What one can be, one must be — Abraham Maslow
Finding your purpose in life is simply doing what you must be doing…
There is a gap between who we are right now and who we are capable of being. This gap is often filled with frustration, which can lead to anger, sadness, and depression.
Our job is to close the gap, or at least to move in the direction of making that gap smaller.
Abraham Maslow said :
“What one can be, one must be”.
He doesn’t say what one should be, could be, or should try to become. No. What one can be, one must be.
You don’t just have a possibility to become the best version of yourself. You have a duty, obligation, and responsibility to live up to your highest potential.
First, you have an obligation to be the best you can be towards yourself. Because we know that life is finite, as Marcus Aurelius likes to remind us constantly: “Memento Mori”, you could leave life right now.
How would you live today if you knew it was your last day on earth?
Because life is not unlimited it is finite, because we will die, probably sooner than we think, life is extremely precious, life is fragile.
We owe it to the sanctity of life itself, to live to our highest potential.
If not today, then when? You have one life. That life is short. You need to live that life to your highest potential so that you can serve yourself and the world around you the best you can, in your way, with your talents.
That is not optional, at least not if you want to have a fulfilling life, a life with a legacy, and a life of true, intrinsic peace of mind and happiness.
Coach Wooden said:
“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable”.
It’s as simple as this. Success and your peace of mind only involve knowing that you made an effort to become the best possible version of yourself.
And so: What you can be, you must be!
Second, you have the obligation and the responsibility to become the best version of yourself for the people around you. For your family, your friends, your colleagues working with you, for your community, and more broadly speaking, to the world.
You can feel that thing inside you…
You have something inside of you, and I know you feel it. It can be a set of thoughts; it can be a set of skills, a talent.
You know that you have more to do and contribute than what you express today. You know it! You owe it to the people who love you and that you love to close that gap between who you are today and who you are capable of becoming.
I feel it so much these days because I just became a father. I don’t want my son to have a frustrated, angry, and sad dad. I want to be the best dad possible, teaching my son about virtues and values and educating him so that he can have the tools to shape his destiny and live up to his highest potential.
It’s my responsibility to guide him in his early years. And to be the most incredible father I can be? Well, I need to optimise and actualise my very own potential.
I need to optimise my energy because how can I be a great father if I’m all sluggish and tired all the time?
I need to optimise my work so that I live with a sense of purpose and lead by example; I also have a grip on my time management so that I don’t do overtime at work to be fully present with my family every single day.
I love that quote from Abraham Maslow: “What one can be, one must be”.
This sentence alone reflects on the whole journey that we are on together.
Every single day, working towards becoming what we can become, to our full potential and our TRUE CAPABILITIES.
I will finish this article with one last quote by Abraham Maslow:
“If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be unhappy for the rest of your life.”