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Modern Self Actualization


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What does it mean to be self actualized?

Like many other vague terms, this is misunderstood today.

Self actualized sounds pretty good.

And it's almost always defined in vague but equally good language.

And whenever we see something defined in vague but nice sounding language, our minds fill in the blanks.

And HOW our minds fill in the blanks is what gets us in trouble.

We tend to OVERESTIMATE how good something is going to be.

And we tend to UNDERESTIMATE how much effort those good things will take.

This is a function of our evolutionary past.

If we compare two hypothetical tribes it's easy to see.

Imagine one tribe had a very ACCURATE idea of both costs and benefits.

Another tribe had an over-estimation of the costs, and an under-estimation of the benefits.

The second IRRATIONAL tribe would be more motivated.

We can call this the, "This is gonna be AWESOME tribe."

This next part is kind of hard to wrap our minds around.

But the beliefs that existed in our ancestors' heads were MEANS to an end.

Their MAIN purpose was to MOTIVATE us.

Whoever was MOTIVATED by their own beliefs, regardless of how TRUE those beliefs were, were the ones who WON the replication contest.

Now, what the heck does this HAVE to do with self-actualization?

First of all, most of us misunderstand self actualization to be a FINAL destination.

No, not the movie where people keep getting killed by toasters and exploding barbecues.

But a place where we can sit and ENJOY this permanent "state" of "self-actualization."

But imagine our ancestors.

Imagine when THEY felt most "on purpose."

When they were relaxing and slowly eating away a slain wooly mammoth?

I don't think so.

Consider that our ancient ancestors felt BEST when they were getting CLOSER and CLOSER to that wooly mammoth.

When, with every passing day, they had more and more evidence they WERE going to finally catch him.

When they had that "this is going to be AWESOME!" feeling coursing through their veins.

When their senses were heightened.

Their teamwork and cohesiveness were at a MAXIMUM.

Since we are the SAME PEOPLE today as we were back then, self actualization CAN'T be a "final destination."

Self actualization is when ALL our skills were maximized.

When our brains, our bodies, our friends, our team members, the support staff are ALL firing on ALL cylinders.

When everybody was working together in the PURSUIT of something magnificent.

And every day is getting you closer and closer.

What would be this situation today?

Today we live in a large economy.

Not driven by hunting and killing and eating.

But by thinking and creating and exchanging.

And what is being exchanged?

The fruits of your labor, and money.

One goes out, the other comes in.

Maximize what goes out (creativity, value, labor, etc.).

Maximize what comes in (money, income, etc.).

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