Self-Actualization is the process of living to your full potential, of living a more extra-ordinary life.  As identified by Abraham Maslow, a brilliant psychologist, researcher and pioneer, rather than looking at what could help people to become normal, investigated what it would take to live to an individual’s full potential, beyond the norm. These are the characteristics of a self-actualized individual that he identified:

  • Heightened, expanded and more accurate perception of reality; accompanied by greater clarity with an enhanced objectivity.
  • Increased acceptance of self and others, including strengths and shortcomings, without complaint or worry.
  • Increased spontaneity, naturalness and simplicity.
  • Alignment with a mission or calling, doing work we truly enjoy, that brings out our greatest talents.
  • Becoming more individuated, being our own person, free from the need for approval from others.
  • A sense of sacredness and gratitude.
  • Greater freshness of appreciation and the ability to enjoy life, with enhanced wonder and awe; decreased tendency to take life for granted or become bored.
  • Higher frequency of peak experiences on a regular basis and in many situations.
  • Feeling a greater kinship with humanity with greater compassion, empathy and stronger interest in the welfare of others.
  • Increased capacity for intimate relationships with friends, family and significant others.
  • Greater tolerance and acceptance of others.
  • Enjoy the sheer act of doing, as much or more than achieving the goal; i.e. enjoying the journey even more than the destination.
  • Greater sense of humor.
  • More creative, original, and innovative.
  • Natural resistance to enculturation and the social pressures to conform, fit in, and follow the rules.
  • Ability to be firmly rooted in the present moment and less influenced by past determinants or future projections.
  • Change in our worldview towards greater well-being, joyfulness and harmony; seeing the good in life.
  • More enjoyment of challenges, even problems, new experiences and the ability to find excitement in life.
  • A loss of fear, anxiety, inhibition, defense, confusion, and restraint.
  • Deeply felt pervasive positive mood – joy, ecstasy, exaltation and love.
  • Ineffability – frequent claims that language is inadequate to describe what is happening.
  • Experiences of ‘unitive consciousness’, a feeling of oneness with all things.

There have been numerous studies of self actualized individuals over the past century. These individuals primarily have made the choice to focus on identifying the hidden opportunities within everyday challenges, engage their creative talents, break free from existing cultural views and conditioning, ignore the opinion of others and instead be true to themselves and where their life led.  This opportunity is yours to choose as well.

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