Achieving Your Potential through Personal Transformation
Achieving Your Potential
through Personal Transformation
If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.” – Abraham Maslow
The human potential movement emerged out of the 1960’s to encourage the development of the vast amount of knowledge and creativity unrealized by people. Based on the theories of Humanistic Psychology, this movement focuses on personal growth through self-actualization, or integrating all of the components of the personality into a healthy, authentic whole.
So what, then, is potential and how do you identify yours? Your potential, or what you create from your essence, is a product of all you are due to nature and nurture. The human potential movement draws heavily from the work of Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist who invented the theory of the Hierarchy of Needs. This diagram theorizes that you must first get your four basic “deficiency” needs met (physiological, then safety, then love/belonging, then esteem), before concentrating on your “growth” need of self-actualization, or becoming whole. This state of achieving self-actualization (or “individuation” in Swiss psychologist Carl Jung’s terminology) leads to a state of “transcendence”, where you are aware of not only your individual consciousness and potential, but also universal consciousness and potential. Therefore, by self-actualizing and transcending, you are evolving yourself to a new level of onsciousness. This evolution occurs, according to American philosopher Ken Wilber, through transcending to the next level of consciousness after including all necessary knowledge/lessons from the current level.
Where this evolution leads you depend on your individual potential based on your personality/persona (measured in part by personality typing) and life/soul purpose (measured in part by what you’re passionate about). The more conscious and motivated you are about these, the more likely you’ll effectively strive towards your potential. And why strive? Personal evolution leads to human evolution. A critical mass of individual changes causes global/universal change. A large-scale shift in awareness/consciousness can lead to a major evolutionary shift-from meeting just your individual needs to meeting global needs. With large numbers of people achieving their potential, great things can happen and mass consciousness can emerge to a new, more hopeful level of meeting the needs of all.
Transformation can take one of two paths:
The path of growth/development: horizontal change, involution, working with what you have and getting comfortable with those resources, inclusion, and greater span.
The path of evolution/transcendence: vertical change, evolution, striving for something new/more, ascension, and greater depth.
Both are forms of transformation necessary and complementary for evolution.
So, if transformation and achieving your potential are so good and a benefit to all of society, what’s keeping everyone from realizing their full potential?
Lack of motivation.
Lack of knowledge of individual passions, desires, and strengths.
Lack of confidence and self-esteem.
Disbelief in/lack of knowledge of the importance of self-actualization.
Not actualizing your full potential can lead to feelings of disillusionment and depression, doing a disservice to yourself as well as humanity as a whole.
What can help?
Self support: self-discovery and awareness through meditation, journaling, reading, deep thought, and visioning.
Co-support: life coaching, and discussion/brainstorming with friends.
Group support: Support groups, intentional communities, and family/tribe connection.
Personal transformation is one of the most important activities to undertake for individual fulfillment and success, which can ultimately change the world for the better-one person at a time.
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