Maslow and Self-Realization

By on November 3, 2014

Abraham Maslow was a ground breaking psychologist who looked at the world of psychology through very different eyes. He saw that we need to look for the path forwards not by looking at how to bring poor performing people to normal, but instead what can we learn from the extraordinary people around us.

I love the definition of self enlightenment that is attributed to him by many authors:

The impulse to convert oneself in what one is capable of being.

Both Maslow and Carl Rogers viewed the world from the perspective of how to optimum human performance, and investigated this area intensely.

Also, Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, American psychologists, developed the concept of self-actualization in Humanistic Psychology. Maslow defined then self-realization as the impulse to convert oneself into what one is capable of being.


Other quotes by Maslow that I enjoy are here:

  • Human beings seem to be far more autonomous and self-governed than modern psychological theory allows for.

    • Motivation and Personality(1954), p. 123.
  • The study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy. The study of self-actualizing people must be the basis for a more universal science of psychology

    • Motivation and Personality(1954), p. 234.
  • If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.

    • As quoted in Perfecting Private Practice (2004) by Joan Neehall-Davidson, p. 95.

Spource for these quotes is:

The only dispute that I have with how Maslow presents his information is that he indicates that you have to work your way up the pyramid, eventually reaching the top. I believe that many people do not have to do this process, but instead with certain life situations can reside at the top of the pyramid quite naturally, as a normal state of being in the world.

One name for these people would be enlightened beings, many of whom have been is this state  of realization at birth.

Other people can realize their potential and capability and grasp that the shift into that potential can be done in a moment, and make that shift from off the chart to the top of the chart, in an instant. I find that taking action to live spiritual enlightenment is the most powerful way to jump the levels.


This images lays out his theory on needs:

Maslow- needs-source Wikipedia


This video is about his Hierarchy of Needs


About Martyn Wiliams

I am an internationally known explorer, the first person in the world to lead expeditions to the 3 extremes, North Pole, South Pole and Everest. I went on to lead the Pole to Pole 2000 project, that inspired 63 million youth to take action for a healthier planet, the documentary was featured on prime time TV worldwide. I then spent 7 years studying and teaching enlightenment with the remarkable enlightened master Paramahamsa Nithyananda in India and worldwide. I continue to teach worldwide.

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