7 Ways to Live Life to the Max
7 Ways to Live Life to the MAX
groups we are more likely to feel that these people love and care about us. This
group gives us self-expression beyond our immediate family.
The fourth level is the need for self-esteem. We want to feel good about
ourselves and have others feel good about us. When we succeed at some difficult
challenge we experience deep feelings of satisfaction.
At the highest level Maslow says our need is to self-actualize. In developed
nations we have the luxury of being able to strive for the higher levels in this
At the higher level we become creative because we are free to develop our gifts
and talents, to write, to sing, to paint, to concentrate on the spiritual aspects of
life. To reach this pinnacle we must make full use of our potential. This is living
life to the max.
Characteristics of Self-Actualizing People
For those who reach this level, Maslow’s research showed that these people had
similar characteristics, habits and actions. Self-actualizing people can be
identified by the following characteristics.
These people can see reality for what it is. They have the ability to separate their
hopes, fears, anxieties and theories from what is real.
They are people who have been able to accept weaknesses and imperfections in
themselves and other people. They consider weaknesses to be a part of human
nature. They see them as a part of the growing process and so they allow people
to be themselves. They do not get upset or disturbed because of other people’s
These people are naturally spontaneous and open with their feelings. They avoid
pretence although they do act tactfully in areas that might hurt other people’s
Self-actualizing people do not need permission to laugh. They have a well-
developed sense of humour. Laughter is spontaneous and they are prepared to
laugh at themselves. They see certain foolishness in taking themselves or life too
Copyright © Dennis R Curyer, 2003
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