The Self Actualized Life

“What human beings can be, they must be.” ~ Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow has been called one of the most famous psychologists of the 20th Century.  His research into what makes successful and high-achieving people do what they do and be what they are is the precursor of the Positive Psychology movement.

The Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow is known for his “hierarchy of needs” – a ranking or scale of human needs. At the bottom are physical or physiological needs – air, food, water, sleep. Next are needs for safety and security – good health, secure employment, social and family stability. These two categories comprise our basic needs. Going up the hierarchy, next come needs for love and belonging – intimate relationships, friends, a sense of connectedness. Then, the need for self- esteem – achievement, respect of others, prestige. These two categories define our psychological needs. Finally, at the top of the pyramid, we reach self-actualization – what Maslow considered as achieving one’s full potential, that is “what one can be, one must be.”

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Now What Needs To Be Done?

“The mature human being goes about doing what needs to be done regardless of whether that person feels great or terrible. Knowing that you are the kind of person with that kind of selfcontrol brings all the satisfaction and confidence you will ever need.” ~ David K. Reynolds

June* sought out coaching because she couldn’t seem to finish any of the things she said she wanted to do. She had a good idea of what she viewed as her life’s purpose and she had some challenging goals to enable her to live out her purpose. But when we met for the first time, she had made little measurable progress on any of her goals. During one of our early meetings, she selected one of her goals and we developed an action plan to move her toward it. June left with a list of things she could do before our next meeting and she was excited to get started. Continue reading “Now What Needs To Be Done?”

Too Small To Fail

“A mini habit is a very small positive behavior that you force yourself to do every day; a mini habit’s ‘too small to fail’ nature makes it weightless, deceptively powerful, and a superior habit-building strategy.” ~ Stephen Guise

Why Will Power Alone Isn’t Enough

Imagine this. You have a big, shiny new, exciting goal that you have embarked on. Perhaps you’ve decided to drop those extra pounds, or start the business you’ve been dreaming about, or write your memoir, or start a nonprofit, or visit the country you’ve longed to see, or run a marathon, or _____ (fill in the blank). This goal fills you with enthusiasm and excitement. You are energized . . . pumped!

You’ve got your plan in place and you’re ready to do this! For the first few days, maybe even a week or two, you are fired up about your goal and you knock out your daily actions. Continue reading “Too Small To Fail”

Take Two

“You don’t learn from successes; you don’t learn from awards; you don’t learn from celebrity; you only learn from wounds and scars and mistakes and failures. And that’s the truth.” ~ Jane Fonda

It seemed fool-proof. An easy $100. The carnival side-show barker had lured me, girl friend in tow, over to his game. Ten wooden bottles stacked in a pyramid. All I had to do was pay $1.00 and knock over all 10 bottles — ten times. If I missed and didn’t knock them over, my ante doubled . . . $2, $4, $8, etc. But I figured I could easily knock over the 10 bottles ten times in 10 or 12 or 14 tries. My “investment” would be well under the $100 I was sure to win. So I paid my $1.00 and tossed the ball. Knocked over all but 1. No worries. I was only down $2.00 and I was sure I’d get them all from now on. Continue reading “Take Two”

Start Small

“Be the person with embarrassing goals and impressive results instead of one of the many people with impressive goals and embarrassing results.”
~ Stephen Guise

After stepping on the scales one morning and realizing I had gained 60 pounds, I decided it was time to lose the excess weight “once and for all”. So I set a goal for myself: “I weigh 190 lbs. by December 31, xxxx.” This was definitely a stretch goal for me but I gave myself some time – 9 months – and I calculated I only needed to lose a little over 1 pound per week to reach my goal. So I started strong! Continue reading “Start Small”

Radical Simplicity

“Complexity is the curse of the digital age. It is a type of intellectual pollution that smothers clear thought and which has direct negative benefits on individual productivity . . .” ~ Gary Ryan Blair

I am in love with ideas. Ideas intrigue and fascinate me. I like to learn new things and new ways to do old things. I am constantly searching for new twists on old ideas or concepts. One reason is that I am basically lazy. I want to have and do and be various things — and I want to have and do and be them NOW with the smallest amount of effort. Continue reading “Radical Simplicity”

Ask A Big Question

“What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” ~ Gary Keller, The ONE Thing

What do you want to be, do and have in your life? In your spiritual life? Your family life? Your professional life? In your financial life? In your social life? Your intimate or romantic life? You have goals and objectives in some or all of these areas . . . perhaps other areas as well. Or do you? Continue reading “Ask A Big Question”

Straight Line

Don’t do more than you need to do to reach your goal. And don’t do less . . .

What is the shortest distance between two points? Let’s say you’re at point A and you want to go to point B. The shortest way, of course, is a straight line. You don’t first go down to C and then over to D and, oh yeah, drop by E on the way. Or do you? Continue reading “Straight Line”

Eat Food

Food is fuel. Excellent food, excellent fuel. Good food, good fuel. Poor food, poor fuel. What are you fueling your wonderful body with?

Michael Pollan is one of the leading thinkers and writers in the field of food and nutrition. Pollan has stated that his findings after extensive study can be summed up in these 7 words: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Continue reading “Eat Food”

Productivity Matters

“In the end, putting together a life of extraordinary results simply comes down to getting the most out of what you do, when what you do matters. Living for productivity produces extraordinary results.” ~ Gary Keller, The ONE Thing

Living for productivity produces extraordinary results. What sort of results have you been achieving? Would you call them “extraordinary”? If I am honest with myself, most of my days are not extraordinarily productive — although I am having more productive days lately, thanks to the information I am sharing with you in this post. In his book, The ONE Thing: The surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results, Gary Keller contends that “the most successful people are the most productive people.” [Keller 158] And the most productive people are those people who spend the maximum amount of their time on their top priority – their “ONE Thing”. Continue reading “Productivity Matters”