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Self-transcendence is a personality trait that involves expanding one’s personal Boundaries and connecting with Something greater than oneself. According to some psychologists, such as Abraham Maslow and Viktor Frankl, Self-transcendence is an important aspect of human development and wellbeing. People who are self-transcendent tend to have aspirational qualities because they are motivated by values, goals, and ideals that transcend their own Self-interest. They are not satisfied with merely fulfilling their own needs and desires, but seek to contribute to the greater good of humanity, nature, or The divine. Some examples of aspirational qualities that self-transcendent people may exhibit are:
- Wholeness: the feeling of being connected to all the self, and everything beyond, is a key aspirational quality and driver for our core Self-esteem.
- Humility: the ability to acknowledge one’s limitations and imperfections, and to appreciate the strengths and contributions of others.
- Compassion: the feeling of empathy and concern for the suffering and well-being of others, and the motivation to help them.
- Curiosity: the desire to learn new things and to explore the unknown aspects of oneself, others, and the world.
- Creativity: the capacity to generate novel and useful ideas, solutions, or products that transcend conventional thinking.
- Wisdom: the Integration of knowledge, experience, and Insight that enables one to make sound judgments and decisions.
- Gratitude: the recognition and appreciation of the positive aspects of oneself, others, and life, and the expression of thanks for them.
- Purpose: the sense of having a meaningful direction and goal in life that aligns with one’s values and contributes to Something greater than oneself.
- Spirituality: the belief in or Connection with a transcendent reality that transcends the physical and material world.
- Seeking knowledge: seeking to learn from different perspectives and experiences, and being open to new ideas and possibilities.
- Positivity: having a positive outlook and attitude, and being resilient in the face of challenges and difficulties.
- Authenticity: being Authentic and honest, and expressing one’s true self without fear of judgment or rejection.
- Mindful: being mindful and aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, and actions, and how they affect oneself and others.
- Courage: being courageous and adventurous, and taking risks and opportunities to grow and explore.
- Flow state: not so much a quality, but an optimal experience that you can also aspire to.
These aspirational qualities make self-transcendent people admirable and inspiring to others. They also make them happier and more fulfilled in life, as they find Meaning and Purpose beyond themselves.
It’s important to realize that the Ego can replicate many of these qualities. A non-transcended person can equally demonstrate many of these factors, but for those people, holding on to those traits and values will always be a struggle. For a self-transcendent person, these will come naturally, without effort. It’s just, who they are.
If you are interested in learning more about the aspirational qualities of transcendent people, here are some webpages that explore this topic from different perspectives.
7 common traits of self-transcended people by Big Think: This article summarizes the research of psychologists Todd M. Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot on the characteristics of people who have reached the highest level of human potential, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Some of these traits include finding Meaning in their lives, creating something for the world, being receptive to beauty, and focusing on the well-being of others.
Why Inspiration Matters by Harvard Business Review: This article argues that inspiration is a crucial factor for transcending our ordinary experiences and limitations, and achieving new possibilities. It describes the three main qualities of inspiration: evocation, transcendence, and approach motivation. It also suggests some ways to cultivate inspiration in ourselves and others.
What is Transcendence? Top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs by Sloww: This webpage provides a comprehensive overview of Maslow’s concept of transcendence, which he added to his original hierarchy of needs as the ultimate goal of human development. It explains what transcendence means, how it differs from Self-actualization, and what are some examples of transcendent experiences and people.
Transcendentalism by Britannica: This webpage introduces the 19th-century movement of writers and philosophers in New England who advocated for a transcendental system of thought based on the essential Unity of all creation, the innate goodness of humanity, and the supremacy of Insight over logic and experience. Some of the famous figures of this movement include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller.
What a ‘Transcendent Experience’ Really Means by The Cut: This webpage explores the scientific and psychological aspects of transcendent experiences, which are moments when we feel connected to something larger than ourselves, such as nature, art, or Spirituality. It discusses how these experiences can affect our brain activity, Hormone levels, well-being, and Sense of self.