Archives for February 2014

Definition of self-actualization

We have come a long way from caveman days. Being civilized means, among other things, having to pronounce words like “self-actualization”. Let’s look at what this word means…

You might have heard of the term “self-actualization”.  This is most often associated with the man who coined the term – Dr. Abraham Maslow.  He postulated that once our physical needs had been fulfilled, our next priority would be self-actualization.

In cave-man days, when it was a struggle just to kill enough mammoths for the BBQ and gather enough berries for the strawberry social, people did not worry too much about psychology and emotions and such.  They had more basic needs.  But now, when even most of the poor in our society has subsistence, self-actualization is a big deal.

Maslow's hierarchy of needsHere is how Dr. Maslow defines “self-actualization”.

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This is the need we may call self-actualization … It refers to man’s desire for fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming …”

So in cave-man days, survival itself could be called self-actualization.  But Dr. Maslow was not the one to invent the concept of self-actualization.

The Biblical Definition of self-actualization

Here is the definition of “self-actualization” in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 .

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

What we can do, we must do to be all we can be.  Each thing in its time.  As we move into a period of history where more people in the world have the chance to pursue non-necessary interests, we might very well call this the century of self-actualization.

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Every man is legendary at something, says Heineken

“The Odyssey” by Heineken® is an adventure in cool, exploring the possible, with an underlying message of self-confidence for every man. And every woman.

Let’s start with a confession.  I am not a big fan of commercials.  I flip the radio station in the car when the talking starts.  I have a sudden urge to visit the bathroom or the fridge when TV ads come on.  I don’t click on ads on websites – I just don’t.

But I have nothing against entertainment.

Which is where an amusing commercial called “The Odyssey” from Heineken® comes in.  I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes and wondering what I see in yet another beer commercial of good buddies, babes in bikinis, everybody having a good time, a cooler of ice with cans of beer, etc.

Scenes from The Odyssey by Heineken

The Heineken® commercial is different in a few important ways.

  • Bottles, not cans.
  • A lobster opens the bottle. (cameo appearance)
  • The lead character with dry hair hops aboard a cruise ship from below. (Don’t try this at home, for obvious reasons.)
  • He is a bearded dude. (Here is why that is so cool!)
  • He limbos. (OK, that’s almost normal for beer commercials.)
  • He dresses in two seconds flat.
  • A seagull comes at his beckoning.
  • He slides down the banister.
  • He catches a lady’s eyes (She’s in a classy dress, not a bikini.) and sends her a Heineken by shuffleboard, nailing it right through the walking feet of another lady.
  • He does some pretty crazy – make that “wild” – dance steps (including an incredible Russian!) with the dancing girls on stage.
  • Finally he does a backward dive off the edge of the cruise ship, back into the ocean from whence he first appeared. (No word on whether his hair stayed dry.)

Bottom line, this commercial holds our attention – who is this dude?  What will he do next?  And most importantly, Heineken® does not cast him as leaning on his beer in order to get the attention of the ladies.  He has their attention along with everyone else’s, and by the way, he drinks Heineken®.

The creators of the ad say that The Odyssey celebrates the premise that every man is legendary at something. The central character is played by several actors, chosen in open auditions for their unique talents and skills – because every man is legendary at something. Every woman, too, but this one is about men. Get the message – it’s a great self-esteem booster.

In the words of Sandrine Huijgen, Heineken® Global Communications Director…

“Our Legends campaign is an entertaining homage to our drinkers and their legendary behaviours. We are convinced that many of our drinkers out there have at least one legendary talent. They just need a chance to show it to the world. This is why we decided to offer our next film, The Odyssey, as an opportunity for 20 young men to show us what they’ve got. And they are all legendary.”

So let’s go straight to the commercial…

Seems legit.  Especially the dry hair when he comes on board from below. But not everybody agrees. Some people have taken to criticizing the authenticity of the commercial. So Heineken® has taken to the airwaves to fight back. Here is what they have to say…



In fact, if you want to see the casting films of each of the actors, there is an interactive video that shows them all on Heineken®’s interactive Odyssey video at

The Odyssey follows neatly the earlier “Voyage” campaign, in which Heineken® drinkers were also cast as “legendary”. They were drop-shipped into the middle of nowhere and amazingly found their way home. Without even a seagull to call on for assistance.

This post is sponsored by Heineken®, but the opinions are all my own (mine, all mine!). So let’s take out our lobsters and raise a bottle to them for such an entertaining experience.

The Odyssey Poster

Here is the campaign poster for The Odyssey.
Just like a movie.

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The song is just a Memory now

For Wordless Wednesday, I would like to share with you a video of Chantalyne singing “Memory” last weekend at the 2014 Vars Idol competition.

Regular readers might recall that she won the Vars Idol 2013 title with a rendition of “Time to say goodbye”.

This year, they divided the competition into junior and senior performers, and Chantalyne’s performance earned her the title of Vars Idol 2014 (senior).

Vars Idol 2014

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Aging Gracefully (You’re How Old?!?)

Aging gracefully is a widespread self-esteem challenge. Age is not something to hide; it is something to be proud of.

“Well, Happy Birthday! How old are you anyway?”

Wear your years with pride

“Oh, I’m just 29 … again.”

It’s a harmless game, denying our age, right? We play sensitive about our age as we get older, as we get further away from birth and closer to death. It’s just a way to share our unease of growing older with people around us. Ah … aging gracefully.

Try as we might, time marches on and we get older just the same. I was reminded about this when I recently read that we are now seven million years old. That’s at least a million years older than we were just one year ago.

Of course, that does not mean you or I personally aged a million years in the past 365 days. That would be taking the term “personal growth” or “aging”, gracefully or otherwise, too far. It would be either a b-rated horror movie or the phenomenal work of a genius. In fact, an early human skull found in the Sahara Desert is 7 million years old, pushing “the start of human evolution back at least another million years.”

READ ALSO: Aging gracefully

For you and me, age is important. Denying one’s age, or even being sensitive about it, can be disabling to many of us. Our years, our lines, our scars are part of who we are. They should be a matter of comfort and pride and even our joy. Happiness eludes us when we feel embarrassed, guilty, or even shy about any part of who we are.

Aging gracefully is a matter of self-esteem

What’s at stake here? Our happiness. Our self-esteem. Our zest and sense of daily joy. Our life satisfaction.

Life is for learningIt’s time for each of us to take pride again in everything we are. Try saying something like this: “I am pushing 40 (or whatever age applies to you). I have lived 40 years of happiness. I have survived 40 years of challenges. I have experienced 40 years of personal growth. I have learned so many life lessons from 40 trips around the sun. (I have much more to learn, so God, please let me live another 40!) I am aging gracefully. I have thrived, mostly, during 40 years. And I am proud of every one of those years.”

Once upon a time, the elders of the village were revered. They bore both knowledge and wisdom. Now we settle for just knowledge. The elders carried traditions down from generations. Now we just create “new traditions” (oxymoron alert!). The elders were our leaders. Now we downsize them.

Youth has its own beauty, its own advantages, its own joy, its own reasons to be admired. So, too, does middle age. In fact, every age is important and every age is beautiful. How old are you right now? (Really, I don’t mean “29 again”.) Whatever age you are, right now that is the perfect age for you — and the perfect age to be proud of.

Oh sure, it is sort of harmless to kid about one’s age. And many people joke about it harmlessly. But many of us also have a deep unease about our age and our aging — an unease that can hold back our self-esteem and our happiness.

Aging gracefully is another type of personal growth

I recall sitting in my pew when it suddenly dawned on me why one member of the elderly all-female choir looked so different. Every lady was at least 40 years old. Most were over 50. But the other heads were jet black or honey brown or sandy blonde or some other artificial tint. White Top Lady stood out from the crowd. She packed a loaded bundle of white hair.

It is no sin to dye one’s hair, as long as we don’t do it during the service. It is just one of many ways we adorn ourselves. But the sight of a dozen elderly ladies with hair colors impossible for their age (and perhaps even impossible for any age!) made me want to laugh out loud right there in church. (I resisted.) All the heads would probably have looked normal if White Top Lady’s hair had not been screaming out, “I’m proud of my color. I’m proud of my age. I’m not going to hide. I’m aging gracefully.”

It’s time to be proud of everything about ourselves, including our age. So to everybody aging gracefully out there, “Happy Seven Millionth!”

READ ALSO: Boost your self-esteem

READ ALSO: Easy self-esteem quiz

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The best healthy treat. Ever.

What if the healthiest treat imaginable was also the tastiest? Here is how to turn pure fruit – nothing but pure fruit – into scrumptious ice cream.

Close your eyes. Imagine sucking gently on your favorite flavor of gelato, slowly letting it melt and trickle down your throat.  Feel the cool sensation.  Taste the delicate flavors.
Gelato is how Europeans eat their ice cream, and is easily one of the most delicious treats.

Now close your eyes again.  Imagine you could have all this taste, all this sensation, all this smoothness without any fat and without extra sugar or any chemicals added.  That’s what Yonanas is.  The ultimate healthy frozen treat
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