The Self Development Plan for Your Self-Actualization

Ian Parkin is the verified author of this post.

My Self Development Plan utilities Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and his Characteristics of Self-Actualization as well as a little ancient wisdom courtesy of Lao Tzu’s ‘Tao Te Ching’.

Self Development Plan for Self-Actualization

My Self Development Plan starts with:

1) Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs describes the pattern that we are subconsciously motivated by as we move through life. From the base to top of the hierarchy they are:

  • Self-Transcendence 
  • Self-Actualization
  • Esteem Needs
  • Love and Belonging Needs
  • Safety Needs
  • Physiological Needs

Once we realize what drives us, from the subconscious level, we can uncover the hidden blocks in our journey of realizing our true selves. My full explanation and checklist can be found on this page: Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” – Joseph Campbell

My Self Development Plan continues with:

2) Maslow’s Characteristics of Self-Actualization. So let’s aim for the top and go for the good life conceived by Maslow as self-actualization. From studying the likes of Einstein, Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and others he saw as exemplary (self-actualized) people, Maslow observed the following common characteristics among them all.

  • Superior Perception of Reality
  • Increased Acceptance of Self, of Others and of Nature
  • Increased Spontaneity
  • Increase in Problem-Centering
  • Increased detachment and desire for privacy
  • Increased Autonomy, and Resistance to Enculturation
  • Greater Freshness of Appreciation, and Richness of Emotional Reaction
  • Higher Frequency of Peak Experiences
  • Increased Identification with The Human Species
  • Profound Interpersonal Relationships
  • More Democratic Character Structure
  • Greatly Increased Creativeness
  • Certain of Changes in The Value System

Embracing these characteristics is a powerful form of personal development. How you embrace them is up to you, but in my practice I use Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to trick the brain. 

You can self-assess against these Characteristics of Self-Actualization here.

"Self-actualizing people enjoy life in general and in practically all its aspects, while most other people enjoy only stray moments of triumph, of achievement or of climax or peak experience.”  – Toward a Psychology of Being by Abraham H. Maslow

My Self Development Plan stays on track with:

3) Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu is the fabled author of the Tao Te Ching and is said to be the founder of Taoism. I find the text a source of inspiration and it is in complete alignment with what Maslow called, the Being Values or Metaneeds of his Self-Actualizing characteristics. This little book of wisdom is one of the most translated works in world literature. But I find in many of the translations (of other translations) the pure form of ancient wisdom has become rather ambiguous. I recommend the Richard Wilhelm Edition translated into English by H.G. Ostwald. ISBN:0140190600. (Out of print and rather hard to come by now.)

Alternatively, for the total beginner there is nothing better than The Tao of Pooh. A sweet little book written by Benjamin Hoff. I found it to be a perfect introduction to the Eastern belief system of Taoism for Westerners. It literally employs the fictional characters of A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh stories to explain the basic principles of the Tao.

The Tao of Pooh

“What’s that?” the Unbeliever asked.

“Wisdom from the Western Taoist,” I said.

“It sounds like something from Winnie-the-Pooh ,”  he said.

“It is,” I said.

“That’s not about Taoism,” he said.

“Oh, yes it is,” I said.”

Benjamin Hoff

My Self Development Plan for Self-Actualization

How do I write a self development plan?

  1. First get to know the subconscious needs in Maslow’s hierarchy. As with planning any journey, you will want to know where you are now so you can plan to get to where you want to be (The Good Life).
  2. Then familiarize yourself with all thirteen characteristics found in Self-Actualized people. Once acquainted with them all, you will want to embrace them fully into your personality.  To do that book a session with an expert NLP consultant of your choice (or book a session with me) to get the characteristics embedded deep in you psyche. Or click here to learn NLP for yourself
  3. To maintain your Actualized-Self ponder upon the Tao Te Ching often.

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