Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare.

-Japanese Proverb

We’re too caught up in checking off boxes: achievement, success, wealth.

Self-help is traditionally riddled with books and courses, gurus and mentors – all who propose that by goal-setting, achievements, and manifesting dreams – we could all find a fulfilling and inspiring life.

But if we go back 70 years to the profound works of psychologist, Abraham Maslow, we could all get back to the root of why we’re all here. What it means to live a life that matters, and to make our lives count. Stick with me here, and let me share some current research on what it’s all about.

When first starting out on this journey, I believed that life was about finding happiness. After years of schooling, reading, and soaking everything in, I thought it was solely about passion and being in flow – creating. Luckily for me, I was able to tap into my feminine side again, and learned that being kind to others made a difference not just in how I felt but also what I believed to be a worthwhile endeavor. However…

I’m awestruck by how things are constantly evolving for me – the last 4 months of 2018 led me on a path where I really dove in to spirituality. I experienced the pain, despair, and struggle of learning to truly tap into authenticity and truth.

Not just reading about it from today’s leaders like Brene Brown. But to truly go through it on an experiential level. Finding truth – and remembering me.

Abraham Maslow is father of Self-Actualization and one of many great architects of the field of Humanistic Psychology. He, like other great scholars and psychologists (e.g., Alfred Adler, Viktor Frankl, Carl Rogers), focused on the psychology of human goodness – love, fulfillment, self-worth, and autonomy.

That was 70 years ago, that Maslow proposed self-actualization to be of critical importance not just to individuals but to society as a whole – what it means to be human. Today, psychologist Scott B. Kaufman has taken this to the next level. In response to today’s mindless goal-setting behaviors, Kaufman rigorously studied Maslow’s work to create a test* for individuals to see how far along we really are.

The higher you score on the self-actualization scale, the more likely you are to have greater life (and work) satisfaction, performance, curiosity, self-acceptance, personal growth, and emotional/mental stability. Scores of self-actualization have also been found to be correlated with personality traits (higher extraversion, agreeableness, emotional stability, openness and conscientiousness).

Modern spirituality is about health and growth, just like our humanistic psychology founders theorized.

In finding and fulfilling our individual needs and desires for health and growth, we tap into our superpowers to increasing oneness – we make this world a greater place to live and be recognize our connections to one another – transcendence.

Live with intention. Lead with inspiration.

*If interested, you can take Kaufman’s Self-Actualization test here.