After one possesses the majority of integration of their Psyche, over their Super-Ego and Shadow, Self-Actualization is a lifelong pursuit.
Characteristics of Self-Actualizing Persons
They are realistically oriented and not threatened by the unknown.
They have a superior ability to reason and to see the truth.
They perceive and understand human nature.
They accept themselves, other people, circumstances and the natural world for what they are.
They able to learn from anyone and are friendly with anyone, with no regard to stereotypes.
They are emotionally intelligent and feel no need for crippling guilt or shame.
They tend to be serene, characterized by a lack of worry.
They are self starters, are responsible for themselves, and own their behavior.
Work becomes play and desires are in excellent accord with reason.
They are unflappable and retain dignity amid confusion and personal misfortune, all the while remaining objective. They have a great deal of spontaneity and have no unnecessary inhibitions.
The self-actualized person can be alone and not be lonely.
They are honest and seek justice for all.
They are autonomous and independent. Thoughts and impulses are unhampered by convention. Their ethics are autonomous and they determine their own inner moral standards.
They have a fresh rather than stereotyped appreciation of people and appreciate the best aspects in all things.
They resist conformity to the culture. They determine their own behavior and have their own views on people and events.
Moment to moment living for them is exciting and often exhilarating as they live their life to the full.
They seek wholeness; they are able to merge opposing views into a third, higher synthesis, as though the two have united; therefore, opposite forces are no longer felt as conflict.
Self-actualizing people retain their childlike qualities and yet have a far-seeing wisdom.
Their intimate relationships with specially loved people tend to be profound, sincere and long-lasting, rather than superficial.
Their sense of humor is philosophical rather than hostile. They can laugh at themselves but never make jokes that hurt others.
Self-actualizing people enjoy an inborn uniqueness that carries over into everything they do.
Their creativity is original, inventive, uninhibited and – since they see the real and true more easily – valuable. Self-actualizing individuals are motivated to continual growth.
Maslow’s writings tell us much about the nature of wisdom. The self-actualizing people that Maslow describes focus on concerns outside of themselves; they like solitude and privacy more than the average person, and they tend to be more detached than usual from the dictates and expectations of their culture.
They are inner-directed people.
They appreciate the world around them with a sense of awe and wonder.
In love relationships they respect the other’s individuality and feel joy at the another’s success.
They give more love than most people, and need less.
Because they take an independent view, they can see situations and problems more objectively and consequently they tend to be creative and make valuable contributions to society.
One reason that a person does not move through the needs to self-actualization is because of the hindrances placed in their way by society.
For example, education can act to inhibit a person’s potential (though also of course it can promote personal growth).
So can other aspects of the family and culture act to condition and funnel an individual into a role that is not fulfilling.
To escape this conditioning, a person has to awaken to their situation, to realize that their life could be different, that there are changes that can be made in the direction of self-actualization.
To promote our personal growth, we can learn to be authentic, to be aware of our inner selves and to hear our inner feelings and needs. vulnerability.
We can begin to transcend our own cultural conditioning and become world citizens.
We can help our children discover their talents and creative skills, to find the appropriate career and complementary partner.
We can demonstrate that life is precious, that there is joy to be experienced in life, and that if one is open to seeing the good – and humorous – in all kinds of situations, this makes life worth living.