Definition: the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, esp. considered as a drive or need present in everyone.
The term was originally introduced by the organismic theorist Kurt Goldstein for the motive to realize one’s full potential. Expressing one’s creativity, quest for spiritual enlightenment, pursuit of knowledge, and the desire to give to society are examples of self-actualization. In Goldstein’s view, it is the organism’s master motive, the only real motive: “the tendency to actualize itself as fully as possible is the basic drive… the drive of self-actualization.” The concept was brought most fully to prominence in Abraham Maslow‘s hierarchy of needs theory as the final level of psychological development that can be achieved when all basic and mental needs are essentially fulfilled and the “actualization” of the full personal potential takes place, although he adapted this viewpoint later on in life, and saw it more flexibly.
So, what does this have to do with me? Well last year, my word was “nurture” – I think this was my first complete failure of a “word of the year” and I think in essence it’s because it doesn’t really have to do with me – it had (subconsciously) to do with me changing everyone around me. Obviously (now in retrospect) not a great idea.
How can I expect anyone else to reach their potential if I haven’t reached mine.
Thus, my word of the year.
I have big plans this year and most involve my creativity and expanding that to encompass my life instead of being on the sidelines. I’m hoping this makes me a more successful person. This blog I hope will keep me anchored!