Self-actualization is what we strive to attain in our lifetime, "what a man can be, he must be." It's the ONE goal we won't mind to crown our life effort.
It could be to become the president, build an empire, win a Grammy...it could even be to get married. Fact is, self-actualized goal was subjective.
The beauty of today's youth is they recognise their self-actualized goal early and it burns within. Take a teen with a strong musical passion for instance. With the influence of MTV, BET...Grammys, she/he target recognition on that international platform. It might be a good thing BUT there's danger when that self-actualized goal plays such dominant role.
The beauty of Masclow's hierachy of needs is the recognition of basic important needs before fairy tale dreams. "You want to be become the president, cool. But first, get food in your plate and roof over your head." Today's youth ignore the first steps and aim directly for the top. Take an instance of a guy that drops out of school to become a rapper. When you are quite young, it ALL seems possible. He forgets about needs like providing food because his parents are there. In reality, he doesn't achieve anything because people around him provides everything. What happens when he gets old enough and supplies get cut off? He joins the category of "unemplyed Nigeria youth" whose occupation is criticising the government and talk about "comparative economies".
Few get lucky, they jump all the steps to attain their self-actualized goal. But, what happens next? Let's assume the person achieved it at age 25, what typical happens is he becomes satisfied: becomes a broke local champion e.g Majek Fashek. Because self-actualized goal don't guarantee basic needs...it's a need on its own.
I referred to drop-outs ealier. My stand is not graduates were in a better position. You find graduates yet to secure basic needs a.k.a jobless, yet focus on what would take 'em to closer to self-actualization, even if it meant jumping all the steps. It's only in Nigeria you'll find a jobless person still being picky. They are all waiting for "oil companies". It becomes clear how ignorant they were with zero job experience when asked "what role do you want to play in that oil company?"
They assume basic needs had been achieved because Mummy or/and Daddy was providing it. Same apply as instances I created earlier- they really struggle by the time left alone.
I think it's best to create one's path but not at the expense of what's real.