Self-Actualization

Abraham Maslow brought us great clarity and insight with his paper from 1943, A Theory of Human Motivation. You’ve probably seen his pyramid of needs hundreds of times.

Each step of the pyramid asks a question on its way to the top. 1) What’s for dinner? 2) Where will I sleep? 3) Who am I connected to? 4) How do I feel emotionally? 5) Who am I? What is my purpose? What is my story? What is my music I was sent here to make?

A name is simply an exterior label that distinguishes us from another and you’ll probably never need a reminder of what your name is.  But you may need constant reminders of what it truly means to be you – the soul, the story, and the music beneath the named skin. These were the subsurface needs of humanity that Maslow was arguing for atop his pyramid and therein lay the pathway to self-actualization.

Honesty serves as reminder. Don’t kid yourself.

Independence serves as a reminder. Draw a map, don’t use a map.

Awareness serves as a reminder. Get birds-eye above your moments, minutes, hours, and days.

Objectivity serves as a reminder. An open mind leads to impartiality.

Context serves as a reminder. Fill the shoes for your role in the grand story unfolding.

Originality serves as a reminder. Keep it fresh.

Creativity serves as a reminder. In the words of Einstein, “your imagination is a preview of life’s coming attractions.”

Solitude serves as a reminder. The Noise is tag team champion of the world with the Resistance.

Wonder serves as a reminder. We know what is. Bring us what could be.

Whatever it is that reminds you of what it means to be you, just know that if it’s true, the truth will set you free and the view is better from the top.

maslow-need-hierarchy

 

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Amendments

Maybe you need to go left.

Maybe you need to go right.

Maybe you need to stop.

Maybe you need to start.

Maybe you need to stay put and be the best you can be where you are at (and lose the idea/worry/concern of left or right & start or stop).

Whatever you’re thinking, amendments were made to make things better.

Michelangelo carved the marble until he set the angel free. No amendments, no angel.

3 thoughts here:

1) We’re always surprised when traveling light just how free we are to enjoy the journey. What needs to go so you may fly?

2) In the end, you’ll be known for your amendments, not your additions.

3) More and more of less and less is currently the ballad of the hour that the successful can’t quit singing.

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Real or Pretend?

My daughter is in a season of deciphering “real” from “pretend.” For her, this leads to a lot of questions about The Little Mermaid and the purple lady, wondering about Facetime, playing real kitchen with pretend food, etc.

Fast forward 30 years, and I’m afraid these questions and scenarios haven’t left me either. Nevertheless, this isn’t dress up – this is happening – this is real. This simple realization, and hopefully a constant reminder, is enough to walk into, with, and out in love throughout our days with all that we do.

When you’re present with your moments, not only do you open yourself to be in love with an idea of something, but you also learn to romance yourself with the processes and laws of nature required of that particular something. You’ll love the flower and you’ll take pleasure in gardening. You’ll love the music and you’ll enjoy learning and honing the instruments. You’ll love the poem and you’ll appreciate the emotions. You’ll love the game and you’ll look forward to practice. You’ll love being a mom or dad and you’ll savor parenting. Our ideas and things we dream about turn to (or stay) pretend when we avoid the gardening, the learning of instruments, the emotions, the practice, the parenting, and so forth.

In the end, when you run from the processes and laws of nature, you will be running straight into the land of ‘pretend’ all the while thinking to yourself “are we there yet?”.

Iris Murdoch once wrote, “Love is the very difficult understand that something other than yourself is real.”

Like I said, my daughter is in a season of deciphering “real” from “pretend.” So am I.

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The Mystery of Trees

Rejoice in the mystery of trees.

The only problem we have been sent to solve is in the planting of them.

Not the rain.

Not the widening of the trunk.

Not the stretching of the branches.

Not the budding, dropping, and re-budding of the leaves.

Not even the roots boulevarding their way through the dirt.

Just the planting.

We can’t, fortunately, control the B-Z of this mystery and most things we’re after. Just ‘A': planting.

Freeing isn’t it?

Action.

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A student or a follower?

One wonders.

The other thinks they’re not wandering, because they’re following.

One high-fives the status quo and repeats history.

The other writes the history that will eventually be repeated.

Question….Are you here for and A or are you here to learn?

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