Toward a Psychology of Being

by Abraham Maslow | John Wiley & Sons, Inc. © 1999 · 270 pages

Abraham Maslow sits in the great-grandfather slot in my spiritual family tree and is kinda the great-grandfather of the modern Positive Psychology movement. We profiled the 19 characteristics of his self-actualizing individual in our Note on Motivation & Personality in Volume I and in this Note we take a look at the essence of creativity and the fact that we all have capacities that’re clamoring to be used!

Self-actualizing people, those who have come to a high level of maturation, health and self-fulfillment, have so much to teach us that sometimes they seem almost like a different breed of human beings.
Abraham Maslow

“The more we learn about man’s natural tendencies, the easier it will be to tell him how to be good, how to be happy, how to be fruitful, how to respect himself, how to love, how to fulfill his highest potentialities…

Every age but ours has had its model, its ideal. All of these have been given up by culture; the saint, the hero, the gentleman, the knight, the mystic. About all we have left is the well-adjusted man without problems, a very pale and doubtful substitute. Perhaps we shall soon be able to use as our guide and model the fully growing and self-fulfilling human being, the one in whom all his potentialities are coming to full development, the one whose inner nature expresses itself freely, rather than being warped, suppressed or denied.”

~ Abraham Maslow from Toward a Psychology of Being

Abraham Maslow is one of my favorite teachers. A leading 20th century psychologist, his vision for and belief in the power of scientific research into what makes extraordinary people extraordinary helped catalyze what is now known as the Positive Psychology movement.

In our Note on Motivation and Personality, we check out the 19 characteristics of what he calls the “self-actualizing individual.” (HIGHLY recommend you check out that Note. It’s one of my favorites.)

In Toward a Psychology of Being, Maslow explores a range of ideas. Although pretty intellectual/heady at times, I’ve pulled out some of my favorite practical Big Ideas and I hope you love it!

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About the author


Abraham Maslow

American psychologist best known for his hierarchy of needs.