What is self-actualization?


What is Self-Actualization?

Self-Actualization is a process of growth that elevates our talents and creativity into legitimate, measurable success. It’s the complete realization of becoming and being our greatest possible version. This includes nurturing our personal potential and the development of abilities, along with a deep appreciation for life.

This idea is at the top of the hierarchy of needs, and not every human reaches it. According to Maslow, “Self-actualization is growth-motivated rather than deficiency-motivated.”

This means that things are happening because we really want them to, not because of need. So instead of something being a driving force, it’s a desire. And more specifically, it’s a desire to become everything that we are capable of becoming.

So, what about the things that we want most? It all depends on your individual personal standards.

He first illustrates what he sees as the major difference between depression vs sadness. Then he explains what he learned from a friend by the name of Jeff Foster, an author, and spiritual teacher. Foster had taught Jim about a unique way to interpret the emotions felt by those suffering from deep depression.

Jim says: “People talk about depression all the time… [but] the difference between depression and sadness? Sadness is just, you know, from happenstance. Whatever happened (or didn’t happen) for you, or you know—grief. And depression is your body saying, ‘I don’t want to be this character anymore. I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created in the world. It’s too much for me.'”

Carrey goes on to describe what he learned from Foster, who believes that we should interpret the word “depressed” as deep rest. And that at certain times, our bodies need deep rest from the character (or avatar) that we’ve been trying to play.

Understanding the difference: depression vs sadness

If what teacher Foster shared is correct, then dealing with depression goes beyond simply overcoming a series of difficult or negative events and situations.

Sadness is an emotion that may feel all-encompassing at times but also includes moments of joy, happiness, and laughter. Depression is different from sadness as the feelings will affect all aspects of life, making it difficult to feel happy about anything at all.

While it’s considered to be a mental illness by the medical community, it may also be a time for much-needed “deep rest,” as Foster explained.

The “happy place” we are searching for

Jim on chasing happiness and success: I wish people could realize all their dreams and wealth and fame… so that they could see that it’s not where you’re gonna find your sense of completion […] There will always be someone who’s doing better than you. No matter what you gain, your ego will […] tell you that you cannot stop.”

A ‘happy place’ is realizing that you’re everything you know, and that there’s no real you involved in the first place.

Jim Carrey

Watch the video in its entirety here:

Jim Carrey – The Real You

by Cherilyn Cole
author + your direct connect @ GrowthLenses

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