“If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.”~ Abraham Maslow
Abraham Maslow, is known as a psychologist and the creator of the Hierarchy of Needs, left behind a remarkable legacy that continues to shape humanity’s understanding of what can motivate us as human beings, happiness and self-actualization.
His profound insights into human behavior and the pursuit of personal growth have inspired countless individuals to strive for a life filled with meaning, passion and authenticity. And it is my hope that after reading today’s blog post, you will be one too.
30 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from Abraham Maslow
1. If you have to choose between safety and growth, always choose growth.
“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”~ Abraham Maslow
“If I were dropped out of a plane into the ocean and told the nearest land was a thousand miles away, I’d still swim. And I’d despise the one who gave up.”~ Abraham Maslow
3. “What a man can be, he must be. This need we call self-actualization.”~ Abraham Maslow
4. How can you choose wisely in life if you don’t dare to listen to yourself at all times?
“One cannot choose wisely for a life unless he dares to listen to himself, his own self, at each moment of his life.”~ Abraham Maslow
5. A man will always get sick if his essential core is denied or suppressed.
“If the essential core of the person is denied or suppressed, he gets sick sometimes in obvious ways, sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes immediately, sometimes later.”~ Abraham Maslow
6. Always pay attention to people acting poorly. That’s only a reaction to them being deprived of their basic human needs.
“When people appear to be something other than good and decent, it is only because they are reacting to stress, pain, or the deprivation of basic human needs such as security, love, and self-esteem.”~ Abraham Maslow
7. Unless we understand love and are able to teach and create it, the world is lost.
“We must understand love; we must be able to teach it, to create it, to predict it, or else the world is lost to hostility and to suspicion.”~ Abraham Maslow
8. “No great deed, private or public, has ever been undertaken in a bliss of certainty.”~ Abraham Maslow
“Getting used to our blessings is one of the most important non-evil generators of human evil, tragedy and suffering.”~ Abraham Maslow
10. Behavior in the human being is sometimes a defense, a way of concealing motives and thoughts.
“Behavior in the human being is sometimes a defense, a way of concealing motives and thoughts, as language can be a way of hiding your thoughts and preventing communication.”~ Abraham Maslow
11. When you are over-protective of someone you rob them of their own ability to grow and learn.
“Not allowing people to go through their pain, and protecting them from it, may turn out to be a kind of over-protection, which in turn implies a certain lack of respect for the integrity and the intrinsic nature and the future development of the individual.”~ Abraham Maslow
12. You get what you give.
“Give people affection and security, and they will give affection and be secure in their feelings and their behavior.”~ Abraham Maslow
13. “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.”~Abraham Maslow
14. You cannot say you’re in a position in which you have nothing to work with when you have been blessed with so many gifts.
“We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with. We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, callings.”~ Abraham Maslow
15. The most stable and healthiest self-esteem is based on deserved respect from others.
“The most stable, and therefore, the most healthy self-esteem is based on deserved respect from others rather than on external fame or celebrity and unwarranted adulation.”~ Abraham Maslow
16. We fear more the godlike in ourselves than we fear the unsavory aspects oh ourselves.
“We fear to know the fearsome and unsavory aspects of ourselves, but we fear even more to know the godlike in ourselves.”~ Abraham Maslow
17. The greatest good fortune is to be paid for doing something you are passionate about.
“The most beautiful fate, the most wonderful good fortune that can happen to any human being, is to be paid for doing that which he passionately loves to do.”~ Abraham Maslow
18. Happy people work on what they consider important.
“The only happy people I know are the ones who are working well at something they consider important.”~ Abraham Maslow
19. Every time you treat someone badly, you become a force for the creation of negativity.
“Let people realize clearly that every time they threaten someone or humiliate or unnecessarily hurt or dominate or reject another human being, they become forces for the creation of psychopathology, even if these be small forces. Let them recognize that every person who is kind, helpful, decent, psychologically democratic, affectionate, and warm, is a psychotheraputic force, even though a small one.”~ Abraham Maslow
20. “False optimism sooner or later means disillusionment, anger and hopelessness.”~ Abraham Maslow
21. Spirituality is part of the human essence.
“The spiritual life is part of the human essence. It is a defining characteristic of human nature, without which human nature is not fully human.” ~ Abraham Maslow
22. Self-actualizing people have a deep feeling of identification, sympathy, and affection for human beings in general.
“Self-actualizing people have a deep feeling of identification, sympathy, and affection for human beings in general. They feel kinship and connection, as if all people were members of a single family.” ~ Abraham Maslow
23. The best product should be bought, the best man should be rewarded more.
“The best product should be bought, the best man should be rewarded more. Interfering factors which befuddle this triumph of virtue, justice, truth, and efficiency… should be kept to an absolute minimum or should approach zero as a limit.”~ Abraham Maslow
24. The process of healthy growth is a never ending series of free choice situations.
“We can consider the process of healthy growth to be a never ending series of free choice situations, confronting each individual at every point throughout his life, in which he must choose between the delights of safety and growth, dependence and independence, regression and progression, immaturity and maturity.” ~ Abraham Maslow
25. Growth takes place when the next step forward is subjectively more delightful, more joyous, more intrinsically satisfying.
“Growth takes place when the next step forward is subjectively more delightful, more joyous, more intrinsically satisfying than the previous gratification which we have become familiar and even bored.”~ Abraham Maslow
26. One’s only rival is one’s own potentialities.
“One’s only rival is one’s own potentialities. One’s only failure is failing to live up to one’s own possibilities. In this sense, every man can be a king, and must therefore be treated like a king.”
27. Fortunate are those who have the capacity to appreciate everything again and again as if it were the first time they ever experienced it.
“The most fortunate are those who have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy.”~ Abraham Maslow
28. The sacred is found in the ordinary.
“The great lesson is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that is is to be found in one’s daily life.”~ Abraham Maslow
29. “To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.”~ Abraham Maslow
30. Knowing what you want is a rare and difficult psychological achievement.
“It isn’t normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement.”~ Abraham Maslow
“All of life is education and everybody is a teacher and everybody is forever a pupil.”
“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.”
“I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.”
“Every person is, in part, ‘his own project’ and makes himself.”
“Life is an ongoing process of choosing between safety (out of fear and need for defense) and risk (for the sake of progress and growth). Make the growth choice a dozen times a day.”
“Marriage is a school itself. Also, having children. Becoming a father changed my whole life. It taught me as if by revelation.”