Self-Actualization | INFJ Forum

Self-Actualization

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Gaze, Jan 14, 2010.

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  1. Gaze

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    Here are two articles on self-actualization. Very interesting.

    Do you think true self-actualization is possible? Is the pursuit of self-actualization a worthy goal? Why or why not? What are the obstacles today which make it difficult to self-actualize?

    What Is Self-Actualization?

    http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/hierarchyneeds_2.htm

    What exactly is self-actualization? Located at the peak of Maslow’s hierarchy, he described this high-level need in the following way:
    "What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization…It refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming."1
    While Maslow’s theory is generally portrayed as a fairly rigid hierarchy, Maslow noted that the order in which these needs are fulfilled does not always follow this standard progression.1 For example, he notes that for some individuals, the need for self-esteem is more important than the need for love. For others, the need for creative fulfillment may supersede even the most basic needs.

    Characteristics of Self-Actualized People



    In addition to describing what is meant by self-actualization in his theory, Maslow also identified some of the key characteristics of self-actualized people:
    • Acceptance and Realism: Self-actualized people have realistic perceptions of themselves, others and the world around them.
    • Problem-centering: Self-actualized individuals are concerned with solving problems outside of themselves, including helping others and finding solutions to problems in the external world. These people are often motivated by a sense of personal responsibility and ethics.
    • Spontaneity: Self-actualized people are spontaneous in their internal thoughts and outward behavior. While they can conform to rules and social expectations, they also tend to be open and unconventional.
    • Autonomy and Solitude: Another characteristics of self-actualized people is the need for independence and privacy. While they enjoy the company of others, these individuals need time to focus on developing their own individual potential.
    • Continued Freshness of Appreciation: Self-actualized people tend to view the world with a continual sense of appreciation, wonder and awe. Even simple experiences continue to be a source of inspiration and pleasure.
    • Peak Experiences: Individuals who are self-actualized often have what Maslow termed peak experiences, or moments of intense joy, wonder, awe and ecstasy. After these experiences, people feel inspired, strengthened, renewed or transformed.3
    Learn more in this article about the characteristics of self-actualized people.

    Common Traits of Self-Actualized Individuals

    By Kendra Van Wagner, About.com Guide
    http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/tp/self-actualized-characteristic.htm

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    Abraham Maslow proposed a hierarchy that represented various needs that motivate human behavior. The hierarchy is often displayed as a pyramid, with lowest levels representing basic needs and more complex needs located at the top of the pyramid.

    At the peak of this hierarchy is self-actualization. The hierarchy suggests that when the other needs at the base of the pyramid have been met, the individual can then focus their attention on this pinnacle need. Self-actualization is described as "…the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially."

    Self-Acceptance and Democratic World View

    Self-actualized people tend to accept themselves and others as they are. They tend to lack inhibition and are able to enjoy themselves and their lives free of guilt. Other people are treated the same regardless of background, current status or other socio-economic and cultural factors.

    Realistic

    Another major characteristic of self-actualized people is a sense of realism. Rather than being fearful of things that are different or unknown, the self-actualized individual is able to view things logically and rationally.

    Problem-Centered

    Self-actualized individuals are often motivated by a strong sense of personal ethics and responsibility. They enjoy solving real-world problems and are often concerned with helping other people improve their own lives.

    Peak Experiences

    Self-actualization is also characterized by having frequent peak experiences. What exactly is a peak experience? According to Maslow, these "Feelings of limitless horizons opening up to the vision, the feeling of being simultaneously more powerful and also more helpless than one ever was before, the feeling of ecstasy and wonder and awe, the loss of placement in time and space with, finally, the conviction that something extremely important and valuable had happened, so that the subject was to some extent transformed and strengthened even in his daily life by such experiences."

    Autonomy

    The self-actualized individual does not conform to other people's ideas of happiness or contentment. This original perspective allows the individual to live in the moment and appreciate the beauty of each experience.

    Solitude and Privacy

    Self-actualized individuals value their privacy and enjoy solitude. While they also love the company of others, taking time to themselves is essential for personal discovery and cultivating individual potential.

    Philosophical Sense of Humor

    Self-actualized individuals generally have a thoughtful sense of humor. They are able to enjoy the humor in situations and laugh at themselves, but they do not ridicule or make fun at the expense of another person's feelings.

    Spontaneity

    Another characteristic of self-actualized people is a tendency to be open, unconventional and spontaneous. While these people are able to follow generally accepted social expectations, they do not feel confined by these norms in their thoughts or behaviors.

    Enjoy the Journey

    While self-actualized people have concrete goals, they do not see things as simply a means to an end. The journey toward achieving a goal is just as important and enjoyable as actually accomplishing the goal.
     
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    #1 Gaze, Jan 14, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
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  2. Roger

    Roger ...

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    Whole topic looks like self-awareness or self-realization. Did i guess right??

    Well, i wrote down this on my notepad and will be thinking on it. :)
     
  3. dark_angel

    dark_angel Community Member

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    excellent thread!
     
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  4. OP
    Gaze

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    Thanks.
     
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  5. GaiaGraha

    GaiaGraha Community Member

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    I studied this last semester!!! :D
    I hope someday to be self-actualized, although I know that few people actually do.
     
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  6. Agnus

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    Do you think true self-actualization is possible?

    Yes

    Is the pursuit of self-actualization a worthy goal?

    No

    Why or why not?

    Because, considering to this information, self-actualized person is open to his and other people ideas. I just believe that if I would concentrate on a goal to been self-actualized, I would be stuck in a wish of self-actualization, and instead of actual growing, I just simple would think about the possibilities of it.

    What are the obstacles today which make it difficult to self-actualize?

    I think that the reason why it is so dificult to do it, is that, true acceptance need no fear. In a history were too many hurtings that it would be so easy to become open.

    What Is Self-Actualization?

    Social growing.
     
  7. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    Do you think true self-actualization is possible? Absolutely yes.

    Is the pursuit of self-actualization a worthy goal? Yes and no.

    Why or why not? As an overarching momentum in one's life it is good to pursue inner truth, connection to our higher self. This comes through many, many types of life experience that create a balance of different kinds of inputs. It also takes time for things to simmer. And herein lies the problem with making it a goal...our initial assumptions about how this plays out are usually wrong. If we attack this as a goal to be attained and possessed we will be chasing the wrong thing. Time is needed...just stay on the good path, work through what you can, seek your highest good at all times. It'll work out much better that way.

    What are the obstacles today which make it difficult to self-actualize? Disconnects from traditional wisdom, too much noise, fear.
     
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  8. leroyspuds

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    Do you think true self-actualization is possible? I think it's possible, though I may not fully agree with the definition. Who can say what any given person's potential is or if it's nesessary to reach your full potential? A person may like to sing, but does that mean they should pursue a career in music or could they merely enjoy singing in the shower?
    Is the pursuit of self-actualization a worthy goal? Why or why not? I don't think of it as a goal, but rather an organic process. I believe it's achieved through life experience, acquired wisdom, and realizing what's most important to you.
    What are the obstacles today which make it difficult to self-actualize?
    American culture is an obstacle as it promotes values such as amassing wealth and conformity. Aspiring to these "false potentials" distracts us from pursuing a more innate sense of self-fulfillment. We're continually exposed to negative images from every corner of society -- from suicide bombings to celebrity scandals. In order to avoid a sense of despair it may be necessary to employ a filter and carve out a small niche in the world in which it's possible to achieve self-actualization. Finally, self-actualization may be a luxury of the relatively weathly, as much of the world's population can't even meet their basic needs due to poverty and and war.
     
  9. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    True....one might be better off just forgetting about reaching some goal and enjoy the journey for what it is.
     
  10. NeverAmI

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    Do you think true self-actualization is possible? No

    Is the pursuit of self-actualization a worthy goal? Hell yes

    Why or why not?

    Let's see:

    Shedding the ego
    Accepting yourself and others, not trying to control or change them, but to help when they ask for it.
    Solving problems to help people, animals, the planet.
    Maximizing your potential as a human being which means not taking advantage of the gifts we have been given.
    Looking past idiot generalizations and rationalities that others use to convolute; seeing the "big picture."
    Looking at the small things in life to gain inspiration and hope.



    What are the obstacles today which make it difficult to self-actualize?

    Peer pressure, society, greed, selfishness, society, instinctual impulses, apathy, society, perceived success, fear, did I mention society?
     
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    #10 NeverAmI, Jan 14, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
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  11. Lucifer

    Lucifer Registered User #666

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    Hmmm very interesting.

    But does someone need to manifest all of these characteristics to be self actualized? Or is it just the majority that suits you? Does being self actualized necessarily mean that you are happy? I think even people who consider themselves self actualized posses only some of these characteristics.

    Hmmmmmm
     
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  12. OP
    Gaze

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    Cool responses. Feel free to explore the concept of self-actualization, and question the assumptions behind the concept. Thx. : )
     
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  13. NeverAmI

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    Perhaps I should change my initial answer.

    I believe others can judge someone as self actualized, but you can never label yourself as being "complete."

    I believe that life is about living, learning, loving, and dying. I consistently strive to better myself. Truthfully, anyone that tells me they are complete or they no longer need to strive to grow loses a lot of credibility and influence over me. I think to some extent arrogance and ignorance both manifest from the belief you are perfect or you are at least at a point where you no longer need to grow.

    I believe I can learn SOMETHING from every single person on the planet. However, there are certain people that I simply cannot be around extensively because my emotions consume me.

    I have been on both sides of the coin of many of these situations, and I struggle to learn from each experience.

    So with all of this in mind, self-actualization would equal perfection which is not attainable, but something to strive for.
     
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    #13 NeverAmI, Jan 14, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  14. Roger

    Roger ...

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    I am hung here to get my answer. :(
     
  15. OP
    Gaze

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    Oh, i'm sorry i didn't answer sooner but you guessed right. : )
     
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  16. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    This is a good distinction to make because I think self-actualization does not equate to completeness. "Complete" cannot belong to us in the finite realm. I think those who are self-actualized know this better than most. No, self actualization has to do more with facing, making peace with, and thereby finding a degree of liberation in the midst of our own very real (and limited) humanity in a very real world.
     
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  17. NeverAmI

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    Ok, so you describe it as more of a process than a state. That was how I had thought of it initially but then I thought of "self-actualized" as a state of being which was what threw me off.


    Thanks!
     
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  18. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    Truthfully I probably see it as both. Thing is, self-actualization does not make one immune to pain, or sadness, or searching, or questioning. It might simply means that one has come to not be scandalized by it, whether in ourselves, others, or the world at large. This is a pretty big shift really and generally involves as much letting go and deconstructing as it does growing and learning. In a sense one are liberated to engage more fully, both in joy and in pain, without fear or loss.
     
  19. dark_angel

    dark_angel Community Member

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    well said
     
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  20. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    Do you think true self-actualization is possible?
    No. Because it's a process, a never ending process. When one thinks they're reached that place, they're probably still far from it. I'd say someone who's self-actualized will realize that life is a giant world, to say the least.

    Is the pursuit of self-actualization a worthy goal?
    Yes.

    Why or why not?
    To make oneself, and others, and the world, better.

    What are the obstacles today which make it difficult to self-actualize?
    Our own ego and bias hindering our growth, or the world actively or not blocking us from growing.
     
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