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    Carey Smith on Realism is in the Mirror!

    There is a theory about  self-actualisation which is part of the Maslow hierarchy.  In this theory it describes the 4 basic levels that someone individually needs to endure and accomplish before they can move on to self-actualisation.  It is the highest level of what an individual can achieve.  How is self-actualisation defined?

    In one sentence, it refers to the desire for self fulfillment, namely the tendency for him (us) to become actualised in what he can potentially be – what a man can be, he must be.


    Everything someone is capable of being is only known by them and this is self-actualisation.

    Last Friday morning I was invited to play a role in a meeting about a business that has lost momentum and was trying to find solutions to its direction.  Self-actualisation is where the meeting needed to start.  Did the people who were in attendance actually believe that this business could regenerate back to growth?  If that is believed then the business will make progress.  If that is not believed, then it won’t.  We only ever achieve to what our beliefs will allow us to. 

    The true characteristics of self-actualised people display the following:

    Acceptance and Realism: Self-actualised people have realistic perceptions of themselves, others and the world around them.

    Problem-centering: Self-actualised individuals are concerned with solving problems outside of themselves, including helping others and finding solutions to problems in the external world. These people are often motivated by a sense of personal responsibility and ethics.

    Spontaneity: Self-actualised people are spontaneous in their internal thoughts and outward behavior. While they can conform to rules and social expectations, they also tend to be open and unconventional.

    Autonomy and Solitude: Another characteristics of self-actualised people is the need for independence and privacy. While they enjoy the company of others, these individuals need time to focus on developing their own individual potential.

    Continued Freshness of Appreciation: Self-actualised people tend to view the world with a continual sense of appreciation, wonder and awe. Even simple experiences continue to be a source of inspiration and pleasure.

    Peak Experiences: Individuals who are self-actualised often have what Maslow termed peak experiences, or moments of intense joy, wonder, awe and ecstasy. After these experiences, people feel inspired, strengthened, renewed or transformed

    It is not just a simple case of what we think we can do, or what we write down, self-actualisation is a belief.  It is your knowledge within that achieves the potential that only you know you can achieve.  The capacity of an individual to self-actualise happens every day, but it really is a simple matter of belief becoming the core of your thinking.  Self-actualisation can override basic needs.  But again, it depends on what you believe your basic needs are versus your desires. 

    Self-actualisation sits at the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy but what is also interesting is that you may go through 2 stages, the first being personal where you reach your own maximum potential and possibilities, the second is through the success of offspring.  It is known that achievements in success of offspring are actually more satisfying than personal fulfillment and the growth characterised in self-actualisation.

    More than 30 posts written by Carey Smith please click www.careysmith.com

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