September 28, 2011

A Moment of Self-Actualization

The other day in my Personality Psychology class we talked about Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of needs.  The most basic needs are at the bottom and as those needs are fulfilled, the individual can then devote time and energy to fulfilling the next level of needs.  For example, if someone is starving or homeless, he/she is not really concerned with being loved or maintaining self-esteem.  The very top of the pyramid is Self-Actualization.  This is when an individual realizes their full potential and desires to become the best that they can be.  Common characteristics of self-actualized people are:

  • spontaneity 
  • freshness of appreciation
  • acceptance and realism
  • external problem-solving
  • occurance of peak experiences
As I walked out of the class, I was so happy.  I had this overwhelming feeling that humanity is good and can do such great things. I had this great desire to be really nice to everyone I meet and make them all feel wonderful about themselves.  Something just clicked in my head and I stopped caring about little details that don't matter, like whether or not my earrings really match what I'm wearing or whether I'm wearing glasses or contacts.  I stopped caring about whether others liked the music on my iPod, as long as I liked it and it made me happy.  I detached myself a little from the cares and pulls of the world and focused just a tiny bit more on who I am and what made me happy.  I put this into practice for the rest of the day as I sat at a welcome table and made an effort to reach out to people and be friendly.  It felt so good to smile and get people to smile back. I was so grateful for this realization and for the step closer I was to becoming the person I want to be.   

1 comment:

  1. You are so awesome! I wish these principles could be taught every year from middle school to high school...most adults don't get what you just realized...and most of us didn't learn the actual documentation of theory. As Dr.DelBanco taught at the Waterford symposium on education and citizenship - you had a moment of grace - it reorganized the way you see and feel about the world. marvelous! not only will you and your whole life be blessed by your realization, so will those who come in contact with you. and you are correct, the world is good and we can do great things, if we will. send grandma your blog address so she comment too.