Striving Forward While Appreciating Where You Are

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The process of self-actualization seems to clash with mindfulness since self-actualization implies a striving forward, an orientation towards the future, a constant becoming, whereas mindfulness stresses full involvement with the present moment as it is.

The way to rectify these two points of view is to understand self-actualization as a duality where every moment is a moment of being and a moment of becoming, and that actually the only way to know who you are supposed to become is to know who you are right now. Striving towards a goal is encouraged from the mindfulness point of view as long as you realize you are striving in and from the present moment, remembering that your whole life takes place in the present moment.

One of the biggest dangers of being focused on self-actualization is that you forget to appreciate where you are because you’re not as far along as you want to be. To avoid this danger we take on the mindful outlook to see human life as existing on a continuum, where growth is a never ending process, rather than seeing self-actualization as a journey towards a fixed point.

Striving towards a goal, developing your potentialities further and further, doesn’t have to mean discounting your current situation. If you let go of your judgments, realizing that you will always have the potential to develop further until the day you die, then you can appreciate where you are at all times during your journey, seeing each moment as a vital and meaningful part of the whole.