Have you ever achieved something you only dreamt about when younger?
When I was just a young lad I loved the thought of one day getting my very own business card, I still remember the thrill and excitement of getting my own cards when I was 18. I felt so grown-up and very important at the time!
Years later (but not too many years) when I employed people, I felt great delight watching new employees' faces light up when they were given their very first set of business cards.
I could identify with the same feelings of "self-actualisation", or that point in time they realise they have accomplished something and the joy associated with finally attaining something they desire.
This may sound silly, but when I was younger and visited airports, I watched with admiration businesspeople dressed in suits, looking very professional, carrying their briefcase through the airport and a chauffeur waiting holding up a sign with their name on it. I recall thinking, "one day, that will be me". In 2003 I got a job as a national sales manager and I flew to head office in Wellington . . . sure enough, I arrived at the airport, dressed in my best suit and carrying my briefcase, and as I walked out after collecting my luggage, it happened - a chauffeur was holding a sign up with my name printed on it!
I guess you could say these are dreams becoming reality and although the above examples are small, it's always valuable to reflect on that sense of accomplishment and apply those feelings to motivate you towards achieving your next dream.
Self-actualisation is a fancy way of saying you're achieving something you desire. Abraham Maslow, who developed the hierarchy pyramid of motivation, places this near the top, which indicates that when it comes to real motivation you need the sense of accomplishment. When applied in the area of losing weight, we can feel motivated when the scales shows results. On the other hand, if we plateau, we can lose motivation and slip backwards.
Last week I shared some personal information about past struggles that I have had to deal with. The feedback I have received as a result has been rather overwhelming and humbling. It highlighted to me that no matter what is going on in our own lives in terms of struggling, we are not alone.
Slipping backwards in life can happen to us all, whether it is health, financial or relationship-related. It's important to be able to identify the situation, put it into perspective and develop a plan and work that plan in steps that are realistic and accomplishable.
For me, it was important to meditate on the fact that no matter how big the situation seems to be, it was unlikely to be permanent and can be worked through.
When things seem impossible to deal with, sometimes I would ask myself "What is the worst-case scenario?".
I would think of the worst that could happen and then consider if that worst-case scenario was really that bad after all, and then work backwards to consider what the likely outcome would be.
The result of this thinking technique is it can help reduce the initial anxiety and helps put into perspective the problem.
Getting back to my weight, I have a goal of reaching mid 90-kilograms and have one month left! I am contemplating this.
It's horrible to put on weight, it's horrible to be overweight, it's horrible to lose weight - I have some horribles to deal with, but achieving weight loss has indeed been the opposite of anything horrible.
Although losing weight can be tough and seemingly horrible, the results are worth it.
Reaching your "self-actualisation" will motivate you to achieve more than you thought possible and over time create bigger dreams that will become your reality.
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