What is Self Actualization?
Abraham Maslow describes self-actualization as the people’s fullest potential. In Maslow’s need hierarchy theory, it is the top need among all five needs.
Abraham Maslow is the other humanistic theorist of personality who proposed need hierarchy in his motivational theory. His need hierarchy theory ranges from physiological needs, safety needs, belonging needs, self-esteem, and self-actualization needs respectively.
According to Maslow all lower levels of motives must be satisfied to reach self-actualization level. Both of these psychological and physiological needs exert pressure on human behavior influencing personality. Maslow’s personality theory can be labeled into 3 important phases.
Basic Needs: Physiological needs are the basis of survival such as food, water, shelter, clothing, air, sleep, sex.
Self Actualization: After fulfilling the basic and social needs people crave it. Maslow’s self-actualization explains that people like to become and usefully one’s own talents, capacities, and potentialities.
Self-actualization is at the top of in the Maslow’s hierarchy in which the individual is concerned with increasing his or her potential to the fullest. It is not a permanent condition. An individual need not be famous to be self-actualized. It explains that each of us wants to become the very best that our potential allows us to become.
According to Maslow, those persons who are self-actualized have the following characteristics:
- They have high levels of morality and are more concerned with the welfare of friends, loved ones and humanity, and self.
- They are more dedicated, creative to some cause, rather than for fame or money.
- Life for them is vivid, selfless, with concentration and total absorption with positivity.
- They are honest, courageous, spontaneous, autonomous, independent, even it is causes unpopularity.
- Self-actualized persons could be detached and private, they enjoy friends but are not dependent on them.
- They take life as challenging fresh and unstereotyped.
- They are not concerned with fashion, customs, and are not traditional.
Peak Experiences: Maslow described self-actualized persons perceive peak experiences. Peak experience refers to the moment of a lightning experience or an insight. These experiences are pleasurable, appealing, and novel which makes people completely devoted and absorbed. For example, it may be listening to good music, looking at stars in the sky at night, the birth of a boy, a significant positive moment, etc.