Greetings from sunny Laguna Beach!
I spoke at a conference in San Diego end of last week, so I spent a few days up the coast relaxing. It’s nice to have some time to unwind and reflect.
While doing some reading, I started to think about the topic of self actualization. After all, that’s what the “live your best life” theme of Further is all about — the drive to realize one’s full potential that is present in everyone.
What exactly does self actualization look like? The popular consensus is likely someone at the top of their game in every way; fit, healthy, successful, well off, and exceptionally well adjusted.
And that’s the problem right there. Popular consensus.
After all, outside of genetics, it’s the sociogenic, or cultural influences, that have the most impact on our personalities. The things society deems attractive become the things we hope to attain.
And yet, it’s idiogenic motives — the plans, aspirations, commitments, and personal projects that we pursue simply because we want to — that allow us to move beyond the conditioning of biology and society.
The intrinsic goals we choose for ourselves are what allow us to progress toward self actualization. And not surprisingly, these are the goals that result in well-being and happiness.
In other words, in order to become our best selves, we first have to understand that we’re just fine the way we are right now. It may sound trite, but you being the real you is the first step to being the best you.
According to Abraham Maslow, originator of the Hierarchy of Needs pyramid that has self actualization at the pinnacle, accepting yourself as you are, flaws and all, is a key characteristic of a self-actualized person. It’s not about being a societal depiction of perfection.
I’m turning 50 this year, and I just now feel okay with myself. It’s not that I’m exactly known for going along with what others think, it’s just that I’ve finally been able to turn down my harsh internal critic that chastises me for not being better at certain things that others think are important.
Being okay with myself the way I am right now is not demotivating. It allows me to prioritize what I truly want to do and become, rather than what someone else thinks is the path I should take.
In many ways, the internet has allowed us all to find our own tribe. To find comfort with others who are different like we’re different. But it can’t be only external validation. It’s got to be an internal acceptance that allows you to pursue your best you, not someone else’s.
It’s called personal excellence for a reason. Only you can define what that means for yourself.
Play to Win
Ah, I love the vibe of this piece. It’s the psychologically healthy approach to health, which means you turn it into a form of play instead of a test of your will power that’s destined to fail.
Spice is Nice
Jalapeño peppers contain significant amounts of several nutrients that help to improve your health, in addition to giving your nachos a tasty spark. Check out the many benefits in this quick article.
It seems like good advice: Eat your vegetables, exercise, and take your vitamins. Except decades of research has failed to find substantial evidence that vitamins and supplements do any significant good.
15K a Day
The whole “take at least 10,000 steps a day” thing turned out to be something someone just made up. In an actual study, it turns out that it’s more like 15,000 steps a day to get any significant health benefit.
Usually I don’t really care what Tony Robbins thinks, but the whole “buying a home is a bad investment” thing is not only gaining traction, it makes sense. Owning rental real estate that provides you with a revenue stream is a different matter, and a better use of your cash.
Fly for Less
If your’e looking to travel around the U.S. this summer, you should book with a departure date of Saturday, June 3 for the best shot at a cheaper ticket. Travelers heading abroad can find the best deals on international travel if they leave on Wednesday, August 23.
If you’ve read Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (or seen the film starring Reese Witherspoon), you know it’s about her 2,663-mile hike along a trail that runs up the US coast from Mexico to Washington state. Here’s another woman’s account of the journey.
Never heard of a country called Azerbaijan? You’re not alone. In this Further original, get a look at the stunning architecture of Azerbaijan’s capital city Baku, along with a glimpse of the good life in the small town of Göyçay.
Turns out the single best predictor of humor ability is intelligence. That said, people can learn to be funnier. Great piece from Vice.
Given that I just binge-watched the last three X-Men films after seeing Logan, it was a natural for this article to catch my eye. Rather that naturally-occurring mutations, though, we’ll alter our own genetics.
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