Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist, best known for writing A Theory of Human Motivation and Towards a Psychology of Being defined the concept of Self-Actualization or the Self Actualization of Maslow as the desire for self-fulfillment.
Maslow studied mentally healthy individuals, instead of people with serious psychological issues, and in particular Self-Actualized individuals who had a better insight of reality, deeply accepted themselves, others and the world and whom share qualities such as truth, goodness, aliveness, uniqueness and playfulness.
Maslow noticed that Self-Actualized individuals only exist once their underlying human needs have been met and described these human needs in a prepotent hierarchy, usually represented as a pyramid. Needs lower down in the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to needs higher-up and a pressing need would need to be mostly satisfied before someone would give their attention to the next highest need. From the bottom of the hierarchy upwards the needs are: physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem and self-actualization.
At the bottom of the hierarchy, you can find basic needs of human beings such as food, water, sleep, sex. The next level is safety needs or the need for security, order and stability. Those needs are important for the physical survival of the human being. Once individuals have achieved their basic nutrition, shelter and safety needs, they are free to accomplish more; and this is how they move on to the next level i.e. love/belonging. When individuals have taken care of their basic needs for survival they are free to share themselves with others and are in a position to offer love, affection and compassion to the people around them. The fourth level i.e. esteem is the need to feel competent and recognized; this level is achieved when individuals feel comfortable with what they have accomplished through professional success and status.
At the top of the pyramid, you have the need for self-actualization which occurs when individuals reach a state of harmony and understanding because they are engaged in achieving their full potential.
How to Become Self Actualized
So how do you become self-actualized?
The first step is the thought. The sowing of a thought should be followed by action. Ralph Waldo Emerson said:
“Sow a thought and you reap an action. Sow an action and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
The sowing of a thought should be followed by action. The reward is not so much in what the pursuit and achievement of that objective will bring but rather the skills acquired along the way and the transformation it forces us to undergo. Achieving those goals requires to leave our comfort zone, whilst developing new skills and cultivating self-discipline. The problem is that for many of us we struggle to move from sowing of a thought to taking action. So, the question is … do you have the courage to act?
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I was actually thinking of posting something about Abraham Maslow and you already did it. His life and writings are very interesting.
Glad to hear you managed to find your way to my blog on Abraham Maslow! I agree, his work is very interesting and it is worth sharing his teaching.
Very interesting, and very true
Thank you for your feedback! Really appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and to comment!
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Thank you for this further look into this well known thinker’s most famous work. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Thank you for visiting my page and for your comment. Maslow’s work is definitely worth sharing.
This post is so inspiring!
So glad to hear this resonates with you! 👍😁
Thank you for your feedback! Really appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and to comment and glad to hear this post resonates with you!
It’s all about manifestation of your aspirations and turning them into reality. We are the products of the effort we put into ourselves. Thank you for this. An inspirational read
Thank you for taking the time to read my post and for your comment! Glad to hear this post resonates with you! Stay tuned-in more to come.
Love your blog, nice to meet you!
Lilly Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words 😀🙏! Stay tuned-in 📻 more to come
Great post on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs! I especially like how you mention that several levels need to be addressed before the path to self-actualization occurs. I think that self-actualization is something that we should all strive for, and that several things in our life are important in order to achieve that goal. I just wrote a post about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as well, and my hope is to tie my content into leading a more fulfilling life. Feel free to check it out, and I welcome any contributions that you may have. Thanks for sharing your post!
To have an Inquisitive Mind is I believe a necessary step towards self-actualization! It looks like you are on your way! Thanks or stopping by and for taking the time to comment.
That is powerful. I screenshot the pyramid diagram to remind myself to keep going. Thank you.
So glad to hear that this post/article resonates with you 😀👍!
Authenticity: to live as a self-realizing, self-actualizing human being, not devoted to trivial pursuits, but to leading a life full of joy, understanding, and the quest for wisdom.
In agreement. The quest for wisdom is definitely a worthwhile pursuit!