Being able to fulfil one’s aspirations, hopes and dreams can lead to achieving self-actualisation. Being the best that you can be is the key goal, especially when applying Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” (1943). Personifying self-actualisation helps to understand the concept in more detail. If self-actualisation is regarded as a person, reaching their full potential in the creative, intellectual and social aspects of life becomes a priority. This enables a person to achieve happiness and satisfaction within themselves and their lives.
Appreciating and knowing how to react and address the situations that life poses is a key part of self-actualisation. Having an honest approach and evaluating each scenario with clarity and realism is important for self-actualisation to exist as it allows the individual to understand both the limitations and the challenges that must be faced. Despite cultural variances, the expectations and cultural ties impacting an individual can lead to feelings of discontent, insecurity and concern. Therefore, it is essential that the individual detaches themselves from these pressures and realises their own self-worth and abilities.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs details the basic psychological requirements which can only be fulfilled through the formation of profound and interactive relationships. These relationships enable a closer understanding of human nature and the nature of those the individual meets during their lifetime. In addition, taking a light-hearted attitude towards themselves or towards a specific situation is a key part of finding solace, peace and contentment within life.
In summary, from a personal perspective, I believe that focusing on a goal is the most important part of self-actualisation. Having a goal gives a sense of purpose and motivation which helps to develop thoughts and actions in order to fulfil specific aspirations. Whilst goals can exist in many different forms for different individuals, a goal is a necessity which provides an individual with a drive and direction.
To achieve self-actualisation, becoming self aware by growing self-knowledge allows a person to develop and grow into a better person.
In the words of Maslow (1943), self-actualisation is represented by an individual who is striving to be the best they can possibly be: “What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization”.