THE QUEST FOR SELF-ACTUALIZATION (Part II)
In previous posts we talked about:
- Maslow’s hierarchy of needs where one’s basic needs must be satisfied in order to prepare one’s self to experience the higher level needs and become self-actualized,
- the ten most common things that everyone wants in life to be happy, and
- the common characteristics of self-actualized people – those who are happy and living their life to the fullest.
We are all, theoretically, capable of self-actualizing. How do we experience self-actualization? How do we realize our personal potential, and experience personal growth and peak experiences? People achieve self-actualization in their own unique way, but they tend to share similar behaviors.
Below, are ten common behaviors of self-actualized people. These are behaviors we can practice to “bring” happiness.
- Practice mindfulness. Appreciate and focus on the present. Immerse yourself in the present with awareness, appreciation, and gratitude. The past is over, and the future will get here soon enough.
- Be curious and and ask questions. See life as a continuous learning experience. Respect the knowledge and skills of others and learn from them. See past experiences as lessons, both negative and positive, and use this knowledge to plan for the future of your choice.
- Embrace change. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try a new hobby or seek out a new skill. Do something new and creative. You may feel uncomfortable at first, but that means you are growing. You will gradually create new neural pathways in the brain and become more receptive to your creative abilities.
- Trust your judgement. Question the status quo. Listen to your own feelings in evaluating experiences and events instead of blindly following the majority. Be prepared to be unpopular if your opinions differ from others’.
- Avoid pretense. Be transparent with others and don’t play games.
- Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Don’t depend on others to support you. Don’t blame others for your lot in life.
- Have a good work ethic. Recognize the value in your work and be dependable. If you hate your job, start making plans to find another. It may require that you learn a new skill or find the courage to make a change. In the meantime, give full effort at your current job. Plan and prepare.
- Respect others for the human being they are worthy of, as you would expect them to respect you.
- Live within your means. When you are able to satisfy the lower levels of need on Maslow’s hierarchy, (food, shelter, safety, and security) you are free to concentrate more on the more creative and fulfilling aspects of life – those higher needs that take you closer to self-actualization.
- Plan your life. Know your overarching goal – what you believe makes like meaningful and balanced. Let it be your life guide. Understand what it takes to reach that goal and set priorities. Every person ought to have a plan for life. Most people do not think about planning out their life to ensure more Happy Places during their time on earth. This may be because they don’t understand the benefits of a life plan, or possibly because they don’t know how to develop such a plan.
Our happiness depends upon ourselves, and a planned life has a much greater chance of being a happy life. And yes, you can create a plan to experience happiness. You can plan and experience intentional happiness in your quest for self-actualization. Achieving self-actualization is a result of who you are, what you do, and the choices you make.
Happiness is a talent. The process is simple and methodical. As you learn how to plan for happiness, you will be amazed at the possibilities open to you that you never imagined.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Stay tuned for more on how to do this!