Self-Actualization: Do we Get It, Have It, Do it, or Be It?
So what is Self-Actualization? Maslow described it this way: “What a man can be, he must be. It refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially.”
Maslow’s Key Characteristics of Self-Actualization:
- Acceptance and Realism- more efficient perception of self, others, and the world.
- Problem Centering- generally strongly focused on problems other than self. Concerned with problems of others, society, and world.
- Spontaneity, Simplicity, & Naturalness- a person capable of respect for himself and his enjoyment, but does not harm others. Knows how to be “himself”.
- Autonomy and Solitude- believes in who and what he is. Has a need for independence and privacy. Takes time to focus on development of self.
- Peak Experiences- experiences freshness and appreciation. Profound sense of joy, awe, beauty, and wonder.
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately happy. What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization. “
– Abraham Maslow