What do we really want in life? We pursue many things in life, simple things and complex, material things and spiritual. We need energy and strength to fully self-express / develop / grow. How many of these things are in themselves inherently rewarding? We too often make the error of forgetting the simple, and it’s a serious error.
Recent research has revealed a lot about the organ that is the mirror of our soul, the one we call the brain. One important thing that relates to self-actualization is that the brain will choose activities and stimulation that put it in a pleasing state of being above and before choosing things that are only rewarding in an abstract sense.
To state that more simply, your brain values something obvious like a hug, over something you have to remind yourself of the worth of, like money.
It sounds like the pleasure principle wins out over it all. In a sense it does win out, but it isn’t as simple as just getting as many things as you like and enjoy and calling that good. The pain and discomfort we sometimes feel when we exert ourselves or challenge ourselves is also sought. The brain doesn’t feel good if everything is easy. It wants to feel like it’s working at its full capacity.
It needs exercise. No pain, no gain, I have heard. It’s not a saying I am fond of, but it does make some sense.
I heard about a study done regarding having children and happiness. They said that those without children are measurable happier on a day to day basis as children are a lot of work, but then they come to a point where they wonder what it all meant. Those with children are less happy day to day, but it seems to be made up for when they can reflect back on it and believe they did something meaningful. Yes. Part of human potential is adding more humans to the picture, but not everyone has to do it.
That supports the idea you raised about it not all about getting desires. Indeed it does. We can be happy with our desires but also in some cases our so called sacrifices. Exactly.
Now there are two facets to self-actualization which need to be balanced. Part of self-actualization is achieving the sense of our potential as a part of humanity, part of our community, perhaps even part of the world itself. We still have to do this on a personal level. It has to be personally experienced. This is a necessary foundation for the growth of personal potential.
The sense of connection is an essential. Yes, to the point of endangering physical and mental health if it is lost.
Then you have the facet of exploring self as an individual. You first identify with your life, then you select and enhance those traits that are special in you, and everyone has traits special in them. A personal point of view, innate bodily and mental gifts, a new color of emotional expression, new ways of seeing old things, or ways of seeing things not noticed yet.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.