Throughout history, humankind has questioned the purpose of life. Why are we here? What are we seeking? While many have turned to religion to find this answer, others have sought different ways. In the early 1900’s a psychotherapist by the name of Abraham Maslow decided to dive into this question and approach it from a unique angle.
What Is Most Important To Us?
Abraham Maslow was fascinated by things that were most important to humans such as hope, faith, belief, and existence. He recognized that humans are most fulfilled when they have found a certain passion that they believe is their calling. It is only when they are pursuing this purpose that they enter the realm of self-actualization.
Self Actualization: This is the highest level of consciousness. It is the desire for self-fulfillment through the pursuit of a motive to realize one’s potential.
The Hierarchy Of Needs
This pyramid is divided into two sections (hence the blank space). The bottom of the pyramid refers to deficiency needs while the top refers to growth needs. We cannot live a rational life without our deficiency needs taken care of. These are the needs that keep us alive and functioning in a healthy state of mind. Our quality of life without these resources would be severely infringed upon which would ultimately inhibit us from pursuing more meaningful tasks.
Growth needs refer to the steps towards personal fulfillment. These needs are cognitive, meaning that they go beyond the basic needs of food, water, and shelter. These needs are required to help us live a fulfilled life psychologically and spiritually.
Every individual has a specific purpose to which he or she is uniquely suited for. The path to self-actualization comes from pursuing that purpose. If an individual is not pursuing that purpose, regardless if all the other needs from the hierarchy are met, he or she will never be satisfied. It is our duty to find our purpose and pursue it relentlessly.
Below is a 5 step process towards achieving self-actualization:
Step 1: Fulfill all of your deficiency needs first.
Step 2: Ask yourself, what have you naturally found interesting since childhood?
Step 3: Ask yourself, if you could not fail, what would you do?
Step 4: Take the answers from Steps 2 & 3 and create a long-term goal that will serve others from it.
Step 5: Pursue relentlessly.
Whether you accept or not, there are very few coincidences. Things happen for a reason. It is your duty to figure out what your purpose to serve on this earth is. Once you have found it, seek out experiences that will allow you to fulfill this purpose. By doing so, you will truly reach self-actualization.