Self-Actualisation - Abram H Maslow
Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? . . . a good question might be not why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? (Abraham Maslow)
Self-Actualisation is the quest to become the best you can be. It involves deciding what you want from life and then doing what is necessary to get what you want. Self-actualisation is a term coined by psychologist Abraham Maslow to describe the ongoing process of fully developing your personal potential.
The first thing to note about self-actualisation is that it is a process not a goal. In other words, self-actualisation is not something that you aim for: it is something that you do. The second thing to note is that self-actualisation is not restricted to high-profile, high-achieving individuals; you don't have to be famous to self-actualise.
According to psychologist Abram Maslow man has five levels of needs . He believed that man has a natural drive to healthiness, or self actualization. He believed that man’s basic, (biological and psychological) needs have to be fulfilled in order to be free enough to feel the desire for the higher levels of realization.
When a person is self-actualized in one subject they can excel at everything they do, using the same method. Qualities like bonding with work collegues self confidence, responsibility, integrity, being innovative and being a leader don’t need to be taught – they come naturally to a self-actualized person. A person who has experienced this higher awareness will find no happiness in living only with short term pleasures.
Maslow defined self-actualization as "the full use and exploitation of talents, capacities, potentialities, etc" (Motivation and Personality, p. 150). Self-actualization is not a static state. It is an ongoing process in which one's capacities are fully, creatively, and joyfully utilized. "I think of the self-actualizing man not as an ordinary man with something added, but rather as the ordinary man with nothing taken away. The average man is a full human being with dampened and inhibited powers and capacities" (Dominance, self-esteem, self-actualization, p. 91).
In his final book, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature, Maslow describes eight ways in which individuals self-actualize, or eight behaviors leading to self- actualization.
"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This is the need we may call self-actualization ... It refers to man's desire for fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming ..." -Maslow
Psychology of Flow - Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.
According to Csíkszentmihályi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning.
Musetude Students take on a great challenge - appearing for the Grade 8 in just 3-months, which helps them perform at their optimum with intense feeling of joy, energized focus, full involvement using their skills to the utmost with where their whole being is involved.
In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. To be caught in the ennui of depression or the agitation of anxiety is to be barred from flow. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task although flow is also described (below) as a deep focus on nothing but the activity - not even oneself or one's emotions. Musicians experience a similar state of mind while playing their instrument.
Benefits of flow
Flow is an innately positive experience; it is known to "produce intense feelings of enjoyment". It is also a positive force because it allows for optimal performance and skill development. Flow has a strong, documented correlation with performance enhancement. Researchers have found that achieving a flow state is positively correlated with optimal performance in the fields of artistic and scientific creativity (Perry, 1999; Sawyer, 1992), teaching (Csíkszentmihályi, 1996), learning (Csíkszentmihályi et al., 1993), and sports (Jackson, Thomas, Marsh, & Smethurst, 2002; Stein, Kimiecik, Daniels, & Jackson, 1995).
Flow also has a strong correlation with the further development of skills and personal growth. When one is in a flow state, he or she is working to master the activity at hand. To maintain that flow state, one must seek increasingly greater challenges. Attempting these new, difficult challenges stretches one's skills. One emerges from such a flow experience with a bit of personal growth and great "feelings of competence and efficacy" .Further, flow is positively correlated with a higher subsequent motivation to perform and to perform well.
Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.” http://37signals.com/svn/posts/104-all-about-flow