“Change is a process, not an event.”
~James Prochaska

Lifestyles are determined by habit.
One of the most insidious aspects of habit is its ability to dull awareness.

Optimum wellness is a by-product of mindful living.
Anton Krupicka

Awareness and discipline are key tenets of mindfulness.

Optimum wellness is a conscious, self-directed, multidimensional and [w]holistic process of self-actualization.

Mindful living delineates effort from struggle throughout the daily grind.


The focus of wellness is its integrative approach to the whole person. We must remain mindful of the consequences of our lifestyle choices.

The key is to empower clients to master the difference between effort and struggle and cultivate self-actualization.

The path to self-actualization does not happen overnight. The Noble Truth of self-actualization commences only when one takes responsibility for everything in his/her life. This includes every thought, feeling, action, and result in one’s life.

Being accountable for your positive mental state, your circumstances, your health, and your life is often difficult to swallow. Accountability is a daunting but necessary step on the path to self-actualization. Personal growth has no end point.

Risk is inherent to making long-term cognitive and behavioral changes to achieve optimum wellness – it represents the catalyst for growth. It is human nature to fear change. Optimum wellness is about accountability. Only you know the value of your health.

Taking responsibility means you are driving the bus so to speak…you are directly in control of your life. This means you must commit to becoming the best you can possibly become at whatever you have chosen for your life. Period.

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”
~ Sir Edmund Hillary

mt. everest

Goethe stated boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

No better time than now to test your mettle.

What is it that you truly desire from your life?

What or whom is stopping you from living your bliss?

It is likely the person in the mirror with fear-based illusions.

Optimal wellness begins with a positive attitude. Evidence suggests a correlation among one’s thoughts and emotions with one’s level of health and quality of life. The difficult terrain from the trailhead to your summit of optimal wellness will likely provide innumerable and invaluable lessons.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow introduced the concept of self-actualization and nurtured it to one of the quintessential theories of human behavior. A key element of human potential is the whole person approach to human behavior.

The mind-body interface became the equation in which humans manifested improved quality of life through lifestyle changes. Each of us has within us the inner nature to cultivate our true potential; yet, this essential core to our lives is often overcome and suppressed by habit.

Real growth occurs when we assertively take risks to learn the truth about ourselves. Consciously seeking to quell our fears and meet our needs requires balance, centeredness, and equanimity venturing the unknown.

Synergy with our vital life force [chi] will transcend our movement to optimal wellness and self-actualization. Following represents the five-step pyramid of human needs developed by Maslow. Each level of needs must be satisfied before moving to the next level.
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

Maslow studied self-actualized people and discovered conspicuously similar characteristics. Find below a concise list of those characteristics.

~ Self-actualized people perceive reality more accurately and effectively than others and are more comfortable with it. They are not frightened by uncertainty. Their ability to be objective about their own strengths, possibilities, and limitations enables them to clearly define their values, goals, desires, and feelings.

~ Self-actualized people have an acceptance of self, others, and nature. They accept their shortcomings absent condemnation. Feelings of guilt, shame, sadness, anxiety, or defensiveness are felt at much lower levels than others; they take action to rectify said feelings.

~ Self-actualized people do not allow convention to keep them from doing what they feel is important or basic. Their thoughts, impulses, and inner life are spontaneous and creative, and this exuberance is conveyed through composed behavior.

~ Self-actualized people solve problems toward an orientation of life versus self. They commonly have an unselfish mission in life involved with the philosophical and the ethical. Philanthropic ventures play a role in their entrepreneurial mindset.

~ Self-actualized people have a need for privacy. The meaning of their life is self-decision, self-governing, and being an active, responsible, self-disciplined, incisive person versus a pawn for anyone else. They exhibit equanimity in the heat of conflict.

~ Self-actualized people have a wonderful appreciation and high level of gratitude and respect for basic pleasures in life most others take for granted. These include quiet time or contemplative study, nature, the environment, sunrises and sunsets, health, fitness, and intimacy.

~ Self-actualized people often have mystic experiences and times of intense emotion in which self is transcended. They have feelings of limitless power, visionary awe, limitless horizons of possibilities and opportunities. They are strengthened and transformed by each experience.

~ Self actualized people have deep feelings of sympathy toward, and affection for other people in spite of occasional anger, impatience, or disgust.

~ Self-actualized people have deeper and more profound interpersonal relationships. They are capable of more closeness, loyalty, and keeping ego in check than most others find possible. They have especially deep ties with few individuals and their circle of true friends is small. They speak realistically and harshly of hypocritical, pompous, or self-absorbed people.

~ Self-actualized people are democratic in the deepest sense. They are humble and non-judgmental, respectful to everyone no matter education level, income, gender, race, or political beliefs. They crave more knowledge in an effort to continue to grow and contribute to the greater good.

~ Self-actualized people are strongly ethical and moral. Their notions of appropriate action, right and wrong, and good and evil are not conventional.

~ Self-actualized people are highly imaginative, energetic, and creative. Their creativity and talent are often off the charts yet rival the naive wonderment and unspoiled creativeness of children.

“The best way out is always through.”
~ Robert Frost

Your attitude represents the foundation for optimal health. It must be rigorously conditioned like you train your body in order to excel. The key is to learn to utilize the lessons from difficulty, failure, hardship, inconvenience, and the rest of it as stepping stones to your potential.

Shit will happen. How we deal with it will determine effort from struggle on our path to optimal wellness and self-actualization. Adversity happens for us…not to us. Our past does not define us …it merely prepares us.

Your heightened level of wellness will only be realized when you mindfully merge awareness and discipline into the fabric of your daily life.

Mindful living will breed self-actualization.

May your Sadhana be strong….



Jeff Kildahl

View posts by Jeff Kildahl

Jeff Kildahl is a writer, author, wellness consultant and philanthropist advancing preventive health care by synthesizing primary source nutrition and fitness as the principal components of the practice of medicine.

Kildahl is a sponsored vegan ultra-endurance athlete credentialed in bioenergetics, biomechanics, metabolic efficiency™ testing, sport nutrition, and natural medicine. He is a dynamic member of CUBE™ ~ a professional speakers group ~ empowering others to harmonize the "Keys to Living in the Song of Life."

He is the wellness editor at Snowshoe Magazine, United States Snowshoe Association columnist, and contributor to health, fitness and wellness sites, blogs and publications. He is a US-based ultra-endurance athlete and philanthropist for the 100 FOR 100 Movement ~ https://100for100.me.

Kildahl is the creator and president of The Wholistic Edge® ~ a visionary firm providing synergistic solutions to transcend health, performance, and potential in life and sport from the inside out via the principles of Performance Medicine™ ~ http://thewholisticedge.com.