Characteristics of Self-Actualization
Self-actualizing people show a high degree of
- Awareness, perception, and realistic orientation.
- Acceptance of self, others, and the natural world.
- Spontaneity, naturalness, and authenticity.
- Autonomy, self-directedness, and resistance to conformity and are largely free of the need to impress others or to be liked by everyone.
- Intrinsic motivation, and especially meta-motivations (e.g., fulfillment of life's mission or purpose, self-knowledge, growth toward unity and synergy).
- Desire for unity, oneness, integration, and increased identification with humanity.
- Devotion to a cause, a task, or a calling and view work and play as one.
- Identification with universal values (beauty, justice, truth) that are important to well-being.
- Capability for rich emotional reaction and freshness of appreciation.
- Frequency of peak experiences (moments of highest happiness or fulfillment) and mystic, natural, or cosmic experiences.
- Capability for deep empathy and profound relationships with others, and a great ability to love and to enjoy sexuality.
- Need for privacy on occasion for periods of intense concentration.
- Creative, less constricted thought processes.
- Humor that is not hostile.
- Democratic character structure.
- Wondering about life: treating each day as new.
Source: Adapted from The Farther Reacher of Human Nature, by A. Maslow, 1971, New York: Viking.
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