A few years ago, there was a tragic incident where a teen-aged boy committed suicide. In his suicide letter, he indicated that he had made some somewhat serious mistakes in his life and he just couldn’t cope with his parents and other people being disappointed in him.
Here was a young man who had a brilliant future ahead of him despite his mistakes. He had a good family and every opportunity.
Many parents push their kids to achieve. They get them into sports, ballet, gymnastics and educational pursuits. They dole out money for piano lessons and other things.[mlsp-cta campaign=”bizbuildermasterynet” popup=”false” layout=”standard” align=”left”]
The one thing that isn’t pursued is teaching kids the process of self-actualization.
Self-actualization is a lofty sounding phrase but one that needs to be used earlier in a child’s upbringing. Self-improvement leads to self-actualization.
Maslow developed what is called, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Instead of studying people with mental disorders like so many psychologists of his time, Maslow studied genius.
His studies included Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Frederick Douglas and the top 1% of college students.
Maslow’s findings are generally displayed as a pyramid with the most basic human needs at the bottom.
As the needs at the bottom are met, it allows a person to move to the next level.
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Because we can’t completely control what happens to us daily, it’s important to keep feeding ourselves personal development food to counteract negative influences.
Having a “bad day”? Go feed yourself some PD (personal development) food.
Imagine what could happen if employment centers required applicants to attend self-improvement seminars.
Most people are so caught up with all the lower levels of the pyramid, they never even think about the top level.
Thinking back on our introduction story, would that young man have decided against suicide had his focus been on self-actualization instead of his need to please others? We don’t really know. There are too many things we don’t know. But it seems logical that it would.
If more people were focused on making themselves better people, the world would be a much better place.