Abraham Maslow, the man who proposed Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”, said once: “They must be what they can be”.
He defined with this statement self-actualizing people. Self-actualization was first coined by Abraham Maslow. He explained it like this: “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This is the need we may call self-actualization … It refers to man’s desire for fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming …”
When we know about our talents and skills and we live them, we are self-actualizing, then we are what we can be.
Including esteem in our lives allows us to develop our self-esteem. Having a high self-esteem means that we know ourselves and we acknowledge ourselves in what we are and in what we do. Esteem creates a situation in which we can develop our own unique talents and we can live them. This is what Abraham Maslow defines with self-actualization.
I found this life story on the website of Masaru Emoto and liked it so much I want to share it with you.
There was an Indian Chief who had four sons.
He wanted his sons to learn not to judge things too quickly.
So he sent them each on a quest, in turn,
to go and look at a pear tree that was a great distance away.
The first son went in the Winter, the second in the Spring,
the third in Summer, and the youngest son in the Fall.
When they had all gone and come back, he called them
together to describe what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree
was ugly, bent, and twisted.
The second son said no, it was covered
with green buds and full of promise.
The third son disagreed; he said it was
laden with blossoms that smelled so sweet
and looked so beautiful, it was the most
graceful thing he had ever seen.
The last son disagreed with all of them;
he said it was ripe and drooping with fruit,
full of life and fulfillment.
The Chief then explained to his
sons that they were all right,
because they had each seen but only
one season in the tree’s life.
He told them that you cannot
judge a tree, or a person,
by only one season,
And that the essence of who
they are and the pleasure, joy,
and love that come from that life
can only be measured at the end,
when all the seasons are up.
If you give up when it’s Winter,
you will miss the promise of
Spring, the beauty of Summer,
and the fulfillment of Fall.
This is a story speaking about esteem of its most real core.
As esteem has a double impact on the persons being involved the same happens with stereotyping. When we give esteem to the persons around us it helps them as well as ourselves. Giving esteem encourages us in our own self-esteem and good feelings.
When we are stereotyping others it has the same negative impact on us as it has on the persons being touched by it. The team of Michael Inzlicht, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto found that stereotyping has a lasting negative impact on us.
In order to determine whether negative stereotyping in a particular situation had lasting effects, Inzlicht’s team performed a series of tests. They placed participants in situations where they had to perform a task in the face of negative stereotyping. After the participants were removed from the prejudicial situation, researchers measured their ability to control their aggression, eat appropriate amounts, make rational decisions, and stay focused.
Their results show that prejudice and stereotyping have lingering adverse impacts.
Living esteem prevents us from stereotyping by two reasons. First we realize that everything we do has the same impact on us as it has on the people. Second esteem makes us see people in their own uniqueness which prevents us from stereotyping.
We line ourselves up with our fellow men in order to receive love. This is the reason why we assess our own intrinsic value according to how our fellow men value us. When we are praised we feel good. When we’re reproached our self-confidence decreases immediately and we feel bad.
On which basis do we value ourselves? With high self-esteem we can handle critics or reproach better. A high self-esteem means that we know us in who we are and in what we do. Doing so we don’t need to line ourselves up with our fellow men. We know that we are unique as well as each other person is unique.
Did you ever watch yourself when you speak about others? The kind of how you speak about others and how you see others reveals more about yourself than about the persons.
How positively you see others is linked to how happy, kind-hearted and emotionally stable you are, according to new research made by Wake Forest University psychology professor Dustin Wood and his team. The researchers found a person’s tendency to describe others in positive terms is an important indicator of the positivity of the person’s own personality traits.
This study confirms what esteem is creating in our lives. By giving esteem toward others we give esteem toward ourselves. When we see others in a positive way we speak about them in positive words and reveal with it how positive we are ourselves. Esteem creates esteem.
Our daily mood affects our judgement of ambiguous events. We experience this for example at our job. If we’re having a bad day and we’re presented with an ambiguous cue such as our boss calling us into his office, the first thing that goes through our head is what have I done wrong? We call this a negative cognitive bias. But on a good day we greet the same ambiguous event far more positively, we might look forward to a pay rise.
Experts from the Newcastle University’s School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development have shown for the first time that a pig’s mood can lead to similar reactions showing that pigs are capable of complex emotions which are directly influenced by their living conditions. Pigs living in an enriched environment (more space, freedom to roam and play) were optimistic toward an unknown noise. While pigs placed in a smaller, boring environment showed pessimistic reactions toward the same unknown noise.
Dr Catherine Douglas, leader of the research team explains: “We can use this findings to finally answer important questions about animal welfare in relation to a range of farm environments, for pigs and potentially other farm animals.”
Quality of life of our farm animals is becoming increasingly important. The study is part of ongoing research at Newcastle to further our understanding of animal welfare and improve the lives of farmed stock. For consumers as well as for scientists and government it is important to acknowledge the welfare of farmed stock.
A pow wow is a gathering of Indian Nations in a common circle of friendship.
The term pow wow comes from the Algonquin nation of the Eastern Woodlands, meaning “a gathering of spiritual leaders.” Originally, Indian tribes held celebrations to commemorate successful hunts or harvests. Many tribes had ceremonial dances to prepare for war and to celebrate victories. The old tribal War Dance as it was known and is still called today, evolved over the last four or five decades into a contemporary social dance and the pow wow into a social gathering and celebration time.
This weekend July 9-11, 2010 the Taos Pueblo Pow wow will be celebrated. A wonderful opportunity to see Native American dancers at the beautiful location of Taos Pueblo, New Mexico.
Sometimes speaking about esteem includes also speaking about the opposite. The opposite of esteem can be humiliation. But much more often the opposite of esteem is simply experienced as “non-esteem”. This means people doesn’t get esteem without being humiliated just by being ignored or disdained.
Experiences of being disdained make people feel worthless, takes away the sense of their life – seemingly. Esteem is essential – essential for life and happiness. Everybody who ever experienced this broken feeling of contempt can realise how important esteem is. This could be the approach toward esteem from the other side of life.
It might be hard to smile and to give esteem to other people when times are difficult. It’s nevertheless worth giving esteem in difficult times as well as in good times. It definitely helps the other people and ourselves.
After 18 months and over 600 posts we’ve decided to take a break from daily posting on Esteem News. It’s been our pleasure to bring you our daily thoughts about esteem.
We have decided to focus our attention toward other writing projects that we’ve neglected for many months.
From time to time we’ll have thoughts that we share with our followers on Twitter.
Thanks to our loyal readers for your support and comments.