Attaining Self-Actualization

“Planes are built for flying. Ships are built for sailing. Houses are built for living.
And man, too, was built for a purpose.
He was designed for accomplishment, he’s engineered for success, he’s endowed with the seeds of greatness, and the greatest danger we, as human beings have, is when we do not do anything at all.”
– Zig Ziglar

I wish I could say I have attained this for myself, but I would like to inform you that its a process.

What is self-actualization?

The Wiktionary defines it as the Psychological development that can be achieved when all basic and mental needs are fulfilled.

To self-actualize is To achieve self-actualization; to reach one’s personal peak of individual empowerment and fulfilment.

According to psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, as depicted by the diagram above, self-actualization lies at the apex. Meaning that it’s the highest need known to man. The crown at the top. The icing that tops the cake of our existence.

We all know that life is a journey of personal growth and development. We’re on a path of lifelong learning. We grow and evolve to become more each day, to realize our full potential; all that we’re capable of becoming.

I’m a big proponent of personal growth.

I know you probably were thinking this article will tell you all the answers that you need to become self-actualized and reach your maximum potential. But I’d like to tell you that its a process. The moment you’ve attained all that you can be, then there’s no point to exist any longer. You’re maxed out in your purpose.

The goal is to be better today than we were yesterday. No comparison. We strive to daily better ourselves, the only competition is with our past selves.

At one moment I was frustrated and uttered the words “I give up” but I heard my inner voice reprimand me by saying “you give up too easily”. Those who get what they want, most certainly don’t get it by giving up. Success is attained in knowing when not to quit.

– Dara Nuga 2020

How then do we hope to attain this?

  1. By not giving up on self. On our own individual journeys of personal growth. No matter the setbacks, we do not quit. Committing to that path of getting better. Creating an active, viable, diligent plan towards it. We must work for it, not just assume we will do it.
  2. By celebrating the moment, relishing the journey, the process of it all. While we fix our gaze, our eyes on the prize, we remain deliberate to enjoy the process. It’s not always about the destination but the journey to get there itself. Let’s avoid DESTINATION ADDICTION (the belief that happiness lies in the future, or elsewhere other than the present, or that we’ll only be happy when we have or achieve something). The danger with this is that we find ourselves chasing high after high, it’s living in a lie.
  3. By accepting reality in terms of strengths, weaknesses and perceived limitations. This doesn’t mean assuming a defeatist attitude though. It’s building on your strengths and improving your weaknesses as best you can, but you still acknowledge this.

Who am I kidding?

We can only truly hope to find fulfilment in God and not in ourselves. Nothing on this earth could ever bring us that ultimate joy, satisfaction, euphoria, lasting ecstasy as much as Christ can. We find ourselves grasping at straws chasing for moments of bliss after bliss. We seek it in everything, hoping to find it. But then, we’d find ourselves always wanting for more. Not a single one thing can satisfy the longing desires of our souls. Take a rest in Him.

If you believe in a thing such as eternity, then you know that all we achieve or possess in this world is vanity in the grand scope of things. We’re but minuscule specimens in the vast universe, mere creations.

I battled hard and long with these thoughts of self-actualization and what it could mean for us as individuals, but then I finally caught a break. If you’re like me, you might find yourself with an over-analytical mind overthinking everything, processing a billion random thoughts per second, some of which turn into worry and obsession. But are we focused on the things that matter most? The truly relevant stuff?

We all want to be successful, though the definition of success is individualised and relative. We’ve seen that humanistic psychology places much value on the human need to have a sense of purpose, fulfilment and to max out our potentials. This is said to make our lives meaningful as individuals.

Do you wonder if there’s a point to any of this? The daily striving and grinding; what grand significance it will hold in the universe. Or is it all pointless and for nothing?

Sometimes we wake up and find our dreams lofty, disillusioned from diverse reality checks slapping you in the face all at once or at different times.

Perplexed? It will all make sense soon enough.

If there really is no point, what then do we do?

It’s great to do something that’s meaningful and of value, that’s what we all want as self-actualizing humans.

But it’s easier to do this when we have a higher purpose in mind other than for self-fulfilment. To whose glory is it?

We were created for a divine purpose, and we should do our best to fulfil it to honour God, others and ourselves.

In the end, we live for others not solely for ourselves. That’s the humanistic approach towards this thing called Life.

Love and Grace,

© Zizi 2020.

Happy Sunday🥰.

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5 thoughts on “Attaining Self-Actualization”

  1. A very deep insightful peek into our truest essence as a human being. Beautifully and succinctly explained. Well done Dara. More grace to you in this.

    Liked by 3 people

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