Friday, December 10, 2004

On Self-Actualization

Maslow believed that the highest human need was to reach self-actualization . Based on Jones &.Crandall, Self-actualization is the possession of the following characteristics :

1- Being dedicated to a mission in life that transcends our selfish interests
2-Believing that people are essentially good and trustworthy
3-Loving others even when we do not like their behavior
4-Feeling adequate to deal with life
5-Being able to accept your own weaknesses
6-Not being dependent on the approval of others (preferring to be yourself than popular)
7-Being able to express your feelings even when they are unpopular
8-Being unashamed of all of your emotions, even negative emotions
9-Being unafraid of failure

In his hierarchy of motives, Maslow shows that lower needs have to be satisfied first, otherwise, higher needs will lie dormant. In other words, one will not care about higher motives, unless the lower ones in the pyramid are satisfied. Take a look at the pyramid here.

Although this theory can help explain why art , sciece and philosophy has had the greatest leaps when a nation could reach to some level of prosperity , it fails to expalin why someone may sacrifice his own immediate benefits or pleasures for the sake of others. It also cannot explain why someone aspires and strives for higher needs when the lower ones are not met yet, nor it can explain a hunger strike.

(posted by Farid)

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