Psychology Self Improvement Self Motivation

Complacency the Enemy of Self-Actualization

It’s human nature to seek comfort.  We all want to be warm, safe, happy and comfortable. We want stability, we want routines, things and people we can depend on, but we also like having something we look forward to doing or experiencing.

Some people look forward to a cocktail or two after work to take “the edge” off, (or rather, to dull the senses to help take the edge off). How many times have you heard people asking, “what’s the meaning of life, why am I/are we here, what’s the point to this existence?” I’m not going to answer that since many others before me have tried and there’s a lot of answers to this, and people who are truly looking for answer will find one that suits them. Some self-help gurus will tell you that Man’s purpose in life is to serve God, or other higher power, while others state that purpose doesn’t matter, but experiencing the NOW is where your focus should be.Self-Actualization-Test-Maslow-Hierarchy-of-Needs

In my humble opinion, people are seeking reasons for existence because they’re not quite as happy as the could be.  I opine that seeking a purpose is equivalent to seeking a method by which to get true happiness out of life. In my psychology classes in college and high school we learned about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and at the top of the hierarchy, or pyramid, was the term self-actualization.

SELF-ACTUALIZATION-  in layman’s terms it means to reach your potential, your true utmost achievable ACTUAL potential for your SELF. Without purpose, or a drive to seek a purpose, there are no goals set, therefore no achievements, therefore no ACTUAL realization of the true potential of the self. Without purpose, or goals all we’re left with is complacency.

Why do people have middle-age crises?

Because they had their noses buried in work, careers, marriages, which is all well and good since those institutions can help individuals better themselves by developing their natural skills that made them enter that particular line of work, and to develop themselves as a soul mate/partner, but is that what we really need to do and experience in order to reach self-actualization?

Did we major in finance because that’s our passion, or because we knew that majoring in finance was a good path towards a lucrative career?

If you have a talent and true passion for finance, then maybe this career path is going to help you self-actualize, but in most cases, people find their true “happy place” at home or away from work doing something else entirely.

  • Complacency… in life in work at home. Why do marriages get stale, old? Why does the sex life wane over time? Because it’s SO easy to let happen, since complacency is the easiest thing to let happen to you. Remember, we like routines, safety, things we know, but those are somewhat short lived and can get “old”…

Marriages require work and dedication to self and to significant others, and careers do, too to a certain extent.  If you want to move ahead in your career complacency is NOT a virtue but something that going to get you passed over for promotions and even from seeking other horizontal or vertical movements up or across career ladders.


Why’s that important?

Because without achievements there’s no chance of self actualization.

Tips for setting goals…

  1. Do it for the right reasons.
  2. Set goals that will bring you some sort of long-lasting happiness
  3. Set long term and short term goals

Late in 2010 I weighed 230 pounds, my heaviest ever, and I was slaving away on a treadmill trying to shave off a few pounds when I saw a running magazine. The articles were talking about road races, marathons, running tips for ednurance runners, and being someone who had run 2 marathons previously, I got something akin to an epiphany…

I said to myself, “self, why not do another marathon, the next one is 5-6 months away and you have plenty of time to run it?” So, I took my SHORT TERM goal of losing a few pounds here and there and turned it into a long term goal, to run the Boston Marathon. My thinking was, why not focus on a long term goal instead of a short term goal, that way I can focus on one far-away goal and let the journey be the reward. Meaning… the journey would consist or running lots of miles without regard for weight loss, which would be a natural byproduct of running 30-50 miles a week. So the weight loss goal which is semi-permanent for me, became a sub-goal, a sub-achievement and the loftier goal of running a Boston Marathon become the higher achievement goal.o-MEDITATION-facebook

Now, when I run this race on April 18th, 2011 my satisfaction with self will be that much greater because I gave myself a harder to achieve goal, but in the meantime I will have lost close to 50 pounds, form 230 down to 180 or so…


Even when setting goals, don’t be complacent, give yourself long term loftier goals to derive more satisfaction out of your achievements.

Once a goal gets reached, especially long term goals, the feeling is almost anti climactic, so you should remember that complacency is always waiting and ready to jump into your mindset and get you back into normal routine that don’t help you self actualize as an individual. I can say with 100% certainty that I would not have lost 50 pounds in the last 5-6 months if my goal was merely to run on a treadmill and hope to lose a few pounds here and there.

Psychology Self Improvement Self Motivation

How To Break Bad Habit Step by Step

Benjamin Franklin is often credited as saying that, “the best way to break a bad habit is to create a new one”, and that’s what this post will go into detail about.

The folks at Alcoholics Anonymous has another saying…something to the tune of you’ll quit drinking or other bad habits when “you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired”…

Therefore, motivation is key to breaking a bad habit.  without motivation there’s no impetus to fight through complacency and/or lethargic attitudes towards self improvement. Self improvement and self motivation DO go hand in hand because one is not achieved without the other. I sit at a couch or desk all day, and as the years pass it gets harder to lose weight and keep it off.  If this habit continued to go unattended/fixed, then you’ll develop a weaker core, which leads to bad posture, which leads to back pain in many many cases.maxresdefault

If you’re a stubborn Irish-American like me you can deal with carrying around some extra pounds, but when back pain ensues and continues for a while you will get sick and tired of feeling that way.  And when you carry around a constant yearning for change but don’t do anything about it, the motivation piles up slowly.

However, if it took years of bad habits like not exercising, not eating right, and even not caring about your health to get yourself to the point where you feel a strong urge for change, you still have to un-do the habits you’ve created before changing your situation.

Australian business Ladbrokes Australia have implemented an in work motivation program which they say has increased productivity throughout the business.

You can read more about here

How many people quit their New Year’s Resolutions within a month or two, and why?

A lot of people quit their resolutions for change because they didn’t have good enough motivation AND they probably didn’t have a good enough plan. It’s a fact of life and simple human nature that we seek pleasure, not pain.  It’s also human nature that we do not like change, which makes it difficult to seek out and achieve the changes we want to see in and for ourselves.

Set realistic and easily achievable goals…

Since we don’t like change and gravitate towards pleasure, it’s a recipe for failure when we try to do too much too soon, and that’s why most New Year’s Resolutions fail. There’s too many days, weeks and even years of bad habits we’re trying to change in just a few days and we’re trying to change too much, too soon which leads to discomfort.

For example, dieting.

Crash diets are notorious for working quickly but more often than not, most people regain the weight they lost and even added a few pounds when all is said and done.  The body doesn’t like change either, but will respond to changes in diet with some weight loss, but like the human mind, the body seeks a return to normalcy which is why many attempts at severe and sudden change don’t pan out well for the person attempting it.

  • Here’s what I did to get back in shape, slowly but surely
  • 1st week of 2010 – do 1 single push in the morning, and one at night before bed.
  • No big deal there, right?  Anyone can do 1 measly pushup!

However, the point here was to be smart and to develop an easy to maintain habit, and believe it or not, taking that first step and committing to doing just one push in the morning was by far the hardest step of all.

  • 2d week of 2010 – 3 push ups in the morning, 3 at night
  • 3d week of 2010 – 5 push ups in the morning, 5 at night
  • 4th week – 10 push ups in the morning, 10 at night
  • 5th week – 15 push ups in the morning, 15 at night
  • 6th week – 18 push ups in the morning, 18 at night
  • 7th week – 20 push ups in the morning, 20 at night

The hardest part after week one is starting the next week off with an increased number of push ups to do.  However, it wasn’t as difficult as committing to doing that 1 single push up on day 1, week 1.

Week 1 was the hardest because I was breaking new ground, and doing 20 push-ups in the morning is much, much easier because I actually want to do it and the habit has been created.  My mental resistance to doing something new is gone now, and all that’s left is maintaining my schedule.

NOTE: If you start a new habit and feel like it’s going too slow for your liking and you want to increase the pac eat which you’re effecting change in yourself, do not give in to this temptation.


That’s a sign of impending failure because the old habit you might have, as discussed previously in this post, is to do too much too soon, thereby making it less pleasurable to achieve the changes you want.

When you feel like “ramping things up” a bit, resist the urge to do so, knowing that this urge is going to be the motivation that carries you over into wanting to keep at this in the following weeks and hopefully years to come.

So what bad habit did I break by creating this new habit of doing push ups in the morning and at night?

Well, if I eat something late at night, which is a continued bad habit of mine, then I will do push ups to “atone” for my bad behavior, and over time the late night eating has gone down considerably.  There are times when I’ll just eat a cracker or not eat at all late night and go right to the push ups then off to bed.

Slowly but surely the bad habit of eating lat eat night is getting to be less of a habit, and soon it will be non-existent. In the meantime, I’ve lost weight by getting my heart rate going in the morning and of course, by eating less at night.


Self Improvement Self Motivation

Vince Lombardi Team Motivation Techniques

Vince Lombardi was a great man. He was a greater football coach, said by some to be the greatest football coach who ever lived. He was a man who did not give up on his players, himself, or his team. He believed that everyone could be successful with the right team motivation techniques.

Background Information on Vince Lombardi:Screen-Shot-2015-09-18-at-15.38.49

Vince Lombardi was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1913 and was brought up in a very strict Catholic household. He started to school to be a priest at age 15, but soon changed his mind. Two short years later, he started playing football at Fordham University. He was famous as one of their “Seven Blocks of Granite” players. In 1937, he graduated and began going to law school. Instead of becoming an attorney, though, he took on a teaching and coaching job with a school in New Jersey. Eight years later, he married his sweetheart, Marie, in 1940.

They went on to have two children, a boy and a girl. He became a coach for Fordham University in 1947 for two years. In 1954-1958, he served as an assistant coach to the New York Giants. In 1949, he became Red Blaik’s assistant coach at West Point. Lombardi was known for being a workaholic and soon received an offer to be the assistant coach for the Green Bay Packers. He became head coach and went on to lead the Packers to 5 winning seasons and championships. In 1959, when he was the head coach for the Packers, he was known for his hard, grueling practice sessions and training camps with his players. During the 1960′s, he led them to five NFL Championships and to Superbowls 1 and 2. He also earned his place as the greatest football coach ever. In 1969, he moved to Washington and became the coach for the Washington Redskins. He miraculously turned this team into a winner as this was their first winning season in over 10 years under his direction.

Then, in 1970, tragedy struck as he became ill and was diagnosed with colon cancer which was very advanced already. He died a mere 10 weeks later at the young age of 57. There were 2 separate funeral ceremonies with thousands of people attending them. He was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and remembered for all his famous attempts at team motivation at which he was most successful. Also, the Super Bowl trophy’s name was changed to the Lombardi trophy.How-good-are-your-team-motivation-skills-1290x432

One of his most famous quotes says this: “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

Lombardi was also featured as the “Face of the NFL” on the cover of Time magazine in 1962 before his death. His coaching skills and team motivation philosophy led many to be inspired by his attitude. He had his own definition of lateness, “Lombardi time” where only if you were 10-15 minutes early, only then were you not late. He is also famous for zone blocking where you make a hole and the running back is “looking for daylight.”