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Resilience: Remember to Self-Actualize

September 15, 2010

Abraham Maslow - Developmental Psychologist

Self-actualization was introduced to we educators through Abraham Maslow’s heirarchy of needs.

As educators this is our goal for our students – for them to be self-actualized people who are secure enough in themselves to be contributing members of society. You have an important job in working toward that goal.  It’s important to remember, however, that you are not only an educator, but also a role model.

There.  I just gave you permission to work at your own development!

Many are able to self-direct their development toward self-actualization.  Some have no idea how to get there.   Fortunately, Maslow not only defined self-actualization for us, he also had some suggestions as to how to achieve it.

Here are Maslow’s suggestions:

1 Experience things fully, vividly, selflessly. Throw yourself into the experiencing of something: concentrate on it fully, let it totally absorb you
2 Life is an ongoing process of choosing between safety (out of fear and need for defense) and risk (for the sake of progress and growth): Make the growth choice a dozen times a day.
3 Let the self emerge. Try to shut out the external clues as to what you should think, feel, say, and so on, and let your experience enable you to say what you truly feel.
4 When in doubt, be honest. If you look into yourself and are honest, you will also take responsibility. Taking responsibility is self-actualizing.
5 Listen to your own tastes. Be prepared to be unpopular.
6 Use your intelligence, work to do well the things you want to do, no matter how insignificant they seem to be.
7 Make peak experiencing more likely: get rid of illusions and false notions. Learn what you are good at and what your potentialities are not.
8 Find out who you are, what you are, what you like and don’t like, what is good and what is bad for you, where you are going, what your mission is. Opening yourself up to yourself in this way means identifying defenses–and then finding the courage to give them up.

The best place to start is simply to start thinking about it.

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