Meikirch model

Component 3: Personally acquired potential

The personally acquired potential is a particularity of the Meikirch model. It implies that every human being may evolve his or her personality and must assume responsibility for her or his contribution to this evolution. A well-developed personally acquired potential is quite supportive for health.

Every human being is responsible for:

  • how she or he handles the biologically given potential.
  • how he or she develops his or her personally acquired potential.
  • how much she or he invests into the future of the two potentials.
  • how she or he responds to the demands of life.
  • how he or she cultivates the relationship to other human beings.
  • how she or he participates with the life of the society.
  • how he or she deals with the natural environment.

The personally acquired potential is promoted in addition, when an individual pursues a purpose in life, cultivates positive feelings, practices mindfulness meditation, seeks spirituality, etc.

Compensation of biological limitations

Persons who have to live with a reduced biologically given potential may compensate their defects to a large part by further developing their personally acquired potential. With this many people achieve to respond satisfactorily to their demands of life and – in the spirit of the Meikirch model – to be healthy.

Aaron Antonovsky says:

„A person moves toward health, when she or he understands her or his condition, is able to handle it and finds meaningfulness in it.“

Antonovsky, Aaron (1987). Unravelling the mystery of health. Josey Bass Publishers. ISBN 1-55542-028-1.


A person with type 1 diabetes is able to respond to all demands of life and in this sense to lead a healthy life, when she or he understands the physiology of blood glucose and insulin, is able to measure blood glucose and to inject insulin and finds it purposeful to take care of his or her diabetes with due diligence.