Self Actualization

Abraham Maslow

About 70 years ago, Abraham Maslow proposed a theory of self-actualization and helped found a new branch of psychology. He suggested that if you meet more basic needs like physical and safety, you can address higher relational and esteem needs. Once you meet most of your needs, you reach a place of self-actualization – of self-acceptance, freshness, equanimity, authenticity, and so forth. Later in life, Maslow saw self-transcendence as a possibility post-self-actualization. Self-transcendence is the primary topic of this website. You’ve probably seen images of his Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow apparently didn’t use his model in this way. Recently, I … Continue Reading…

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

At several points in my life, I’ve studied the work of Abraham Maslow, particularly around self actualization. He was one of the few then to study psychological well-being rather than illness, creating what he called Positive Psychology. His “hierarchy of needs” (and thus motivation) is widely known although not as supported by science now. This is partly because the higher needs vary somewhat by culture and personality. Nonetheless, it is useful for broad understanding. We can only pursue personal development effectively when our basic needs are being met. Inquiry means little if we don’t have enough to eat or a … Continue Reading…