“What a person can be, she must be. This need we call self-actualization.” This quote, from the father of the self-actualization movement Abraham Maslow, crystallizes why this article is important. Are you a property manager because that’s what you truly want to do as a profession? Is your work simply a job or is it your calling, one of your life’s major purposes?
If your role as a manager includes providing quality rental housing for your residents, the above questions are even more relevant. Through self-actualization you’ll learn what you “…must be”.
First, you are to be commended for choosing a profession that fulfills a number of major needs in society. You’re in the right profession at the right time. Many benefit from your expertise and wisdom.
The demand for rental residences has never been greater. That’s why 2015 ended with the highest year-end rent growth on record, even eclipsing the last peak year of 2005. Many areas like Portland, Oregon, on the west coast and Charlotte, North Carolina on the east are filling vacancies at a record pace. More rental units are being built to meet the surging demand. While your timing for being a property manager is outstanding, you’re less likely to benefit unless you are self-actualizing. One of the characteristics of self-actualized property managers is a priority.
Self-actualized people know the importance of sustaining a “freshness of appreciation” for the many aspects of their lives. Specifically, they strive to preserve the novelty of their relationships and work. Self-actualization is described as “…the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him [or her] to become actualized in what he is potentially.” That longing for self-fulfillment stimulates growth. To have more of the “peak experiences” that self-actualized people long for involves exploring your potential. It’s fine to be pleased with your past accomplishments, but what else can you learn and give?
Continuing education, attending webinars and seminars, interviewing your most respected colleagues, these are all ways towards self-improvement. These activities are catalysts for greater self-actualization. It’s interesting to note that self-actualized people are realistic. They know that Rome wasn’t built in a day, yet they tend to be fearless about pursuing their personal and professional dreams. The words of 19th century philosopher Henry David Thoreau might resonate well with self-actualized managers: “Most men live lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
Rather than letting that happen, they’ll choose boisterous determination to reach the summit of their personal and professional lives, no matter what it takes! Dr. Maslow’s observations about self-actualized people included the facts that they are usually motivated by a strong sense of personal ethics and responsibility. They definitely are not “blamers”! Self-actualized property managers experience great satisfaction in employing their problem-solving skills. They desire more effective ways to succeed and enjoy contributing to the success of others.
Perhaps one of the most important reasons to be a self-actualized person is that you’re more likely to be happier and experience greater levels of personal satisfaction. Dr. Maslow knew this well.
“If you deliberately plan to be less than you are capable of being, then I must warn you that you’ll be unhappy for the rest of your lives,” he emphasized. The opposite is clearly more desirable! The ancient Sufi poet Rumi said it succinctly: “Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.”
Learning to “truly love” your work, your clients, your employees, your residents, and yourself may be the most reliable road to happiness and the peak experiences of a life well lived as a property manager.