We have seen that the optimal personality has been described in many ways. It is generally agreed, however, that no trait that we might single out as the chief defining characteristic can be regarded as operating independently of the total system. When we speak of the ideal goal and of stages leading to it, we are concerned with variables and events that affect almost everything the individual does or feels. In dealing with the optimal personality, we must deal with the total personality. Our understanding of the former is limited by our understanding of the latter.