In order to achieve a fulfilling existence, how do you score on the three aspects?
There has probably been a moment in your life at which you thought about why you are where you are right now. Was it your talents? A coincidence? Or a result of your hard work?
But what drove you here? What (unconscious) choices (or a lack of) brought you here? Are you aware of that?
According to the Humanistic Psychology perspective, humans feel a deep inner need to make themselves useful. To realize your true potential. To be worthy.
It is for a reason that we have been asking ourselves for thousands of years: ‘what is my purpose on this world?’, ‘what use or meaning does my life represent?’
This is an expression of our human need for self-realization. Part of this is the need (some feel it more than others) to matter to others. To be able to make a difference. Surely, from our essence, our reptile brain, we are social mammals. It is for a reason that socially isolated people pine away in loneliness.
Therefore, it is no coincidence that taking action with a lot of people at the same time makes us feel good. Think of the moment when a disaster happens and our fellow humans suffer, they need our help and we are able to give it to them!
Do you recognize this need in yourself? To make yourself useful? To not go through life without a purpose? To serve others, one way or another? And how you do this?
Healthy and good functioning people who do well on the path of self-realization are those who realize themselves on three different aspects: relations, contribution and health.
If you take a moment to reflect on this, how do you score right now?
Is there one aspect that lights up and already has your full attention? Is there one that might need some more attention?
Self-realization means experiencing a fulfilling lifestyle. Overall, people strive for and acknowledge the importance of being healthy and having sustainable and satisfying relationships. Obviously, this does not mean people always succeed. However, it is the third component of being able to realize a healthy contribution to the life of others and society – in any form – which is more out of sight than a necessary component for self-realization and experiencing a fulfilling life.
When we arrive at the high days of our life, around the age of 42, when we realized most of the earthly matters (family, house, job, etc), a lot of us feel something gnawing. The question or precarious feeling of ‘is this it?’ presents itself (unconsciously) and the reflective stage of our life commences. At the moment we fulfil our earthly needs, the urge to contribute and be of worth grows. For example, look at millionaires who start organizations for charity.
Typical for this stage is that interest and attention for self-awareness increase (even more). This goes hand in hand with rethinking one’s own behaviour, strategies, beliefs and identity. Often, it leads to adjustments and making (big) life decisions.
This is the stage in which authentic Personal Leadership can occur and develop. It is leadership over yourself and your own life. Not the kind of leadership people talk so much about (that sort is about others). In real Personal Leadership most attention goes to contribution and this will demonstrate itself in leadership for (and not over) others, serving leadership. In that case, it is not about ‘me’ but about ‘us’.
Will be continued.
Click here for another free article to read more about my perspective on the stages of life we go through, and their location on our path of self-realization!
Naturally, I would like to hear your thoughts, perspective, personal experience on this blog. Also, let me know if you have a question you would like to see answered in a blog.
Jeanette van Stijn