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Living One's Goals

As one grows old throughout the years, they seem to glance back on their missed experiences. Could they have been completed? People ask themselves this question daily and with my experience having this mindset, it only digs you into a deeper hole. I am here to share with you my journey and to help shed light on the possibility of strengthening one’s self-actualization skills.

I started my self-actualization journey in 2014 during my junior year of high school after deciding to not try out for varsity baseball. I had spent my whole childhood and teen life playing team sports collaborating for a common goal. During those times I would say it is important for a teen to play team sports because it teaches valuable skills such as being sociable and can work with others. But where is the sense of freedom for an individual? I will always back team sports as long as they are balanced with other self-interests. What I mean is, I played baseball and football in high school and those two sports in a normal high school setting settle you in with an already structured friend group. I went outside of these groups and kept my interests in skateboarding, snowboarding, and skydiving going.

Self-actualization came into play when I did not feel any satisfaction from successful moments during my sports games. I started playing with players who made more of a difference during the game than I did. There will always be someone better than you and at that time it was hard to accept that fact in a positive light. I have talent, but now I am seeing myself as an average joe. An attitude like that took my interest in team sports and diminished it into nothing. Far from being self-actualized, all I had to do was look at was right in front of me.

The outside interests in my life, different from my main complex of sports at the time was the answer. Landing a new trick that was self-taught or telling yourself you can jump the 20-foot gap because no one else can land it for you was all practice for me. It uplifted me out of this denial that I need a team to succeed which had entered its way into every occasion in my life. In 2015, I learned to skydive by myself and found activities that needed me to be self-reliant which gave the most positive impact of my mental health. To learn the process of failure, trial and error, success, and where to find gratitude for things around you and do it yourself builds strong self-actualization skills. You learn to create happiness in your life instead of trying to find it. Those memories you look back on will show, YOU built YOURSELF into the person you are today! I am not saying go do extreme sports to find yourself. I am saying to pick up an activity that requires self-reliant attitudes. If you are looking to build your mental health, start with self-actualization practices. It only takes one task to conquer to get you hooked. For example, you finally got the courage to travel by yourself. Think of the possibilities that just opened for you and how they are going to positively impact your character in the future.

- Stefan Skok


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