They’re sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of other people. They’re compassionate. And they get treated this way (most of the time) in return.

3. Happy people don’t sweat the small stuff.

One of the biggest things happy people do differently compared to unhappy people is they let stuff go. Bad things happen to good people sometimes. Happy people realize this, are able to take things in stride, and move on. Unhappy people tend to dwell on minor inconveniences and issues, which can perpetuate feelings of sadness, guilt, resentment, greed, and anger.

4. Happy people take responsibility for their actions.

Happy people aren’t perfect, and they’re well aware of that. When they screw up, they admit it. They recognize their faults and work to improve on them. Unhappy people tend to blame others and always find an excuse why things aren’t going their way. Happy people, on the other hand, live by the mantra:

“There are two types of people in the world: those that do and those that make excuses why they don’t.”

5. Happy people surround themselves with other happy people.

happiness surrounding

    One defining characteristic of happy people is they tend to hang out with other happy people. Misery loves company, and unhappy people gravitate toward others who share their negative sentiments. If you’re struggling with a bout of sadness, depression, worry, or anger, spend more time with your happiest friends or family members. Chances are, you’ll find that their positive attitude rubs off on you.

    6. Happy people are honest with themselves and others.

    People who are happy often exhibit the virtues of honesty and trustworthiness. They would rather give you candid feedback, even when the truth hurts, and they expect the same in return. Happy people respect people who give them an honest opinion.

    7. Happy people show signs of happiness.

    Advertising

    smile

      This one may sound obvious but it’s a key differentiator between happy and unhappy people. Think about your happiest friends. Chances are, the mental image you form is of them smiling, laughing, and appearing genuinely happy. On the flip side, those who aren’t happy tend to look the part. Their posture may be slouched and you may perceive a lack of confidence.

      8. Happy people are passionate.

      Another thing happy people have in common is their ability to find their passions in life and pursue those passions to the fullest. Happy people have found what they’re looking for, and they spend their time doing what they love.

      9. Happy people see challenges as opportunities.

      Folks who are happy accept challenges and use them as opportunities to learn and grow. They turn negatives into positives and make the best out of seemingly bad situations. They don’t dwell on things that are out of their control; rather, they seek solutions and creative ways of overcoming obstacles.

      10. Happy people live in the present.

      While unhappy people tend to dwell on the past and worry about the future, happy people live in the moment. They are grateful for “the now” and focus their efforts on living life to the fullest in the present. Their philosophy is:

      Advertising

      There’s a reason it’s called “the present.” Because life is a gift.

      So if you’d like to bring a little more happiness into your life, think about the 10 principles above and how you can use them to make yourself better.

      Read Next