Here we are at the peak of Maslow’s Revised Hierarchy. The top of the triangle. The summit of self-actualization. What does the apex look like? Helping others become self-actualized, too.
Every time we give advice, we are helping others gain perspective on a problem—helping them gain self-actualization through circumstance, situation, and interaction. It’s important to note that one does not need to be self-actualized to be transcendent. That is, we can give advice even if we haven’t yet figured it all out.
We crave helping others. It is a subconscious need to assist others in getting through tough times. This need is amplified when you have a relationship with the person you seek to help. That is why we are more apt to help solve the problems of one rather than trying to solve something larger, such as world hunger. This does not mean that we ignore philanthropic behavior, but we are more likely to aid on a one-to-one basis.
Students who engage in transcendental behaviors in the classroom are more likely to be self-directed learners and, therefore, more likely to be successful. Helping others, such as giving advice to students who are struggling, is transcendent behavior.
Keys to Self-Actualization
I’ve met many people who do not meet each level, yet are unmistakably self-actualized. However, each of the levels of Maslow’s Revised Hierarchy represents a need that—when met—leads to self-direction.
- Your environment is stable.
- You have a sense of order that is sustainable and secure.
- You maintain healthy relationships and support systems.
- You understand what makes you feel good and what gives you confidence. You value your self-esteem.
- You want to learn more about everything.
- You find beauty and appreciate it when you see it.
- You know that you are not perfect and accept it. However, you want to be the best you can be. You are realistic, creative, and a problem solver capable of seeing a bigger picture.
- You want others to be the best they can be. You want to share what you’ve learned.
The next time you feel like giving up on something, look at the levels toward self-actualization and see if something has changed. If so, identify it and fix it before you give in to some external force beyond your control.
Don’t give up. You are in control.
View the rest of the 52 Tips in 52 Weeks series here!