Category Archives: Learn

Self-Actualization and Goals: The Intangible Ones – Part 3


Today’s post continues on from Friday’s post.

Briefly, to refresh your memory, self-actualization is all about being who you truly are–manifesting YOUR talents, skills, and abilities in service of YOUR destiny, which is the reason why you were born on Earth.

Self-actualization is about feelings; not emotions, necessarily, but rather feelings of ecstasy, joy, fulfillment, gratification, reverence, and the like.

It’s about feeling happy but yet it’s so much deeper, fuller, and richer than that.

Below are a few questions to ask yourself. These are designed to familiarize yourself with your feelings of happiness–exactly what it feels like for YOU–and where in your body you feel happiness. Answering these questions, along with the answers from Friday’s post’s questions, will help you home in on your version of happiness.

What does it feel like when you’re happy?

Perhaps you get a soft, cuddly feeling in your chest when you’re happy, or maybe your whole body feels light enough to float away on the softest of breezes. Perhaps your head feels clear when you’re happy and it’s when you can do your sharpest, most incisive thinking.

Where do you feel it in your body?

Does your head get a fizzy, effervescent feeling? Do your arms, legs, fingers, and toes get all tingly when you’re happy? Do you feel a blooming and opening up of your chest when you feel happy? Get specific with where you feel happiness and your description of that feeling.

What thoughts are you thinking when you’re happy; what are you saying to yourself when you are happy?

Are you saying things like “I’ve got the world by the tail!” or “I can do anything!” or “I’m on fire!” or “Wow!” or “I love how this feels!”

What are the specific shadings of “happy” that you’re feeling?

Here are a few adjectives to help you describe what you’re feeling: elated, ecstatic, empowered, strong, vibrant, powerful, mighty, triumphant, unbeatable. Get out your trusty Thesaurus (or use the online one ) to find the exact adjectives that pinpoint your feelings.

What tasks are you doing when you’re happy?

Are you working with your hands or building something? Are you being creative in an artistic sense? Are you problem-solving? Are you using your brain power?

What do you do to show you are happy?

Do you smile; are you cheerful? Are you more gregarious and out-going or do you prefer to sit quietly and bask in the glow of your feelings? Does your happiness energize you to keep going or do more?


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”.

Remember: don’t be surprised or feel awkward that your definition is nothing like anyone else’s, and what you feel and where you feel it when you’re happy is also particular to you. 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!

In Part 4, we’ll talk about how to apply traditional goal-setting techniques to our intangible goals.

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

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Self-Actualization: One Person’s Journey


I came across this essay where the author is talking about her journey into her True Self–self-actualization. I wanted to share it with you because I want you to see how following your Inner Guidance, to people on the outside looking in, it looks crazy.  What you want to do doesn’t make sense to others.

As you see in the article, the author followed her instincts anyway and it was one of the best, most empowering phases of her life. Of course she had struggles and setbacks along the way, but the insights and connecting with her True Self and knowing she could trust it and rely on it were much more valuable than any price she had to pay.

Here’s the link again to the article. Let me know what you think in the comments below.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Self-Actualization: What Is It?


Before beginning a journey, it’s a good habit to have an idea of where you’re headed. We’re starting a journey of self-actualization and the following quotes give some insight into what it is, what we’re aiming for.

Read the quotes, think about them. Which ones did you like, which ones didn’t make sense?  What are your thoughts about self actualization?  Let me know in the comments section below!


The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.  Carl Rogers

The person in peak-experiences feels himself, more than other times, to be the responsible, active, creating center of his activities and of his perceptions. He feels more like a prime-mover, more self-determined (rather than caused, determined, helpless, dependent, passive, weak, bossed). He feels himself to be his own boss, fully responsible, fully volitional, with more “free-will” than at other times, master of his fate, an agent. ~Abraham Maslow

Instead of dedicating your life to actualize a concept of what you should be like, ACTUALIZE YOURSELF. Many people dedicate their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like, rather than actualizing themselves. This difference between self-actualization and self-image actualization is very important. Most people live only for their image.  ~Bruce Lee

It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-actualization cannot be attained if it is made an end in itself, but only as a side effect of self-transcendence.  ~Viktor E. Frankl

Every living organism is fulfilled when it follows the right path for its own nature. ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


I hope these quotes got you to thinking…!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Reminder: It Has Nothing to Do with You

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

I was looking through the archives of my blog posts and came across one that I thought would be a good reminder for us. Originally, I posted it a little over two years ago: on August 16, 2014.

Here is the post:

What other people’s standards are has nothing to do with you.

What other people value, want, like, dream of, think about, talk about, hope for has nothing to do with you.

What other people think you ought to do, should do, better do, has nothing to do with you.

It isn’t your responsibility, obligation, or job to follow what other people think you should do regarding your dreams.

The only thing that is your responsibility is tuning into the Still Small Voice and the urgings of your heart and soul.

~~~ and Artisans Workshop Designs and Artisans Workshop Designs

I hope this post was a good reminder for you, just like it was for me.

It’s so easy to be influenced by other people’s thoughts, ideas, wants, desires, values, etc.. It’s even easier to allow those thoughts, desires, and values to cause us to second-guess ourselves. And, it’s easier still to then decide that perhaps other people are right–maybe they have some insider knowledge on what’s the secret and the shortcut to the life of our dreams.

The truth is that what they think, say, do, have, want, etc., has nothing at all to do with us.

We’re free to listen politely and then go along on our merry way following our heart, soul, and our Still Small Voice! J

Your Friend and Pep Pal,



“I Coulda Been a Contender”


You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let’s face it. ~Terry, played by Marlon Brando, in On the Waterfront

I met a friend of mine in the library the other day and we chatted for a moment. She’s older than I am and mentioned that many of her friends have been retired for several years but she’s had to keep working. She joked, “I think there was some mistake. I think I was meant to be rich!” We shared a chuckle.

But then later on when I got home, I started thinking…. It reminded me of Marlon Brando’s character’s quote in On the Waterfront: “I coulda been a contender.”

This movie quote has been famous for the past 62 years (and will probably continue to be famous for some time to come) because it resonates so profoundly with each one of us. It’s the very unusual person who has not, at some moment in their life, wondered what their life would have been like “if only…”, leaving them with a nagging feeling that their life might be “less than” in some way.

When you think through this thought you’ll see how it makes no sense.

This quote assumes that everything in our life following that “if only…” moment would have stayed exactly the same as we remember it, only now we’d have a leg up because we would have made a different choice in that moment.

But this is not necessarily true.

Our different choice would have opened the door (or close it) for different events to happen (or not happen). We have no way of knowing what those events that did or did not happen would have been! They could have had an even more devastating effect than what we actually experienced. And they could have been damaging not only for us, but for others who weren’t harmed with our original choice.

You may argue that the flip side could also be true: it could have turned out better–for us and for others–just as we imagine in our perfectly constructed “if only…” scenario.

But then, there’s the law of unintended consequences….

By living your actual life, you don’t know how many people may be better off because you’ve lived (think of George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life). Perhaps, the full benefit of your life may not be fully realized for several generations (think of all the artists who were ridiculed during their lives yet now, posthumously, are celebrated as geniuses).

We can go on and on with “our lives could have been better, but then they could have been worse”, which is precisely the point that makes all this supposing ridiculous. We’ll never know for sure if the choice we didn’t make–the road we didn’t travel, as Robert Frost muses about in his poem of the same name–if it really would have been the better choice.

All we can do is live this life right now in this moment, making the best choices that we can and leave all the supposings and if onlys to the gods to sort out!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Summer Reading



Have you read any good books this summer?

Here are a few that I’ve enjoyed:

~Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed

Although this is a quick read, her reflections and insights will make you stop and think.

~Grit by Angela Duckworth

Very hopeful book because grit is a learned behavior, not something that you must be born with.  And, we can all strengthen our grit!

~Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza

Stunning research on just how plastic and powerful our minds are–and how to shape one’s mind and harness its power.

~Icebox Cakes:  Recipes for the Coolest Cakes in Town by Jean Sagendorph and Jessie Sheehan

YUM!  ‘Nuff said!! J

What books did you read this summer?  Feel free to share your favorite ones in the comments below!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Silent Retreat: Other People’s Word


Last week I shared with you that I’ve started a new morning practice of sitting in stillness for 15 – 20 minutes before I meditate. During this time today I had an interesting thought that I want to share with you.

As I was finishing my stillness, the thought came to me that I don’t have to take other people’s word for it.

I don’t have to take their word for it when someone says that I’m not good enough or I’m all washed up. I don’t have to take their word for it!

How do they know, anyway? What makes them the expert on me?

They’re not considering the fact that I can decide to practice and hone my skills or I can go back to school and learn new skills and gain more knowledge. I can find someone to mentor me and improve myself that way.  Or I can devise a program where I carefully observe, read about, and study other people who are more successful than I am, and then apply what I’ve discovered.

Other people don’t know me like I know me. I have the capacity to choose–I can always decide–to do something to improve myself and my lot in life.  People who are dismissive of me aren’t taking into account my ability to change.

So, I don’t have to take other people’s word for it regarding who I am and what my chances of success are!


I can listen to myself–tune into what I know to be true about me.  Plus that, my word about me carries more weight with me than other people’s word!

What a relief to know that none of us has to take anyone else’s word for it about ourselves!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,