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Stop! Think…Could A LadyBug Be Self-Actualizing?

rp_5854234616_9eb56eac3d_m.jpg(Work in progress.  More to come.  Including the essay that was the idea for this post.)

The epitomy of personal achievement in Humanistic Psychology is the self-actualzing person who only reaches that point after overcoming the hurdles of satisfying basic needs: physical, security, social, and self-esteem ones.

It is not the person you might expect him, or is it her, to be?  ( Don’t we generally think of ladybugs as female?)  Fame and wealth aren’t necessarily the highest goals and meeting the needs for these self-agrandizing or often other-exploiting objectives often can leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth and a sense of “Is that all there is?”

Then what is a self-actualized person?

Maslow’s characteristics of self-actualized people:

1) Self-actualized people have realistic perceptions of themselves, others and the world around them.

2) Self-actualized individuals are concerned with solving problems outside of themselves, including helping others and finding solutions to problems in the external world. These people are often motivated by a sense of personal responsibility and ethics.

3) Self-actualized people are spontaneous in their internal thoughts and outward behavior. While they can conform to rules and social expectations, they also tend to be open and unconventional.

4) Another characteristic of self-actualized people is the need for independence and privacy. While they enjoy the company of others, these individuals need time to focus on developing their own individual potential.

Now what has a ladybug got to do with this?  This description of a ladybug that was brought to my attention by one of my honorary “sisters” (as I only have brothers) fits the description of a self-actualized person quite well.   To be continued…

 

 

Positive Attitudes, Winner or Loser

not who you are 344Why are we so afraid to create positive expectations of future situations?  We are afraid that if we do this we will be badly disappointed when it doesn’t work out.

Have you ever played pretend and created exactly what you wanted in every detail?  You probably did so as a child when you were only limited by your imagination.  I used to think that the president and his or her family had access to every thing a person could want and many things that ordinary people, even rich people, didn’t have yet.  They had color TVs in my child’s mind before they were even invented.

For example, my best friend and I created beautiful ballgowns in our heads that we could really see.  Daydreaming, you say just daydreaming….  Did the candy taste just as sweet if only in our imaginations and everything starts with an idea before it becomes a reality.

Your frame of mind can influence your outcome.  How do you act if you know you will get something?  How do you act if you are sure you won’t get something as things are unfair and no matter how good you are you don’t have a chance!

 

 

Smiles Breed Smiles

Does no one ever smile at you?  Well, do you ever smile at them.  It can be risky but you can even try this with people you meet on the street or in a store.  Now I do admit that this might not be a very safe thing to do in certain neighborhoods or with certain people who could perceive it as a “come on” but it is usually safe in other places and with other types of people.  What do you think?

Competition Can Be Good For You!

Checking out your competition can be good for you and discovering what your competition can do for you and what you can learn from your competition is a good idea.  Just think how many good conversations you could have with somebody who knows as much or more than you do.  It could be stimulating and productive.  It might even result in joint effort on a new project.  Your competion could become your best friends and working companions.

We fear that we might look bad when compared to or lose out when we meet our competition.  Surprise! Some people even like honest competition.  Competitors can become supportive friends.  We know this is true of lawyers.

Really knowing and appreciating your competition can be really valuable.  Just think what you might find out and what things you might learn that you didn’t know before.  Don’t be scared by your competition; really worthwhile opponents really want to know the people smart enough to be their competition.  Some people also can’t stand fools who only want to use what they know and what they can do because they can’t compete at the same level.  You and your competition CAN become friends and learn to appreciate each other.

Pushing the “Wheel Barrow” of Life

wheelbarrowdirtThought for the day….

In church yesterday, I realized that when I push my rollator (wheeled walker with a seat) up a handicapped ramp, it has a tremendous urge to go back down the ramp at a frightening speed if I let go of it and stop pushing.  Some times I feel that way about walking my life’s path.  Then when I go back down that ramp, it has a tendency to take off again and run on down the ramp without me.  Either way I can be left with no support from my rollator or can even be run over by it.

When we follow our life’s path, either way it can get out of control and leave us behind and without support if we don’t maintain control of it.  Either way it can be work and we can’t let go of it sometimes not even for a minute.

Now you may not have a rollator to push like I do; but you may have a wheel barrow “figuratively speaking” that you have to push through the “up” and “down” periods of life as you make your way along your path in life.  If it gets away from you, you may no longer be following your chosen path.

Do you think that this has happened to the people in power who have lost their way and who are no longer in control of their “wheel barrow” or in my case, a rollator.  Did they let it get away from them?  Now they are no longer in control of it and it has just taken off on it’s own.  It will now require much greater effort to reclaim that wheel barrow or get back in control of one’s path in life.

Are You Afraid To Touch Or Be Touched?

We were made to be touched and we can literally or figuratively die without it.

Marasmus is a disorder that was found in children who were dying from lack of human contact in orphanages even though fed and kept warm and dry.  Even monkeys have to have it to live.  In an experiment on contact comfort, when possible,  baby monkeys chose a cuddly cloth monkey “mother” that did not provide food over a wire monkey “mother”that did  (Harlow & Harlow 1962).

People have personal spaces and, when possible, people do not let strangers within these boundaries.  While necessary, personal space is not conducive to intimacy which involves touching.  People in social situations  shake hands and even buss someone on the cheek when greeting someone.   People can sometimes become visibly uncomfortable when this is done.  People can openly reject people by stepping away and refusing to do this.

Becoming a loner and not being in touch with other people can happen sometimes not by choice.  Many of these people have experienced rejection and are afraid of this happening again.  Bullying is an example of one thing that can cause this.

Note the popularity of toe nail and fingernail manicures accompanied by foot and hand massages.  Hairdressers who can give a good shampoo usually include a scalp or head massage. Note also the popularity of animal companions especially among those who have no children or those whose children have grown up and live away from them.

In nursing homes, residents noticeably perk up when therapuetic animals are brought to the home and residents are given the chance to interact with them.  Also I have always wondered why residental facilities with older persons residing in them couldn’t have contact with daycare facilities for children as both could interact with the other?

Love Will Keep Us Together

rp_303404356_6ff7a23b4b_m.jpgLove and lack of love are motivating factors in this life. Can we do without love and if we do, can it result in a life of  overwhelming depression, sorrow,  hate, and terror.  Children in orphanages in the past died of mirasmus or lack of love even when their basic needs were met and there was no time or place for love and affection once these were accomplished.

How can you give love when you don’t know how to receive it.  Basically everyone wants to be loved even if they don’t know it.  Giving love to oneself and others is one of the most basic tasks in life and yet it is often the least rewarded by sources outside the self.

It is the most rewarding thing to do personally and a smile, a loving glance, a simple compliment can be given without expectation of reward or recognition.  For one example, children passed lovingly from lap to lap in a family gathering and held so closely that one might not know which child actually belongs to which loving family member unless one knew the families present.

Resentment, abuse, doing without the basic necessities of life while others take more than their share and often even waste much of it.  A commune type of life style or living in or near a close family constellation can promote the idea of sharing and generosity and teach that making others happy is just as rewarding as selfish motives could ever be.warmfuzzies

Warm fuzzies and cold prickles are the invention of a witch in a story by Claude Steiner who can’t sell her potions and spells when people were able to give warm fuzzies freely away and there was always more of them left to share after some of them were given away.  She then spreads the word that that isn’t true and people only have a limited number of warm fuzzies to use themselves and to give to others.  Then she is able to sell cold pricklies which feel like warm fuzzies initially but quickly turn into something that requires that the person needs more which the witch happily sells at a price.

The warm fuzzies were always free and people were generous with them because they never ran out.  The witch, however, told the people that they should save the warm fuzzies and give fake warm fuzzies (or cold prickles) which she manufactured and sold because people only had a finite number of warm fuzzies and should save them for themselves and immediate friends and family members.  Read the story on the web as it has a happy ending when someone exposes the lies that the witch told in order to increase her business.

Why shoudn’t you be generous with your love?  You can start it by just thinking, “I love you,” when you see or think of someone.  If you get braver you might say, “I love you”, outloud as someone leaves instead of just saying, “Goodbye.”  You could say it to yourself as you look in the mirror.  The more you do it the easier it becomes and you might start to benefit from the good vibrations that this generates in others.  Oh sure there are people who are so far into being negative that this doesn’t work with them; but don’t let that stop you because many other people will respond positively.

 

What I Wish Somebody Told Me….

1.  It is not a good idea to put somebody down just for the fun of it.  Anyway if you do, did you know that you are only revealing your own insecurities.

2.  It is not a good idea to focus only on the worst thing that could happen in any situation.  You only add to the chance that it might happen.  We are so afraid of being disappointed that we don’t want to anticipate something good happening.  This attitude can jinx you instead as you might not try as hard.

3.  Don’t make somebody else’s drama your drama especially if you personally can’t do anything about it and/or didn’t have anything to do with it in the first place.  Have you ever seen someone else faint when another person gets hurt?  Now there is another victim?

How many emergency vehicles have trouble getting there in time to help when other people slow down or stop to take in the excitement of the accident scene or worse yet try to get the first look when a tornado touches down or a fire of unknown orgin breaks out.

4.  It is not always me, me, me.  Have you ever ruined a compliment being given to someone else by one upping them with your own fabulous possession or outrageous accomplishment?

Feeling Beat Down And Worn Out?

Criticism and put-downs can be a form of mental abuse and so can sarcasm and being told that you can’t take a joke.  Constant volleys of such “verbal” abuse can wear a person down and definitely not help them back up. It is often used in arguments to denigrate the opinions  and/or wishes of those being put down.  The partner might find him or herself spending more time defending themselves than having a constructive arguement.

Anger Is Often Used To Control

Anger Controls People

Nagging can result from such interactions.  If a person is never allowed to win an argument by the means cited above, they may resort to nagging as a substitute for not being able to win in an argument.  Nagging can be a symptom of a relationship where one person doesn’t do something that the other person wants and in an argument over this issue, the other person feels that they don’t have to a chance to win.

Such forms of interaction discussed above can result in a negative living situation with one or both persons involved feeling “less than” and unable to cope.  Being constantly “put-down” does not generate a comfortable situation and it can become a constant war zone in which one person always wants to win and the other person doesn’t feel they have a chance.

Punishment is not a good way to encourage certain forms of behavior; positive reinforcement is.  Also on many issues over which partners fight there is often no one “right” answer.  Many such arguments are about personal preferences and not absolutes although some people like to think that they are.  Mother nature and our environments are set up to encourage certain types of tastes and certain types of skills.

Does Anger Bring Out The "Devil" In You

Does Anger Bring Out The “Devil” In You

For example, if I have sensitive hearing, I may prefer certain types of music over other types.  Does that make me right or wrong when I argue with a person with different sensitivites and experiences.  For example, I do not like most “bluegrass music,” certain old time country music, and polkas (unless they are extremely “lively”).  However that doesn’t mean that I don’t like music as a whole.

It often boils down to a whole issue of control.  If I maintain that the things I like and like to do are the only “right” ones than I can be sure that I won’t have to do or experience anything different that I might not like.  In one relationship I was in, I was not allowed to eat any onions cooked or raw at home or away from home for he could always tell if I did and he didn’t like them.

Nobody is happy if only one person is in control of the relationship.  The winner might get tired of having to tell the loser everything they are supposed to do and the loser might get tired of never having “any choice”.  This can be the motive for murder where one partner kills the other.

 

 

Neglected Gratitude

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium Helping Someone

Think of all the people who have helped you. For a moment, don’t count the times that they didn’t. Be appreciative of what you did get even if you can’t rely on them now. It is unusual to look back and not find at least one person who has helped you. Even people who have did you great harm might have done something that benefited you once. It is also easier to notice the things that have gone wrong than to count your blessings.
So often we do not remember or note in any way things that people who treat you right have done and value more what someone who has neglected us has done. Be truly grateful. Why is a favor done by someone who usually rejects us mean more than one by someone who consistently supports you. “Ah, you say when this happens, “It doesn’t count.”
chinese-grandparents-sitting-grandchildren-26098101There was a mother who had a lot of children. Two of them took care of her and even at one point had her live with each of them. Who did she get excited about when they came to see her or when she had a chance to go see them, the ones who usually did nothing for her and usually weren’t around very much. Seems shallow, doesn’t it.
You may feel the same way about family. If they are not the ones doing something for you, then it doesn’t count. Yet hasn’t God sent other people into your life to help you at times maybe when your family wasn’t there. People aren’t all or always bad.
rp_7297340494_bbd50a8706_m.jpgNo one’s family life is perfect and I spent some time when I was younger talking about what my parents had done wrong in raising me and did not talk about the good things (Oh, yes, there were some). For example, my parents put me through undergraduate school at a private four year college. Also holidays and family get togethers were important to them.
I don’t want to underestimate anything that went wrong in your upbringing; but many times there are more than one thing to consider if you are looking at how you were raised. Yes, the bad things might have outweighed the good ones; but the good ones still existed.