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Constituents of Well-being

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Self Actualisation

Self-actualisation is the quest to become the best you can be. It involves deciding what you want from life and then doing what is necessary to get what you want. Self-actualisation is an ongoing process that both requires and improves personal creativity, innovation and identity (which in turn is often expressed in artistic, technological and scientific creativity, innovation and identity for an individual community, business or organisation). It requires a sense of self, self esteem and meaning and purpose of life. Self-actualisation empowers an individual to freely make choices and partake in actions that can strongly influence decisions regarding ecosystem services and well-being.


Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Well-being Category

Freedom of Choice and Action


How do ecosystem services contribute to this constituent of well-being?


Self actualisation is an ongoing process - a 70 year old grandmother of 5 hang glides off Beechmont mountains.

Links to other publications and websites

Maslow's Heirachy of Needs
Simply Psychology
Psychology: Self-Actualisation
Wikipedia: Self-Actualisation

Other variables that support inspiration are the ability to meet basic survival requirements in order to find the psychological 'space' to be inspired or to be creative. This certainly includes food, water, shelter, physical safety, comfortable weather and climatic conditions etc. When these needs have been met and access is gained to nature on a regular basis - from remote forest regions to local parks and reserves - then inspiration may be generated through that vital conection between human and nature.

People's aesthetic values contribute significantly to the SEQ economy. Even without training in the arts or environmental sciences, people of all ages and abilities can enjoy, relax and interact with their environment through their senses. Aesthetic values contribute to an individual's choice of tourism destinations, recreational setting and location of habitation, including the value and price of property across SEQ. For example: property prices are always high along rivers or coastal zones and many people travel long distances to experience and view rivers and waterfalls.

Outdoor recreation opportunities are the basis of the eco/nature-based, heritage and adventure tourism industries throughout SEQ. Outdoor recreation (and associated tourism) can augment farm incomes (eg. through farm stay, bed & breakfast accommodation, camping or horse riding opportunities) to provide a buffer against commodity price fluctuations. At the district/regional scale, outdoor recreation can diversify rural economies.


More information to come soon




Table 1:The relative magnitude (to other ecosystem services) each ecosystem service contributes to Self Actualisation.

Ecosystem Service Category Ecosystem Service 0
Provisioning Services
Food products            
Water for Consumption            
Building and Fibre Resources            
Fuel Resources            
Genetic Resources for Cultivated Products            
Biochemical, medicinal and pharmaceutical resources            
Ornamental Resources            
Transport Infrastructure            
Regulating Services
Air Quality            
Habitable Climate            
Water Quality            
Arable Land            
Buffering Against Extremes            
Reduce Pests and Diseases            
Productive Soils            
Noise Abatement            
Cultural Services
Iconic Species            
Cultural Diversity            
Spiritual and Religious Values            
Knowledge Systems            
Aesthetic Values            
Effect on Social Interactions            
Sense of Place            
Iconic Landscapes            
Recreational Opportunities            
Therapeutic Landscapes