Monthly Archives: February 2021

Self-actualizing well-being

Self-actualization for Maslow consisted of 12-13 characteristics. These were:

  1. Superior perception of reality
  2. Increased acceptance of self, of others and of nature
  3. Increased spontaneity
  4. Increase in problem-centering
  5. Increased detachment and desire for privacy
  6. Increased autonomy, and resistance to enculturation
  7. Greater freshness of appreciation, and richness of emotional reaction
  8. Higher frequency of peak experiences
  9. Increased identification with the human species
  10. Changed (improved) interpersonal relations
  11. More democratic character structure
  12. Greatly increased creativeness
  13. Certain changes in the value system

PERMA well-being defined by Martin Seligman, Ph.D. consists of positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement.

When we put the above two models together, we can learn to be well as we actualize. In an individualistic democracy, we can live spontaneously, taking solace in our independence and objectivity. We can focus on building meaningful and intimate relations with others (item #10) whom we accept as we do ourselves. We can achieve superior understandings of reality and solve important problems. We can reach the highest levels of rich, positive emotion (appreciation being one such state of being) through the elusive and mystical peak experience. We can engage in our own evolution as our values–and hence, our characters–change. And we can find meaning in creative endeavors that set our spirits free, igniting our souls with passion that leads us to our ultimate purpose.


Pokémon and prediction

In Season 3, Episode 24 of Pokémon the Series: Gold and Silver (“Wired for Battle!”), a top dojo student and Pokémon trainer battles protagonist Ash and loses. What the episode seems to impart is that experience tells the “real story” in a way that data analysis can’t. Ash’s competitor in this episode relies heavily on his database and predictive model for battling; Ash relies on his gut.


Does Ash’s foe lose because his instincts are too poor? Is his machine learning lacking? Proper inference relies on the quality of both data and calculation using it. Perhaps the dojo fighter’s ML instincts (specifically, his “process”) need work!*

*I recognize this is not the central point of the episode: but, it still got into a data science mood… 🙂 As a former Pokémon simulator battler and user of many screens, this episode tugged me especially.