What is Entelechy?

We’re glad you asked.  The dictionary definition for entelechy reads something like this:


Ancient Greek: en “in,” + telos “goal, or end,” + ekhein “to have,” “to be,” + eia (alt. ia) “quality or condition,”


  • IPA: /ɛnˈtɛləki/


entelechy (plural entelechies)

  1. The complete actualization and final form of a potency or potentiality, or of a conception. [Aristotelian philosophy.]
  2. The final form as already in the potency or matter and awaiting actualization.
  3. A particular type of motivation, need for self-determination, and inner strength directing life and growth to become all one is capable of being. It is the need to actualize one’s beliefs. It is having a personal vision and being able to actualize that vision from within.
  4. Something complex that emerges when you put a large number of simple objects together.

But if all that sounds like nonsense, well don’t worry, Aristotle had some funny ideas.  Instead just think of Entelechy as a way to help you grow.