Abraham Maslow, a prominent figure of psychology outlined several key components of living life to its fullest potential. Maslow was by all means an optimist and by and large felt that mans character traits are innately good, not evil. One of Maslow’s concepts was that of Self Actualization:
Self Actualization is the intrinsic growth of what is already in the organism, or more accurately, of what the organism is.
Maslow further defined self actualization as mans natural drive to healthiness:
Man has basic, (biological and psychological) needs that have to be fulfilled in order to be free enough to feel the desire for the higher levels of realization. He also believed that the organism has the natural, unconscious and innate capacity to seek its needs. (Maslow 1968)
Maslow believed we are all capable of fulfilling this potential, it’s simply a reflection of our nature. It must however be properly nourished.
Listed below is a summary of the eight ways to self actualize or to reach ones full potential:
1. Things must be experienced fully; fully for the sake of the experience even if it is a difficult process to absorb.2. We must choose between safety (out of fear, insecurities, and defense mechanisms) and growth. He advises that we must make the choice of choosing growth a dozen times each day.3. We must embrace our true self not what others think we should think, feel, or say. Our own experience must direct us towards this goal.4. When doubt crops up, embrace honesty. Honesty is the forerunner for responsibility, and responsibility is self-actualizing.5. Listen to yourself and be prepared to be the “black sheep” for doing so.6. Work smart and use your brain. Do things well for the sake of doing them no matter how insignificant they seem.7. Learn your strengths: rid yourself of illusions. By learning what you are good at you realize potentiality.8. Find courage. Find out who you are, what you like and don’t like, what is good and what is bad for you, where you are going, and what your mission is.It is by virtue of being human then that we owe it to ourselves to express our greatest attributes and to work towards a goal of living a life full of health and happiness. Finding our full potential then is a process of organizing our lives around what we are innately capable of, and not looking back.Brendan Zachar A.P. is a board-certified and licensed acupuncturist who is passionate about serving the healthcare needs of Brevard County, FL. He provides innovative and comprehensive approaches towards achieving Health & Wellness.