Friday, September 13, 2013

Actualizing Potential

Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counselors they are established.    --Proverbs 15; 22

There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless, the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.    --Proverbs 19; 21

And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up; for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.    --Exodus 9; 16

For I came down from Heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.   --John 6; 38

   At the peak of Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs rests the idea of self-actualization, a condition comprised of the following characteristics.

Self-acceptance and a democratic worldview.
     Self-actualized people tend to accept themselves and others as they are. They tend to lack inhibition and are able to enjoy themselves and their lives free of guilt. Other people are treated the same regardless of background, current status, or other socio-economic and cultural factors.

   Rather than being fearful of things that are different or unknown, the self-actualized individual is able to view things logically and rationally.

   Self-actualized individuals are often motivated by a strong sense of personal ethics and responsibility. They enjoy applying their problem-solving skills to real-world situations and like helping other people improve their own lives.

Peak experiences.
    According to Maslow, these "Feelings of limitless horizons opening up to the vision, the feeling of being simultaneously more powerful and also more helpless than one ever was before, the feeling of ecstasy and wonder and awe, the loss of placement in time and space with, finally, the conviction that something extremely important and valuable had happened, so that the subject was to some extent transformed and strengthened even in his daily life by such experiences."

   The self-actualized individual does not conform to other people's ideas of happiness or contentment. This original perspective allows the individual to live in the moment and appreciate the beauty of each experience.

Solitude and privacy.
    Self-actualized individuals value their privacy and enjoy solitude. While they also love the company of others, taking time to themselves is essential for personal discovery and cultivating individual potential.

Philosophical sense of humor
   Self-actualized individuals generally have a thoughtful sense of humor. They are able to enjoy the humor in situations and laugh at themselves, but they do not ridicule or make fun at the expense of another person's feelings.

   While these people are able to follow generally accepted social expectations, they do not feel confined by these norms in their thoughts or behaviors.