When I studied Psychology one of the psychologists whose work I was impressed with was Abraham Maslow. His impact on studying human behaviour focused on a "humanistic psychology" which resonated deeply with me. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people rather than treating them as a group of symptoms.
In an email today I received a reminder of Maslow's rules of self-actualization which is at the top of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
(image from Wikipedia)
This is Abraham Maslow's 8 ways to Self-Actualize
1. Experience things fully, vividly, selflessly. Throw yourself into the experiencing of something: concentrate on it fully, let it totally absorb you.
2. Life is an ongoing process of choosing between safety (out of fear and need for defense) and risk (for the sake of progress and growth): Make the growth choice a dozen times a day.
3. Let the self emerge. Try to shut out the external clues as to what you should think, feel, say, and so on, and let your experience enable you to say what you truly feel.
4. When in doubt, be honest. If you look into yourself and are honest, you will also take responsibility. Taking responsibility is self-actualizing.
5. Listen to your own tastes. Be prepared to be unpopular.
6. Use your intelligence, work to do well the things you want to do, no matter how insignificant they seem to be.
7. Make peak experiencing more likely: get rid of illusions and false notions. Learn what you are good at and what your potentialities are not.
8. Find out who you are, what you are, what you like and don't like, what is good and what is bad for you, where you are going, what your mission is. Opening yourself up to yourself in this way means identifying defenses - and then finding the courage to give them up.