Self-Actualization: A roadmap for growth

This week, while doing some research for my next book, I came across an interesting list of characteristics for self-actualization from Abraham Maslow, founder of humanistic psychology.  (You can read the full list and more info about his work here). 

As I read through the examples, I thought…

  1. These are characteristics of a mature adult.
  2. The list provides a beautiful roadmap for growth.
  3. Self-love and self-acceptance are at the root of enlightenment.

Check it out…

Maslow’s self-actualizing characteristics

  • See problems in terms of challenges and situations requiring solutions, rather than see problems as personal complaints or excuses.
  • Need for privacy and comfortable being alone.
  • Reliant on own experiences and judgment – independent – not reliant on culture and environment to form opinions and views.
  • Not susceptible to social pressures – non-conformist.
  • Democratic, fair and non-discriminating – embracing and enjoying all cultures, races and individual styles.
  • Socially compassionate – possessing humanity.
  • Accepting others as they are and not trying to change people.
  • Comfortable with oneself – despite any unconventional tendencies.
  • A few close intimate friends rather than many surface relationships.
  • Sense of humor directed at oneself or the human condition, rather than at the expense of others.
  • Spontaneous and natural – true to oneself, rather than being how others want.
  • Excited and interested in everything, even ordinary things.
  • Creative, inventive and original.

How’s that for a great end game?  The next time you question the investment you make in your own personal growth (or when someone else questions it for you ), just think about the fulfilling life that’s being birthed from your hard work.

From my perspective, you ought to give yourself a BIG HUG!

Take Action Challenge

As you read through the list, choose one example that needs your attention.  Do you need to stop meddling in someone else’s business?  Is it time to spend more time alone?  Are you ready to become more loving by relaxing your tendency to judge?  Then, step up and do something different so you move toward self-actualization .

Anne Marie sent in this week’s video and it’s pure fun delivered to you by a group of men with a great sense of humor.  You’ll find it here.

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Cheryl Richardson

Cheryl Richardson is the author of The New York Times bestselling books, Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, The Unmistakable Touch of Grace and her new book The Art of Extreme Self Care. She was the first president of the International Coach Federation and holds one of their first Master Certified Coach credentials.

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