Saturday, January 31, 2015


Philosophical Musings of a Self-Actualized Veteran

Literature teaches you more about the art of living rather than sermons and moral lectures.

I learnt more from literature than from high-falutin philosophy or spiritualism.

And of all genres of literature, it is short stories which gave me insightful tips on the art of living and vignettes on philosophy of life.

You must have heard of the term: Self-Actualization”.

I first came across this term in the 1970s when I read about Abraham Maslows Hierarchy of Needs while studying the management module during my engineering course.

We were told that the Hierarchy of Needs has 5 levels of Human Needs:

1. Physiological

2. Safety and Security
3. Love and Belonging

4. Esteem
5. Self-Actualization

I understood what the first four needs meant – but for many years I wondered as to what was the meaning of the term self-actualization”.

One day I read a fiction short story called THE NIGHT TRAIN AT DEOLI written by Ruskin Bond.

The Night Train at Deoli” by Ruskin Bond is my favourite Love Story.

It is a simple story of inchoate and unrequited love  which happens to all of us in our youth.

An eighteen year old boy meets a girl at a quaint railway station called Deoli  where the train halts for a few minutes.

It is love at first sight.

On the return journey after his vacation, the boy eagerly searches for the girl the moment the train reaches Deoli.

He is delighted to see her on the platform.

They look at each other.

They spend ethereal moments of unspoken love, they delicately hold hands.

Suddenly the guard blows his whistle and the train starts moving.

I have to go to Delhi,” the boy says.

The girl replies, “I do not have to go anywhere.”

This is exactly what I felt one morning, during my walk in the lush green park on the banks of the Mula River, and I said to myself – “I do not have to go anywhere.”  

I felt that I have achieved everything I wanted to achieve.

I have accomplished whatever I wanted to accomplish in life.

I have done whatever I wanted to do.

I am living the life I always wanted to live.

Now  I am satisfied with life  I am happy where I am – I am content with what I have.

And so  I can say to myself: “I do not have to go anywhere”.

Now I realize what self-actualization means.

Self Actualization is a state of mind when you can say to yourself: I do not have to go anywhere”.

Yes – you have reached the stage of self-actualization when you can say to yourself: “I do not have to go anywhere”.

You have realized your full potential.

What you can be  you have become.

You are living the life you always wanted to live.

You have reached where you wanted to reach – so now you do not have to go anywhere.

Have you reached this stage of supreme satisfaction in life?

Are you are happy wherever you are?

Are you content with what you have?

Can you say to yourself:

I have reached where I wanted to reach and now I do not have to go anywhere

If you can say this to yourself – you have achieved Self-Actualization.

Self Actualization is when you do not have to go anywhere – you do not want to go anywhere.

Self Actualization is a great feeling.

You can take my word for it.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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1. This is based on my personal experience. It may or may not work for you. So please do due diligence before trying out this technique.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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This is a Revised and Updated Version of My Article I DO NOT HAVE TO GO ANYWHERE Posted by me 

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