Credit - Heart Matters

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2. Self-Actualization


Some needs are self-actualization  needs.  When we feel self-actualized we feel like our lives are fulfilling, like we are living our dreams.  We have a cohesive sense of self and we believe we are valuable, lovable human beings.   We all have the need to be and strive towards being self-actualized. Let’s take a closer look at this need and how this need relates to credit.

a. What is self-actualization?


 Abraham Maslow developed what many of us know as the Hierarchy of Needs model.  When he developed this model, he studied self-actualization needs.  He concluded that people who are often motivated to satisfy a self-actualization need are restless, almost as if they were asking themselves—“Is this all there is?” It’s as if they realized there was more to life than endlessly pursuing approval and feeding their egos.

Their reaction to this discontent drives them to develop their talents, to become what they believe they were on earth to become, and to ditch the pursuit of pleasure as defined by some in our society as getting more “stuff.” They are motivated by internal, inside needs, or what’s called intrinsic rewards.  We experience an intrinsic reward when we feel a sense of accomplishment from within us versus needing something external to motivate us, like the praise or threats of others.  World leaders, who some would say are motivated by intrinsic rewards such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, and Buddha could be examples.

So how is all of this related to credit? Well, it turns out that what motivates you may be related to your credit score. Let’s take a look at the list of characteristics of the self-actualizer. Then we’ll talk about what this means for your credit.

b.    Characteristics of self-actualizers:

  • Realistic: Logical, seek the truth, unafraid of the unknown.
  • Self-accepting: High in self-worth, lack excessive guilt or shame, and enjoy themselves for who they are.
  • Spontaneous, simple and natural: Typically, enjoy a creative inner life, value their independence, and are motivated by  what’s important to them.
  • Focus on problem solving: Focus on problems in order to focus on what’s important. Typically serene, not a worrier, and devoted to duty.
  • Detachment, need of privacy: Self-starter who is not lonely when alone. Rise above the daily stressors.
  • Autonomy, independent of culture: Appreciate people for who they are and not greatly influenced by cultural “musts.”
  • Personal relationships: Feel a deep and sympathetic affection for others. Typically have profoundly intimate relationships with a few people but a love and appreciation for many.
  • Democratic values and attitudes: Are humble and friendly with others regardless of class, education, political beliefs, race, or color.
  • Philosophical, without a hostile sense of humor: Laugh at themselves but never make jokes that hurt others.
  • Resistance to enculturation: Are somewhat detached from cultural values and work for long-range cultural improvement and justice.

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