Achieving Personal Greatness

Why be Great? We believe that greatness is about all of our inert drive to achieve something of significance. What’s significant is a very personal matter, it’s related to finding meaning in life. It’s easy for people to become jaded and complacent, to think that nothing really matters… And on some level that may be true. But so what if nothing we do or say will have any meaning or significance 10,000 years from now. That isn’t the point at all. The point is to make the most of what we have here and now, to achieve our own personal greatness, to feel good about ourselves and our role in the universe. So, why pursue personal greatness, because we can and it alone can help to provide additional meaning and focus to our lives. For many, there will be lots of spill over benefits to those around them.   A large part of our mission (both personally and as a company) is to help people achieve their health, fitness, performance, and appearance goals. We believe that health is one of the key foundations to achieving overall health and happiness as well as achieving anything else one might want to accomplish in life.   To fully understand our mission it is necessary to understand the following chart.  
Before diving into the diagram, allow me to provide some background on Maslow and Humanistic Psychology which the diagram was adapted from. Abraham Maslow was a very well respected Psychologist who was one of the founders of Humanistic Psychology. He made several important contributions to our understanding of human behavior and the underlying motivations for those behaviors. Humanistic Psychology was a reaction to the extremely mechanistic, programmed-response approaches of  both Freud’s Psychoanalysis and Skinner’s Behaviorism. Both of those, the dominant psychological theories of their time, postulated that our behaviors are largely pre-programmed by either childhood traumas & experiences or by repeated conditioning, respectively. The Humanists created a new, third wave. Maslow and the other Humanists believed in Mankind’s ability to have a higher motivation and calling, one driven by an inherent desire to do what is right while striving toward self-improvement.  The five basic principles of humanistic psychology are:
  1. Human beings, as human, supersede the sum of their parts. They cannot be reduced to components.
  2. Human beings have their existence in a uniquely human context, as well as in a cosmic ecology.
  3. Human beings are aware and are aware of being aware – i.e., they are conscious. Human consciousness always includes an awareness of oneself in the context of other people.
  4. Human beings have the ability to make choices, and with that, responsibility.
  5. Human beings are intentional, aim at goals, are aware that they cause future events, and seek meaning, value, and creativity.
Maslow was integral in helping to develop these concepts and one of the things he is best known for was his development of his Hierarchy of Needs (which we have adapted above), a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization (what we are referring to as Personal Greatness). Note: he did not create this as a pyramid or chart, although he wrote about the various components in the hierarchy extensively. The now-famous “Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs” presented as a pyramid was created by others, based on his writings. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a “bag of symptoms.” Humanistic psychologists believe that every person has a strong desire to realize his or her full potential, to reach a level of self-actualization.” The main point of the movement, which reached its peak in the 1960s, was to emphasize the positive potential of human beings. Maslow positioned his work as a vital complement to that of Freud: “It is as if Freud supplied us the sick half of psychology and we must now fill it out with the healthy half.” According to Maslow, self-actualizing people share the following qualities:
  • Truth: honest, reality, beauty, pure, clean and unadulterated completeness
  • Goodness: rightness, desirability, uprightness, benevolence, honesty
  • Beauty: rightness, form, aliveness, simplicity, richness, wholeness, perfection, completion
  • Wholeness: unity, integration, tendency to oneness, interconnectedness, simplicity, organization, structure, order, not dissociated, synergy
  • Dichotomy-transcendence: acceptance, resolution, integration, polarities, opposites, contradictions
  • Aliveness: process, not-deadness, spontaneity, self-regulation, full-functioning
  • Unique: idiosyncrasy, individuality, non-comparability, novelty
  • Perfection: nothing superfluous, nothing lacking, everything in its right place, just-rightness, suitability, justice
  • Necessity: inevitability; it must be just that way, not changed in any slightest way
  • Completion: ending, justice, fulfillment
  • Justice: fairness, suitability, disinterestedness, non partiality,
  • Order: lawfulness, rightness, perfectly arranged
  • Simplicity: nakedness, abstract, essential skeletal, bluntness
  • Richness: differentiation, complexity, intricacy, totality
  • Effortlessness: ease, lack of strain, striving, or difficulty
  • Playfulness: fun, joy, amusement
  • Self-sufficiency: autonomy, independence, self-determining.
We here at Body Symphony also believe in the above qualities of people. Our Mission involves helping others to achieve their own personal greatness by supplying many of the raw materials required. As you can see from the diagram, the physical realm is the foundation for all that is built upon it. It is vitally important to produce a strong, healthy foundation (physical body) to allow us to shift our focus to the higher realms Personal greatness is about being all that you can be, it is about becoming a better person via a commitment to ongoing persona improvement. Some of the things we help to provide to help people achieve their personal greatness include:
  • Extremely high-quality nutritional support products.
  • Educational programs (including this one) to help improve one’s health knowledge.
  • Motivation & Encouragement to continue on the path of self-development. Support & Fellowship as a member of our Tribe.
  • It’s all a work in progress. We have a long way to go and we’re committed to the path.
  Posts like this, and many more to follow, are intended to help fulfill some of our educational & motivational components of our mission. Now let’s dive into a brief discussion of the Hierarchy of Greatness.

A Brief Discussion of The Hierarchy of Personal Greatness:

As with any structure, a sound foundation is required if it is to last. The Hierarchy of Greatness is built on a foundation of Homeostasis. All life and health depends on the organism’s ability to attain and maintain a “steady-state” of balanced chemistry for the fluids that bathe its cells. All cells require certain nutrients to survive, these nutrients come from the external world (for the most part) and must get to the cell via the interstitial fluids that are fed by the blood stream. Likewise, the waste products produced by the cells must not build up to an excessive amount so they are deposited into this interstitial fluid and eventually make their way into the blood stream to be disposed of. In addition to this basic homeostasis or balanced internal environment there are other types of homeostasis related to one’s personal safety and security that are also vital foundations to build upon. If a person does not have some basic, reasonable sense of safety and security, they will have a much more difficult time thriving and achieving greatness. Both things combined equal the physical foundation level. Next we move up to a higher level of being as we move toward greatness, I refer to it as the emotional balance level. It involves things like love and a sense of belonging. It is more cognitive, mental, and intellectually based than purely physical. It includes things like family, friends, friendship, fellowship, and sexual intimacy. Being social beings, each of these is important to one’s overall health and happiness. Going a bit higher on the hierarchy we come to the mental health level. Of course the two levels below also contribute to or support this level, that’s the point of the analogy. The distinction is that this level has to do more with knowledge, achievement, appreciation of beauty, confidence, self-respect, self-esteem, and respect of and by others. It should be obvious why each of these are important to both the individual’s health and the health of the larger society. The next level is called self-actualization and it is on a more spiritual plane than basic intellect. This is where we come to recognize and understand our inherent drive to grow personally, to achieve a higher level of greatness. At his level we shift toward more self-motivation vs. seeking motivation and approval from others. This is the level where one’s true moral compass thrives, no longer needing an outside director or governor. Finally, the top of this pyramid or hierarchy is what we’ll call transcendence. It’s where we realize and believe that we have achieved our personal greatness and can focus attention on helping others on their journey. This may resonate with some of you and not so much for others. Everyone has their own path and journey so there are no judgments. This is just the way we see things and wish for them to be.