Maslow’s Ideas Make Sense Today

One of my favorite psychologists when I was exploring ideas in graduate school was Abraham Maslow.  His interest in psychology was studying healthy people while most others studies what was wrong with people.  One of his key concepts involved self-actualization which was the movement of human beings toward the full realization of their potential; to be fully who they are.  Being who you are as fully as you can be is what you are all seeking to realize in this lifetime.  

A key ingredient of self-actualization is the acceptance of who you are and the willingness to also accept others as they are.   This acceptance allows you to be ok with yourself and others in ways that keeps your heart open.   An open heart makes self-actualization possible.

Another key aspect of self-actualization is the understanding of your basic goodness.  This basic goodness idea is contrary to many religious points of view.  Goodness is innate, not sin, not evil, not being bad or any other limiting point of view.  Feel the goodness in you.

A third key ingredient is the desire for growth and to continue to further express your uniqueness.  Self-actualized people are not like others in that they tend to be less driven by the need for approval as if on their own path of learning and living.  Maslow says if you are not seeking growth you will not feel ok because your nature is to grow.  What areas of your life are you growing in?

Actualized people are spontaneous, creative, self-directed, playful, take responsibility for themselves, authentic, respectful, value-driven, comfortable alone, have a sense of humor, loving and other expansive qualities.  Which of these qualities can you identify with?

There are a number of other aspects of Maslow’s self-actualization.  I will share more of those tomorrow and some ideas to help you be more self-realized.   Have a good day and remember there is more of you waiting to be expressed.