The best things of mankind are as useless as Amelia Earhart’s adventure. They are the things that are undertaken not for some definite, measurable result, but because someone, not counting the costs or calculating the consequences, is moved by curiosity, the love of excellence, a point of honor, the compulsion to invent or to make or to understand. In such persons mankind overcomes the inertia which would keep it earthbound forever in its habitual ways. They have in them the free and useless energy with which alone men surpass themselves.
Such energy cannot be planned and managed and made purposeful, or weighted by the standards of utility or judged by its social consequences. It is wild and it is free. But all the heroes, the saints, the seers, the explorers and the creators partake of it. They do not know what they discover. They do not know where their impulse is taking them. They can give no account in advance of where they are going or explain completely where they have been. They have been possessed for a time with an extraordinary passion which is unintelligible in ordinary terms.
No preconceived theory fits them. No material purpose actuates them. They do the useless, brave, noble, the divinely foolish and the very wisest things that are done by man. And what they prove to themselves and to others is that man is no mere creature of his habits, no mere automaton in his routine, no mere cog in the collective machine, but that in the dust of which he is made there is also fire, lighted now and then by great winds from the sky.
~Walter Lippmann as quoted in BrainPickings.org
When I read this quote in the weekly newsletter from BrainPickings.org I nearly shouted “Eureka!”. Walter Lippmann hit the nail on the head regarding what self-actualization is all about.
Self actualization is doing what you must do just because….
It may not make sense to others; it may not make cents and dollars; it may not have any purpose; it may not be useful; it may not have any rhyme or reason to it.
But that doesn’t mean that you should not or must not follow your Still Small Voice, your intuition, your gut instinct, the urgings of your heart, the whisperings of your soul.
You MUST do what is yours to do!
You must do this thing because it’s through this that you self-actualize. And, it’s through self-actualization that you achieve transcendence.
And, really, isn’t transcendence what we’re all yearning for–to connect with That which is More Than and Bigger Than us?
Your Friend and Pep Pal,