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Step 5: Self-Actualization

Ahh self-actualization, the goal for many of us. Self-actualization is another way of saying 'having a purpose'. But I chose to use Maslow's term self-actualization because it doesn't focus as much on tangible results that many people think of when they think of purpose; but more on the inner sense of peace that one can find.

Volunteers Cleaning Beach

If you’ve made it to this step, it hopefully means you’ve successfully tackled the previous steps or are making good progress on them and want to learn more about what’s next. Either way, congratulations on getting here and all the hard work you’ve been doing!

Self-actualization is the culmination of all of your work. A warning, this step might not be fully achievable, but that’s okay. This step is just to get you closer to a more fulfilling life.

So, what does it look like? Hopefully, it’ll look like you know exactly how you like to spend your time, what you want to do in life, who you want to be, and how you want to live. In general, finding your own sense of purpose.

This can be realized in many different ways, but my theory is that once you’ve completed the previous steps, this should come more naturally. The first step takes care of the basics of life, then you take care of your safety.

Once you feel safe in your own environment, a support group can make you feel safe emotionally, and make you feel comfortable in life more. The love and support of close ones will build you up, and with that and the safety they provide, you’ll feel able to get to know yourself better. Once you know who you are and how to take care of yourself, you’ll hopefully have a direction for how you want to live your life.

It’s very possible that you never find your purpose, and that’s okay (speaking from experience). You can still find out how you want to live your life in general.

Ikigai --

I like to use the concept of Ikigai to help me find out what I want. Ikigai is a Japanese concept about what gives you motivation or purpose for living. It works by having a ven diagram that examines the overlap between things you love, things you’re great at, things the world needs, and things you get paid for. The center of the diagram is your Ikigai, your raison d’etre, your purpose in life.

Again, you don’t actually have to find your Ikigai, but finding as much info as you can from the diagram can help you live a happier and more successful life.

You freaking got this!

Look for future relationships

Making new relationships can be a great way to find love and support. Sometimes finding new people that align with your interests and beliefs can be difficult, but it's important to try. There's a chance you'll find wonderful people that will enrich your life. Try joining online groups for activities you like. Websites like Meetup can help you do that easily. Your town's SubReddit can also provide new people to meet with.

Whenever you meet new people online make sure to let someone know where you're going and make sure you're meeting people in a group for safety reasons.

Support groups are an easy way to meet people as well. Consider googling support groups in your area for anything you need support with. Organizations like NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) or SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) can help you search for support groups as well.

  • Reach out to old friends and try reconnecting with them.
  • Strengthen your current relationships by meeting up more often and doing fun things together.
  • Cut out all toxic relationships.
  • Consider joining online groups to meet new people and make new friends.
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