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The Creativity Post | What Does It Mean to Be Self-Actualized in the…

Abraham Maslow And The Hierarchy Of Needs

Abraham Maslow And The Hierarchy Of Needs

Abraham Maslow, the famous psychologist, had worked on a theory that linked self-actualization to spirituality and self-transcendence.

His Hierarchy Of Needs Pyramid (which was never intended to be a pyramid) familiarized us to the basic human needs like safety, belonging and self-esteem to be a foundation that paves the way for creative pursuits.

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The Creativity Post | What Does It Mean to Be Self-Actualized in the…

The Creativity Post | What Does It Mean to Be Self-Actualized in the…

https://www.creativitypost.com/psychology/what_does_it_mean_to_be_self_actualized_in_the_21st_century

creativitypost.com

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Key Ideas

Abraham Maslow And The Hierarchy Of Needs

Abraham Maslow, the famous psychologist, had worked on a theory that linked self-actualization to spirituality and self-transcendence.

His Hierarchy Of Needs Pyramid (which was never intended to be a pyramid) familiarized us to the basic human needs like safety, belonging and self-esteem to be a foundation that paves the way for creative pursuits.

Ten Characteristics Of Self-Actualization

  1. Continued appreciations of the same objects, events and circumstances.
  2. Acceptance of one’s quirks and desires.
  3. Maintaining authenticity and dignity.
  4. Maintaining equanimity towards life’s inevitable ups and downs.
  5. Having a purpose in life.
  6. Pursuing the real, unadulterated truth about people and nature.
  7. A genuine desire to help mankind.
  8. Having internal peak experiences, opening new dimensions of the mind.
  9. Having a conscience.
  10. Being a creative spirit while doing any kind of action.

Self-Actualization: From Darkness To Light

Self-Actualization is an internal struggle that one must take by leaning towards stability and our higher goals while minimizing disruption from distracting thoughts and impulses (disruptive impulsivity).

One also has to look out for oneself to not fall in the dark abyss of negativity and doubt, apart from feeling directionless or meaningless.

The Paradox Of Self-Actualization

Self-actualization is the ultimate paradox, in which by losing everything, one gains everything.

It is the ultimate nothingness, the zero that is infinity at the same time.

There is nothing to sacrifice in the process of self-actualization, even though it feels that way. One is freed of the bondage of the ego and is able to function with their full powers in the service of others.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The 2 Models of Human Development
  • The 'Surrender Yourself' model dials up your levels of happiness as you progress from your basic needs (like food and good health) towards your achievements like recognized success, or ...
Self-Actualization

It implies acknowledging and respecting the sacredness and uniqueness of each kind of person. Self-Actualization also necessitates full access to information, full knowledge of the truth, and being able to choose without fear or social pressure.

The one thing left out of this theory is social psychology, as all the needs of a human being cannot be understood in isolation and social conditions are also necessary for personal growth.

Self-Transcendence

It involves advancing a cause greater and beyond the self, experiencing a drastic shift in perspective, beyond the confines of the self through the highest level of experience.

Self-transcenders have a completely selfless value system and are leaning towards serving humanity, with an eventual goal of transcending their ego.

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Abraham Maslow

“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear mu..."

Abraham Maslow
Deficiency vs. Growth

Abraham Maslow argued that all needs could be grouped into two main classes: deficiency and growth.

  • Deficiency needs are motivated by a lack of satisfaction, such as the lack of food, safety, affection, belonging, or self-esteem. The higher the need, the more we change reality to satisfy the most deficient needs.
  • Growth needs have a different sort of wisdom. Instead of being driven by fears and anxieties, it is more accepting and loving. It is asking, "What choices will lead me to greater integration and wholeness?" rather than "How can I defend myself?"
Forming a faulty deficiency mindset

At a young age, when an expression of a need is disregarded as not as important as the needs of the caretaker, a child may get the message that they are not loved while they have this need.

This causes people to behave in a way they think they should feel, not how they really feel. As adults, they are always influenced by others' opinions and driven by their insecurities and fears of facing themselves.

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The light side of human nature
The light side of human nature

The light triad of human nature consists of three distinct factors:

  • Kantianism (treating people for who they are, not as means)
  • Humanism ...
The dark triad of personality

The dark triad of personality consists of narcissism (self-importance), Machiavellianism (strategic exploitation and deceit), and psychopathy (callousness and cynicism).

We are all at least a little bit narcissistic, Machiavellian and psychopathic.

The average person displays both triads

The light triad is not simply the opposite of the dark triad. There is a little bit of light and dark in each of us.

A study revealed that the average person is leaning more toward the light triad than the dark in their everyday patterns of thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Extreme malevolence is rare in the general population.

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The theory of motivation
The theory of motivation
The theory of Maslow represents itself as a pyramid that explains the levels of needs.
  • The lowest and first one is physical needs such as water, food, and air. 
  • Second, ...
Self-esteem

Self-esteem is the subjective evaluation of your own worth. There are two sources to fulfill this need:

  1. The need for respect from others that is obtained from recognition and admiration.
  2. The need for self-respect in the form of self-love, skill or aptitude. If you buy things because you want to prove yourself, you will fulfill your need for self-love.
    Self-actualization

    Self-actualization is the realization of one's uniquely creative, intellectual, or social potential. It is a very personal experience.

    When their need for self-esteem is fulfilled, where they have accepted themselves for the good and the bad, people move on to self-actualization.

    The Basic Error Of Science
    The Basic Error Of Science

    ... has always been viewing of the subject or object in isolation. In most fields of study, things are treated as separate from each other. Objects are dissected and analysed by br...

    The Synergy Of Good And Bad

    Intense experiences of both kinds, good and bad, are helping build meaning in life to the same degree, and are complementing each other, according to research.

    If a person has mostly good experiences, or mostly bad ones, his life cycle, in a way, is still incomplete. To truly get the meaning of life, both negative and positive life experiences are required.

    The Dual Nature Of Reality

    These new findings on the synergy of good and bad experiences in our lives go against our usual ways of ‘compartmentalized’ thinking and give us a glimpse of the integrated and dual nature of reality.

    They also explains why we seek out unpleasant, or even dangerous experiences, like watching horror movies, going on thrilling rides which can be risky, or just being exhausted.

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    Moving forward

    At this time in history, many people are wondering whether we will have a life again. Will we recover with dignity?

    Science suggests that we will do more than recover: we will show immense capacity for resiliency and growth.

    From Resilience to Growth

    Resilience is the ability to maintain a relatively stable and healthy level of psychological and physical functioning during and after a very traumatic event.

    Studies reveal that resilience is actually common and can be attained through multiple unexpected routes. Studies further show that the majority of trauma survivors do not develop PTSD, and most report unexpected growth from their experience.

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    "Indifference of the indicator"
    "Indifference of the indicator"

    Over 100 years ago, Charles Spearman made discoveries about human intelligence. One is that the general factor of intelligence (g-factor) conforms to the principle of the "indiffer...

    The dark traits of personality

    We all know people who consistently display ethically, morally and socially unreasonable behavior. Personality psychologists refer to these characteristics as "dark traits."

    Researchers emphasize that these dark traits are related to each other, so they suggest that a D-factor exists. This is defined as the basic tendency to maximize one's own goal at the expense of others, and believing that one's malicious behaviors are justified.

    Scoring high on the Dark factor
    • Those who score high on the D-factor aren't always uncooperative, as they can be very strategic in choosing when to cooperate.
    • Those scoring high on the D-factor will not be motivated to help others in need without it benefiting themselves.

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    Expectations of marriage

    People are increasingly seeking self-actualization within their marriages. On top of the age-old love and cherish, the hope is that our spouse will help us grow to become a better version of our...

    The cultural shift
    • Before the 1950s, there were well-defined expectations for how people should behave. Women were supposed to be nurturing, but not too assertive. Men were supposed to be assertive but not really nurturing.
    • Around the 1960s, we rebelled as a society against the norms and preferred humanistic psychology with ideas about human potential and the possibility of living a more authentic life.
    Fulfillment of goals

    The changing nature of our expectations of marriage has made more marriages fall short and disappoint us. But the fulfillment of a new set of goals is now within reach.

    We can have a beautiful set of experiences with our spouse. We can have a particularly satisfying marriage, but we can’t do it if we’re not spending the time and the emotional energy to understand each other and help promote each other’s personal growth.

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    The Paradox Of Our Dark Side
    The Paradox Of Our Dark Side

    In a world that is thought to be black and white, where the good is desirable and the bad is looked down upon, each one of us has a dark side, which according to conventional wisdom, is to ...

    Light And Dark Triads

    Our personalities have two distinct triads: The Light Triad and The Dark Triad. The dark ones sometimes overlap with the light ones to form a complete personality.

    The Dark Triad, which is associated with the Seven Deadly Sins (Lust, Anger, Greed, Sloth, Gluttony, Pride and Envy) seems to be very fascinating, with many researchers drawn towards it just like viewers are drawn to serial-killer shows and murder mysteries.

    The Dark Area Of Our Personalities

    There are certain personality traits in literature that fall under the Dark Triad:

    • Machiavellianism: A tendency to strategically exploit or deceive other people.
    • Subclinical Narcissism: It means focusing towards the self, giving oneself entitlement and importance.
    • Subclinical Psychopathy: A tendency to be insensitive and cruel with regards to others.

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    The Elusive Butterfly Called Happiness
    The Elusive Butterfly Called Happiness
    • Happiness is an enigma, an elusive butterfly. Different people experience this fleeting feeling in diverse ways.
    • The extrovert personality types have a stronger, more positiv...
    Don't Chase Happiness

    Understandably, pain, pleasure, and loneliness can make us unhappy, and pleasures can provide us with momentary happiness.

    A certain dissatisfaction, want and frustration, is, strangely enough, providing a background towards being happy. Fulfillment of all desires, and having nothing to pursue, paradoxically makes us unhappy.

    It can be said that happiness is intended pleasure, and absence of pain, but if we are trying too hard to be happy, we cease to be so.

    You Cannot Bottle Happiness

    All of us, no matter what is our state of affairs, experience dissatisfaction, frustration and other unpleasant emotions. These emotions are as essential as one's feeling of euphoria when good things happen.

    Happiness is a journey, a never-ending quest, which cannot be simply captured, bought or sold.