Leo Gura

What Is Self-Actualization?

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The concept of self-actualization comes to us from the humanistic psychologist, Abraham Maslow. Maslow defined the self-actualizing human being as follows.

Self-actualization is the expression of your true self, your fullest potential, and your great capacities. Self-actualizing people exhibit the following traits:

  • Have a superior perception of reality — they see things in an objective, accepting way without intruding themselves upon what is being perceived.
  • Have an increased acceptance of self, others, and nature.
  • Have increased spontaneity in behavior — they can be unpredictable and outrageous.
  • Are more focused on the problem than themselves.
  • Have increased detachment and desire for privacy.
  • Have increased autonomy and sense of individuality — take full responsibility for how their lives unfold.
  • Are resistant to social conditioning. World-citizens not beholden to any one culture. Pick and choose what they like from culture.
  • Are comfortable being themselves even if that means being unpopular.
  • Have a good sense of what is real and unreal. Value truth and facts over beliefs.
  • Have great freshness of appreciation and richness of emotional reaction.
  • Have higher frequency of peak experiences. Being in flow state more often.
  • Have an increased identification with the human species.
  • Have improved interpersonal relationships.
  • Have a more democratic character structure.
  • Have greatly increased creativeness.
  • Have a deep knowledge of themselves.
  • Are constantly moving toward unity and integration of their personality and world view.
  • Are actively nurturing their talents.
  • Place great value on truth, beauty, goodness, uniqueness, wholeness, justice, simplicity, richness, effortlessness, and playfulness.
  • Are driven by positive, intrinsic motivation, not by lack.
  • Generally enjoy most aspects of life, not just achievement, triumph, or peak experiences.
  • Take pleasure in functioning at their prime.
  • Take a non-valuing, non-judging, non-interfering, non-condemning attitude towards others.
  • Are more loving. They need love less but are able to give love more.
  • Embrace conceptual dichotomies, polarities, and conflicts by fusing, transcending, or resolving. Are comfortable with paradox, contradiction, and not knowing.
  • Have desires and impulses that correlate with what's good for them.
  • Have solid psychological health.
  • Live on purpose with a sense of mission. Work is a precious cause.
  • Involved in improving the world.
  • Willing to admit and correct mistakes.
  • Have an easy self-discipline which comes hard to average people. Duty and pleasure are the same.
  • Gratify themselves moderately rather than abstaining through harsh self-discipline.
  • Express impulses more yet use less control. Controls are less rigid or anxiety-driven.
  • Are able to express their aggression in a healthier way, as a sort of righteous indignation rather than a lashing out.
  • Have a different, new set of concerns: being-challenges vs needs-challenges.
  • Live to experience joy rather than avoid pain.
  • Live in the present moment.
  • Make more conscious decisions.


Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs:


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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