30 Self Actualization Examples and Meanings

June 19, 2023

Self-realization is different for every human being, so what for one is the greatest achievement of his life, for another is just another moment lived, which he will probably forget tomorrow.

In this other article we list 50 Real Life Examples of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.


It is the satisfaction one gives oneself by achieving the maximum potential of one's own abilities and talents and thus giving meaning to one's life.

These are some examples of self-realization in real life.

Self actualization of unique experiences

  • 1. I am 60 years old and I always wanted to climb a mountain and today I have done it.
  • 2. I promised my parents that someday I would be a cardiologist and tomorrow I will graduate with honors.
  • 3. I finally got over my phobia of spiders.
  • 4. My son is extremely happy because today he was able to ride his bike without help.
  • 5. Today on the beach I saw a whale, and it is something I will never forget, because I always wanted to see one.

Self actualization of life projects

  • 6. Thanks to the support of my family, today I have my own house.
  • 7. I have a hardware store and it is the best stocked in town... I am very happy for this achievement.
  • 8. My daughter is graduating as a lawyer today, I am very proud of her.
  • 9. The business is thriving, sales are increasing day by day, it was a good decision to invest in this business.
  • 10. I just bought Don Juan's hacienda, since I was a child I had in my mind that someday I was going to own this land.

Self actualization of moral and ethical values, way of being, etc.

  • 11. I feel that now I am more tolerant with other people, when I was younger I always got angry when someone contradicted me.
  • 12. After forgiving my mother for abandoning me, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, now I feel free and happy.
  • 13. I lost my fear of public speaking, now I have confidence in myself.
  • 14. I sleep peacefully because my son lost his fear of the dark.
  • 15. I am so grateful to my friend because she helped me build character and be able to say "NO" to situations that could hurt me.

Creativity Self-Realization

  • 16. It took a lot of practice, but I can finally draw like a pro.
  • 17. All these years of experience have made me one of the best carpenters in my country.
  • 18. I am good at my job: handicrafts.
  • 19. I like what I do and I enjoy it very much: I am an interior designer.
  • 20. Landscaping is my thing, many clients ask me to redesign their patios and terraces.

Self-Realization of Success

  • 21. My boss promoted me to head of the accounting department, finally working in what I studied.
  • 22. I have been winning the chess olympiads held in my country for two consecutive years.
  • 23. I have just been hired by a company of worldwide prestige, I never thought I would be selected among so much competition, I feel proud of myself.
  • 24. My business has won 1st place for the best bakery in the country; my father had won it when he was the owner and now I have too.
  • 25. My two sons are already professionals and have good jobs, I feel that as a father I have been able to help them.

Self-actualization in personal relationships

  • 26. Today I am marrying my beloved, today is the happiest day of my life.
  • 27. Today Carmen told me that she did want to be my girlfriend.
  • 28. My brother made the passes with me, my mother and grandmother had been waiting for this reconciliation for many years.
  • 29. After more than 20 years of working as a radio broadcaster, today I lead a group of young people who also want to be broadcasters.
  • 30. This weekend my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren gathered for my 80th birthday; and after seeing them all together, I feel satisfied with my life.

Self-realization according to several authors

Ralph Waldo Emerson:"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." Self-realization is about trusting yourself and being authentic.

Abraham Maslow: Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist and founder of humanistic psychology, saw self-realization as the highest level of human motivation, which he called self-actualization. He believed that self-actualization was characterized by a sense of purpose, creativity, autonomy, and a desire to realize one's full potential.

Carl Rogers: Rogers believed that self-realization involves the integration of the self-concept and the ideal self, which leads to a congruence between the two.

Joseph Campbell: "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." Self-realization involves embracing your individuality and having the courage to follow your own path.

Viktor Frankl: "Don't aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one's personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself." Self-realization comes from pursuing purpose and meaning, not superficial success or happiness.

Carl Jung: Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, saw self-realization as the process of integrating the conscious and unconscious aspects of the psyche. He believed that the goal of human development was to become aware of and integrate the shadow (the repressed, negative aspects of the personality) and the anima/animus (the feminine and masculine aspects of the psyche), leading to a greater sense of wholeness and individuation.

Sri Aurobindo: Sri Aurobindo, the Indian philosopher and spiritual leader, saw self-realization as the process of realizing one's true identity as the divine self, which he called the "Supramental Being". He believed that self-realization involved the transformation of the entire being, including the physical, vital, and mental aspects, leading to a state of spiritual enlightenment and the manifestation of the divine in one's life.

Ken Wilber: Wilber's integral theory proposes that self-realization involves the development of multiple domains of being, including the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of the self.

Stephen Covey: "While we are free to choose our actions, we are not free to choose the consequences of those actions. When we choose the path of least resistance by not listening to the internal voice of conscience, we often pay a high price." Self-realization requires self-discipline to follow what you know is right for your growth and goals.

Eckhart Tolle: Eckhart Tolle, the German-born spiritual teacher and author, sees self-realization as the realization of the true self beyond the egoic mind. He believes that the true self is a state of being that exists beyond thoughts and emotions, and that self-realization involves becoming aware of this deeper dimension of oneself.

Ayn Rand: Rand saw self-realization as the pursuit of one's rational self-interest and the achievement of one's personal goals and values.

Jiddu Krishnamurti: Jiddu Krishnamurti, the Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher, believed that self-realization involved freeing oneself from the conditioning of society and the ego, and discovering one's true nature as pure awareness. He believed that self-realization could only be achieved through direct experience and insight, rather than through any external authority or system of belief.

Swami Sivananda: Sivananda, a spiritual teacher, saw self-realization as the realization of the ultimate reality or God within oneself.

Self-actualization is what a man can be and should be.

It is that drive of the human being to become what one is capable of becoming.

It is the payment one gives oneself for having achieved a goal which is part of the individual's development.

It is the maximum exposure that a person achieves through his or her skills, talents and abilities in order to be what he or she wants to be.

Examples of self-realization in different disciplines

Scientific discovery: When a scientist makes a major discovery that changes the field and advances human knowledge. This brings them a sense of fulfillment and self-realization. Examples include Einstein's theory of relativity or Watson and Crick's discovery of DNA's structure.<

Artistic creation: When an artist creates a piece of art that truly expresses their vision and speaks from the soul. This can provide a feeling of liberation and self-actualization. Examples include Michelangelo's paintings on the Sistine Chapel ceiling or Beethoven's symphonies.

Musical performance: When a musician plays or composes music that feels completely authentic to them and expresses their inner being. Examples include jazz improvisers finding their "flow" state or composers creating timeless works.

Athletic achievement: When an athlete competes at the highest level and achieves their potential through discipline, training and perseverance. Examples include an Olympian winning gold or a professional athlete dominating their sport.

Philanthropic impact: When a person's generosity and giving significantly improves the lives of others, aligning with their values and sense of purpose. Examples include individuals like Gates or Buffett who have donated enormous sums to charitable causes.

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