Self-Actualization and Goals: The Intangible Ones – Part 2


Traditional achievements, such as getting a better job or going on a special vacation, lend themselves to techniques that goal-setting books and gurus teach.

But what about states of being–your desire to live a happy life, as an example?  They aren’t really goals, are they–at least that’s what the books and gurus say, right?

First of all, striving for a state of being is a goal, even though it seems to defy all the parameters of goal setting.

Secondly, the way you’ll go about achieving your chosen state of being is going to look totally different than the way someone else might strive for it. Don’t be surprised and don’t second-guess yourself when this happens!

To illustrate how to go about achieving a state of being, let’s use ‘being happy” as the goal.

Give yourself plenty of time to answer the following questions–it’s okay to take several sessions spread over several days in order to get to your True Answers:

What YOU mean by “be happy”?

To you, does “happy” mean that you’re laughing and frequently doing a happy dance or does “happy” mean that you have a sense of fulfillment, satisfaction, and contentment?
Why do you want to be happy?

Is it because you’re tired of, and fed up with, being glum?  Is it because you want to do your part in counteract and fighting negativity in the world and living a happy life is the best way you know how to do this?  Is it that you’ve noticed people who are happy seem to have an easier time of living life?

When are you happy?

Do you feel happy during quiet moments or when you’re with other people?  Are you happiest when you’re challenging yourself intellectually, or physically pushing yourself to your limits, or debating the spiritual and philosophical questions that have interested humans for millennia?  Are you happy with an active, fast-paced lifestyle or are you happier with a slower pace–one that gives you plenty of time to savor each moment?


Take the time to answer these questions.  Let them inspire other questions–or other shadings of these same questions–so that you can pinpoint your unique definition and personal meaning of “being happy”.

As you answer these questions, jot down the memories you have of the times when you were happy.

Remember:  don’t be surprised or feel awkward that your definition is nothing like anyone else’s.  It’s supposed to be that way!!  You won’t be happy following someone else’s idea of happiness.  You want your happiness to be tailor-made to YOU!

On Monday we’ll take the next step in goal setting for intangible goals. In the meantime, if you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to share them in the comments below.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Self-Actualization and Goals: The Intangible Ones – Part 1

Copyright Yes I Can Pep Talks
Copyright Yes I Can Pep Talks


The other day, I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine regarding goals and it occurred to me that perhaps I need to talk about tangible versus intangible goals.

Goal-setting books and gurus say that goals must:  (1) be personally motivating–that they’re relevant and meaningful to you; (2) specific; (3) attainable, meaning that they stretch and challenge you but yet you still believe that with effort you can reach them; (4) measurable; (5) time-bound; (6) you’ve put them in writing; (7) and you’ve make an action on which you are regularly following through.
This is well and good if you are striving for dreams that fit these parameters, for instance if you want to visit every national park in the US by your 80th birthday.  But what if you’re interested in esoteric, intangible goals, such as being fully engaged in a juicy, savory life?  It seems like these types of goals don’t lend themselves to goal-setting.  In fact, because of this, you may be tempted to think that you don’t really have goals.

But you do have goals–we all do, whether we realize it or not–and you are using goal-setting techniques to achieve these more nebulous goals. When you’re “looking forward to” or “preparing for” something, even if it is experiential and ethereal, you’ll still use goal-setting techniques.

Be sure to keep tuned to this blog because over the next few days we’ll be talking about how to set these types of goals and how to know if we’re on track with them.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


A Few Resources for You!


Along with posting daily on this blog, I also post every day on the Yes I Can Pep Talks Facebook page and the Yes I Can Pep Talks Twitter page.

To start your day off right, at 7am each morning I post an uplifting tweet. Check it out here:  and click the “Follow” button!

Every day at Noon on Facebook I post an inspirational quote or meme to give you a midday boost.   Check it out here:  and click the “Like” button!

News Flash!

I am working on a book that will go into more depth on the subjects of my top five reader-picked blog posts.   Please fill out the form below to be on my list of folks I’ll email first once this valuable resource is ready.


Your Friend and Pep Pal,



If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.  Thanks!

Why all this Talk about Self-Actualization?!



I want to be sure I take my very best shot at living a delightfully luscious, exquisitely gratifying life.

How about you, is this what you want for yourself, too?

In yesterday’s post, I talked about that, in my opinion, self-actualization is the most important work we can do. It’s through being who we truly are that we live the life of our dreams and, in the process, do our part in changing the world.

How about you? Are you feeling this way, too? I invite you to come on this journey with me!

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks!

Please pass this post along to a friend. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Making the Case for Self Fulfillment and Self-Actualization


Since June when we took a mid-year look at our goals, I’ve renewed my interest in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  I am particularly interested in the pinnacle of his pyramid, which is the self-actualization level.  In fact, as I told you several weeks ago, this is going to be the over-arching focus of this blog.

At every stage in Life, we all feel an innate drive toward self-actualization–the inborn need to live true to, and congruent with, our True Selves.  My observation is that we feel this most keenly when the kids are launched–or are in the process of launching–into their own lives. As this is happening, we may find ourselves realizing that we’re approaching the end of our careers.  To top it off, we’re coping with the awareness that our parents have become elderly and will increasingly need our assistance.

We find ourselves stunned and asking questions like “Is this it; is this all there is?” and “What now?”

Suddenly, goals such as getting the corner office and acquiring the latest status symbols don’t have the appeal and aren’t as compelling as they once were.

The questions we’re now asking ourselves, which are centered around happiness and fulfillment, draw our attention inward and ask us to reassess where we are in life.

But what do we do about this?  How do we shift the focus of our lives toward the answers to these questions–they’re too esoteric.

Also, we feel awkward–that it might be selfish and narcissistic–thinking about self fulfillment and self actualization.  After all, there are people who are homeless, others who are starving, and still others who are innocent victims of violence.  We feel shallow and a ridiculous for concerning ourselves with our happiness and fulfillment.

But yet…the Still Small Voice is more insistent than ever.

Self-actualization is the most important work each of us can do. It is precisely what’s needed as an antidote to the world’s ills.

As we self-actualize, we manifest our true selves. When we manifest our true selves, then we are playing our unique role in the ongoing unfolding of the world and the universe.

I know that sounds airy-fairy, but do you have a better explanation of why each of us is here?   Let me know in the comments section below because I am always very interested to hear how other people make sense of existence and the world. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Quotes that Encourage Us to Keep Going


In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins- not through strength but by perseverance. ~H. Jackson Brown


Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. ~Dale Carnegie


If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of persistence. Determination. The will to endure to the end, to get knocked down seventy times and get up off the floor saying. “Here comes number seventy-one! ~ Richard M. Devos


Few men during their lifetime come anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strength that are never used. ~Richard E. Byrd 


Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. Ralph Waldo Emerson


Which quotes resonated with you? Let me know in the comments below!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Quotes for Inspiration



If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission. ~Anonymous


The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it. ~Henry Ford


The meaning of life is to find our gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.  ~Anonymous


Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.  ~Les Brown


It isn’t what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. ~Anonymous


There is no traffic jam along the extra mile. ~Roger Staubach


The number one reason people fail in life is because they listen to their friends, family, and neighbors. ~Napoleon Hill


Which one of these quotes resonated with you?  Feel free to let me know in the comments below.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Update on Where We Stand


When the seasons change, I take a moment to reflect on where I am in relation to the goals I set at the beginning of the year. Do you do this, too?

By this time of the year, I have goals that are completed or nearly completed as well as ones that are lined up and ready for me to start working on. I also notice that there are a few goals that are totally untouched and as pristine as when I first wrote them on my list last January.   !!!  When looking at your goals list from January, do you notice the same thing?

Perhaps we should have a closer look at these and take this weekend to ask ourselves some questions:

Are these MY goals that are organic to MY dreams and MY Still Small Voice?

If they truly are my goals born of my dreams that grew from my Still Small Voice, then I’ll proceed to the next question.

If not, then I’ll ask myself additional questions:

(1) whose goals/dreams/wishes/desires are these and

(2) why do I think I should make them my goals

(3) what happens if I take these off my goals list–what are the consequences and is there anything I need to do about them?

Are they too big, too intimidating, too overwhelming?

Why aren’t I working toward these goals that are truly mine?

What part of “diving in” is making me hesitate and will breaking them into much smaller steps help?

Do I need some sort of support, such as a Master Mind group?

Every person who has achieved their dreams has done so with the help of a group of like-minded people who encouraged, advised, and lent support along the way.

These are a few of the questions I’ll be answering this weekend as I review my goals. Will you be adding other questions to this list?  If so, if you don’t mind, please let me know in the comments below.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Problems versus Decisions


You don’t have a problem to solve, you have a decision to make. ~Robert Schuller


I was randomly clicking around the Internet and came across this quote. It stopped me in my tracks.

I’d never thought of problems in this light.

When I do, I’m amazed at how many issues and inconveniences would be solved and cleaned up in my life!

For instance: finally deciding to get rid of files and other materials that a former friend abandoned at my house ten years ago; making the decide to resolve an unsatisfactory work situation; deciding to no longer hold space open in my life for people who are never coming back.

Where are you stuck? Can you take a closer look at it to find the decision you aren’t making and thus free yourself to take the next step?

In the comments below, let me know if I can help. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Quotes to Help You Keep Going!



We all get discouraged from time-to-time.  Especially after either a particularly brutal setback or when we’ve endured a never-ending flood of setbacks, we may feel like total idiots.

This is the very time to hold on.

The best way to hold on is to not let go.

Here are a few quotes I came across that might help us when the going is really, really tough:

If you really want to eat, keep climbing. The fruits are on the top of the tree. Stretch your hands and keep stretching them. Success is on the top, keep going. ― Israelmore Ayivor



ailure is a bend in the road, not the end of the road. Learn from failure and keep moving forward. ― Roy T. Bennett


Keep going. No matter what you do, no matter how many times you screw up and think to yourself “there’s no point to carry on”, no matter how many people tell you that you can’t do it – keep going. Don’t quit. Don’t quit because a month from now you will be that much closer to your goal than you are now. Yesterday you said tomorrow. Make today count. ― Anonymous


When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you ’til it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.  ~Harriet Beecher Stowe


Keep on going g and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.  ~Charles F. Kettering

It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.  ~Babe Ruth


Keep going. Take that next step–break it into itsy bitsy pieces but take that next step!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,