Self Actualization Definition

There is a standard self-actualization definition that we will review, but we will also go beyond that to explore ways to actually experience it. Book knowledge is all well and good as it sets the foundation from which to build, but the application of that knowledge is where the real benefits accrue.Self Actualization Definition




Any experience truly felt and acknowledged has a very motivating effect. This is something that can be rationalized away but cannot be totally denied. Whether pleasant or painful, experiences have a major impact on what we believe and in our subsequent actions.

“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”

— Aldous Huxley —

The More Standard Self Actualization Definition

The more common definition of self-actualization is about appreciating life to the fullest while realizing our full potential by developing our innate abilities. Even though Carl Rogers, Kurt Goldstein, and Abraham Maslow made major contributions in this area, there are many others that have provided exceptional insights as well.

In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, he ranks self-actualization at the top, with esteem, love/belonging, safety, and physiological falling below. It is actually the only “growth” need within this framework where motivation increases as needs are met.

Maslow indicated that the impulse to self-actualize does not kick in until other needs are met. A self-actualized person is able to accept oneself regardless of any limitations or failures Consequently, they are creative and tend to form more meaningful relationships.

They have more clarity on what it really takes to feel fulfilled and happy. They are also able to find humor in many situations instead of taking life too seriously.

The Less Conventional Self Actualization Definition

“Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.”

— Stephen Covey —

Although there is some overlap between the standard and less conventional versions of self-actualization, the main difference is the standard definition stresses doing while the less conventional one is more focused on being.

A self-actualization definition that induces an actual real-life experience is based on inspired thought. It bypasses the numerous repetitive thoughts that comprise our daily default conditioning. Reaching our potential is all well and good, but there comes a point that we realize that having and being are the same right at this moment.

Without getting too esoteric, this is all about accessing a part of ourselves that is often ignored, or not even recognized as part of ourselves. Being so caught up in the exterior, the interior has become a foreign land.

Our intuitive or genius selves are the source of our self-actualization. When we are aware of this part of ourselves we truly understand that we have it all now. There is nowhere to go and nothing to get.

All of our power and self-actualization exist now in the present moment.

Accessing The Essence of Self-Actualization


Here are some common recommendations for becoming self-actualized and they are all very good.

  • Be compassionate toward self & others
  • Accept what is
  • Show appreciation for everything in our lives
  • Live an authentic life
  • Be spontaneous (avoid over-thinking)
  • Obtain therapy if and when needed
  • Get comfortable with yourself

As I’ve mentioned these are all very good ideas. But at the same time, it is important to get at the core issue and expand from there.

“Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.”

— Henry Miller —

Henry Miller hits the nail on the head right here. It’s all about relaxing into the moment and enjoying life without any conditions. It’s not about being happy when _____. Just fill in the blank with the numerous things that we feel will make us happy once acquired.

No task or goal is too small or too big. Let’s do what is in front of us to be the best of our ability and efficiency. Things will unfold naturally from there.

We are not afraid of dying but of living.

The self-actualization definition to live by is to embrace fully the present moment and play full out. This is not a dress rehearsal, and it is never too soon or too late to become fully engaged in life.

A few Practical Exercises to Self-Actualize

The key is being so focused on the present moment that our attention does not waver. This takes a bit of practice but consistent effort will produce amazing results in how we feel as well as getting stuff done.

On a regular basis ask ourselves if we are present now. Just asking that question knocks us back into the moment. We may not stay there long but at least we get a taste of what it means to be present. Doing this enough will make the distinction very apparent. Our moments in the now will increase over time.

Another very good exercise is to ask ourselves, “What’s wrong with Now?, and try to come up with as many reasons as possible. It will eventually become apparent that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with now, and the added bonus is that many of our limiting beliefs will surface within those reasons.

A Self Actualization Definition that Sets Us FreeSelf Actualization Definition

Once we are able to internalize this definition with true understanding we make it applicable in our lives. All self-actualization occurs in the present moment when our minds are free of all the numerous distractions that occur daily. It is here where we access our true power.

It is the accessing of our power in the present moment on a conscious basis that encompasses our self-actualization. When experienced there will be no doubt at all that something wonderful has occurred.

We are now free to live an authentic life as conscious creators with the intention of serving others in ways that contribute to their own expansion and self-realization. We welcome this responsibility with open arms.

At this point, our self-imposed limitations and illusionary thoughts simply melt away. We are now totally free.

Enjoy the process and the journey,

Joseph William

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2 thoughts on “Self Actualization Definition”

  1. If only everyone would follow the recommendations for self-actualization.  I think this world would be a better place for sure!  I think you are right; it would set you free.  I pretty much follow what you have listed as the recommendations.  Although I have never had to use therapy.  I have found ways to get past some stresses.


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