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The evolving process and outcome of self-realization May 13, 2014

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal development, Self-Esteem.
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Although self-realization in some form will probably occur as a result of seriously working on a program of self- improvement, it is not really a tangible, concrete goal we can set for ourselves.

This is because self-realization, or self-actualization is by its nature evolutionary; it is a process and a journey, a hoped for ultimate destination in our personal growth efforts.

It’s difficult to make realizing the potential of the self within us a specific goal with a target-date in our planning, as is it is embedded in the ongoing, overall process of personal growth and development.

The “doing” of personal growth is thus the “becoming” of self-actualization, or self-realization.

Eric Hoffer has an interesting view of this process.

Hoffer comments, “We acquire a sense of worth either by realizing our talents, or by keeping busy, or by identifying ourselves with something apart from us – be it a cause, a leader, a group, possessions and the like. Of the three, the path of self-realization is the most difficult.”

Similarly, self-esteem, which is a subset of self-actualization or realization, is a never-ending process in Hoffer’s view, in which the individual on their own is only stable as long as they are possessed of self-esteem; and the maintenance of self-esteem is a continuous task which taxes all of the individual’s powers and inner resources. The individual has to prove their worth and justify their existence every day.

But all of this effort it is worth it, Hoffer asserts.

And it can go much beyond the accomplishment of realizing the potential of the self.

The end result of self-realization can be outstanding achievement in Hoffer’s opinion: “The autonomous individual, striving to realize themselves and prove their worth, has created all that is great in literature, art, music, science and technology.” (1)

(1) Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind, Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, 1968

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